If you are traveling to Italy for vacation, you need to be aware of some basics about the currency. Travelers are usually concerned with several questions. What is the currency conversion rate? Where can I change my dollars into Euros when I arrive? Can I use my travelers’ checks? Are ATM machines readily available? What if I need a larger amount of cash and I need a bank? Can I use my major credit card at many places? What about tax-free shopping?
These are all great questions to ask before you go on your Italy vacation and each one has an answer that will be addressed here. First of all it is important to know that Italy uses the European Euro. There is no “Italian currency.” One dollar ($1) is equivalent to approximately 0.70 euros. The currency conversion rate can fluctuate daily so it is best that you check for a more accurate figure before you leave for your vacation to Italy. You can find the most current exchange rate at The Universal Currency Converter website which is http://www.xe.com/ucc/
How can you get Euros once you arrive in Italy for your vacation? There will be an exchange office at the airport when you arrive. This is usually most accurate if you are arriving in a main city. Exchange offices may also be available at railway stations in the main cities. You can always also get Euros at any ATM or bank. This leads in to the next question about the availability of ATMs. There are ATMs all over Italy mainly in big cities but also in some smaller towns. But you need to know that in Italy ATMs are called “bancomats.” During your Italy vacation you will find that these bancomats work just like they do in the US and you will get the chance to select your language of preference from the screen when you begin. You can use your credit or debit card to get money (euros only) out of the bancomat as long as there is a Cirrus or BankMate symbol on that machine and your card.
You could always find out from your Credit Card Company or bank if their cards can be used worldwide before you leave for your vacation to Italy. Most businesses accept major credit cards in Italy and you should always look for the credit card signage stickers on doors of shops just like there are in the US. Travelers’ checks are also widely accepted in the major cities.
If you need a larger sum of cash than the bancomat will provide during your Italy vacation you will find that there are banks all over Italy especially at the main tourist attractions. Most Italian banks close for about an hour and a half for a lunch break during the week and are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays.
People taking an Italy vacation will be glad to find out that non-resident visitors may claim a refund for the tax they pay on many of their purchases. You can go to www.globalrefund.com to pursue a refund.