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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Eating out

Lunch is served from 12.30-3pm and dinner from 8-11pm. Weekly closing days vary, but most restaurants are open at the weekend. In August, many establishments close for several weeks. It is advisable to book on Fridays and Saturdays.


Credit cards and traveller’s cheques

Payment by credit card is developing fast, but remains less widespread than in the UK. Credit cards are rarely accepted in small restaurants and family-run trattorias. Euro zone residents should note that bank charges for withdrawals and payments are identical to those in their country of origin.

Two types of payment by card exist in Italy: Bancomat payments, which require a PIN code and are charged a commission of €1.55/payment, and the credit card system which does not charge a commission and only requires a signature. Request a “credit card” payment if you are asked to type in your PIN code.

ATMs are widely available throughout Rome.

Budget / cost of living

Those travelling on a small budget, should plan on spending around €100/day per person for a room in a basic hotel and meals in pizzerias or trattorias. Add 30% for large cities, such as Rome.

Those on medium budgets can expect to spend around €200/day per person for a room in a charming hotel and meals in a restaurant.

If you have more to spend, a night in an upmarket hotel and a meal in a gastronomic restaurant will cost around €250-300/day per person. This is not however a “luxury” budget, because hotels in this category, particularly in the cultural cities, can be exorbitant.

Budget on between €2 and 10 for transport and museums.


Post offices are open from 8.30am-1.30pm, with the exception of the main branch on piazza San Silvestro and the Termini branch, which are open 8.30am-6.30pm.Postage rates within the Europe zone are €0.65 for a letter (up to 20gr) or postcard.

Public holidays

1 January

6 January – Epiphany

Easter Monday

21 April – Anniversary of the Foundation of Rome

25 April – Anniversary of the 1945 Liberation

1 May

2 June – Proclamation of the Republic

29 June – Feast days of the patron saints, Peter and Paul

15 August – Assumption Day

12 October – National Holiday

1 November – All Saints Day

8 December – Immaculate Conception

25 and 26 December


In Rome, shops are open Monday-Saturday from 9am to 12noon and 3.30-7.30pm; most close at lunchtime.

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