The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Those arriving in Italy with foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. ATMs are widespread. Travellers cheques can be exchanged with ease in the large cities, not so in the smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted in upmarket establishments and shops around the cities. Banks are closed on weekends, but tend to have better rates than casas de cambios. Euro is divided as follows: bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 Euro; coins of 1, 2, 5, 10 Euro, 20 and 50 cents.
Banks in Italy are open Monday through Friday from 8:35 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. and from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.; in many tourist areas they are open no-stop from 8.30 a.m. to 4p.m. and closed all day on Saturday and Sunday and on national holidays. The afternoon one hour opening may vary from city to city.
Credit & debit cards in Italy
Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, as well as Eurocheque cards. Check with your credit or debit card company for merchant acceptability and other facilities that may be available. The ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) in Italy are known as Bancomat. There are many to be found in the large cities and even in small towns. Using a credit card, or even better, a debit card or your local bank ATM card is very easy.
Travellers cheques are accepted almost everywhere. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars. In major Italian cities and tourist areas traveler checks are accepted. Travelers checks can be exchanged for Euro at most hotels and shops and at the foreign exchange offices in main railway stations and at the airports.
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