in Italy is the Euro, which replaced the former national currency,
the lira, in 2000. The euro circulates in bills of 5, 10, 20, 50,
100, 200, 500 and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10 euros, and 1,2,5,10,20 and
50 cents. The high denomination bills of 200 and 500, athough standard
legal tender are not always accepted easily in smaller establishments
and for smaller transactions.
Euros can be purchased for dollars, sterling and all other major
currencies at banks, ATM machines and exchange shops, called Ufficio
The daily rate of exchange used for changing travellers cheques
is the rate shown in the newspapers. Cheques are accepted in tourist
areas and the bigger cities at shops, hotels, airports and main
railway stations and authorised tourist offices.
Credit and Debit Cards
Local currency can be drawn from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
known in Italy as Bancomat. The machines work in the major European
languages and respond to the major symbols such as Visa, Cirrus,
and Bankmate etc.
Banks and Banking Hours
During the week, Monday to Friday, banks are open from 08.35 to
13.35 and again 15.00 to 16.00, varying depending on the city. In
many tourist areas the banks do not shut from 13.35 to 15.00. Saturdays
and Sundays and National Holidays the banks are closed.
There are no restrictions on the quantity of foreign currency or
of foreign exchange instruments that can be brought into Italy,
but foreign exchange transactions need to be made through authorised