People   94% Italian; 6% other, including Sardinians and Rhaetians
Language   Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking)
Religion   84% Roman Catholic; 16% other, including Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant
Government   A parliamentary republic; the head of state is the president, elected by legislators and representatives of regional councils; the head of the government is the prime minister

Head of Government   Prime minister: Matteo Renzi; President: Sergio Mattarella
Embassy   American Embassy Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A 00187 Roma, Italy Tel : (39) 06 46 741
Visas   As a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you may enter Italy for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. Customs officials may ask you to show them a return ticket, proof of the purpose of your visit to Italy and/or proof of sufficient funds for your stay. Having more than one source of funds (for example, cash, traveler's checks, credit card, bank card) is recommended.
Health Risks   The air in large cities can be heavily polluted.
Clothing Suggestions   MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES: When packing, remember to bring along appropriate clothes for visiting religious sites, such as cathedrals. Usually, there's an unspoken dress code that demands long trousers for men and below-the-knee skirts for women. Sleeveless shirts might also be forbidden, especially on women (you'll also be asked to remove headgear inside a church or holy building). The climate of Italy is highly diversified, with extremes ranging from frigid in the higher elevations of the Alps and Apennines to semitropical along the coast of the Ligurian Sea and the western coast of the lower peninsula. The average annual temperature, however, ranges from about 11° to 19°C (about 52° to 66°F); it is about 13°C (about 55°F) in the Po Valley, about 18°C (about 64°F) in Sicily, and about 14.5°C (about 58°F) in the coastal lowlands.
Time Zone:   One hour ahead of GMT/UTC; six hours ahead of U.S. EST. Daylight savings time is in effect from late March to late September, during which time the clocks are advanced 1 hour.
Banking / Exchange   Banks are open from 8.00/8.30am-1.30pm and 2.30/3.00-4.00pm from Monday to Friday.
Foreign exchange bureaus are available for tourists at airports, railway stations, major hotels and popular tourist resorts abroad without any time limit.
Currency   Euro
Electric Current   The electrical current in Italy is AC - the cycle is 50Hz 220 V. A tourist carrying electrical appliances to Italy should have a transformer, either obtained before leaving your country or bought at an electrical appliance shop in Italy. Plugs have round prongs not flat, therefore an adaptor plug is needed.
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   Most reputable establishments will accept major credit cards. ATMs can be found in large cities and even in small towns
Shopping   Opening hours of shops vary from region to region. In general, shops are open from 8.30am to 12.30pm and from 3.30/4.00pm until 7.00/7.30pm from Monday to Saturday. They are usually closed on Monday morning.
Weights & measures   The metric system is standard throughout the country.
How to shop Tax Fee  

National Airport   Fiumicino Airport Rome (FCO), Malpensa Airport Milan (MXP), Florence (FLR), Venice (VCE)
Major Tourist Attractions   Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, Amalfi Coast, Pisa, Pompeii, Sicily
Tipping Suggestion   A 10 to 15 percent service charge is usually added to restaurant bills, but waiters expect an additional 5%-10% tip per person. Taxi drivers should be tipped based on the quality of service—usually 8%–10%. Tip hotel staff 1-2 Euros depending on the standard of hotel. Give something to sacristans or custodians if they have opened up churches or museums especially for your benefit, or outside normal hours. Never tip less than 1 Euro. It is customary to tip tour guides 5 to 7 EUR per person per day on multiday tours and drivers 3 to 5 EUR per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is 10 to 15 EUR for the guide and 5 EUR for the driver.