Italian Money, Currency, Tax Free Refunds and ATMs in Italy
Italian Currency, Tax Information and ATM’s
Visiting Italy as a newcomer can be both exciting and stressful. Learning how to manage yourself properly within this strange new region is important. Italy travel and tours can be made much better when you understand the local currency and what to expect from it.
As a non-resident visitor, you are able to claim a refund for tax paid on goods and services intended for personal use within Italy. This is Italian law based on the European Community provisions. For more information you can contact the Agenzia delle Dogane through their official website. Additionally, other companies that specialize in sales tax refunds include Global Refund and Premier Tax Free.
Automatic Teller Machines, or ATMs, are found throughout the large cities and numerous smaller towns within Italy. Locally, they are known as Bancomat and operate just as an ATM you know from home. When using the machine, you will be prompted to select your chosen language from the start menu.
Using a credit card within Italy is possible if it carries the Cirrus or BankMate symbol. Since these two banking systems are the most widespread in the world, they are the best to have. If you cannot find the Cirrus or BankMate symbols, or have questions about your cards compatibility or the banking systems themselves, contact your local bank or credit card company for details.
Assuming the system is compatible with your card, withdrawing money is just the same as you would at home. Money will be dispensed in Euros, but after returning home can be converted into dollars using the proper exchange rate of the time. Always be aware that many banks charge a percentage fee for cash advances. This can be up to 4% and may negate any benefits from using the Bancomat in the first place. Instead of a cash advance, it’s always best to simply withdraw available money from your account.
Euro bills are available in divisions of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro. Coins can be found in 1, 2, 5 and 10 Euro as well as 20 and 50 cents. New visitors can exchange their home currency for Euros through any bank, most ATM machines, or the exchange office at airports, railway stations and seaports in the main cities of the country. Always keep receipts of the exchange in case you choose to reconvert Euros to dollars before returning home.
Keeping your money safe is important no matter where you may be. Crowded tourist areas all over the world are, sadly, targeted by pickpockets, gypsies and other petty thieves. While you should always keep an eye open for suspicious behavior, the best way to keep your money safe is by hiding it in an inside pocket, using a money belt, or a small pouch worn under your clothing.
Always keep in mind it’s best to keep your cash hidden even when exchanging it or paying for a service. Never flash around large amounts of money in a crowded area for your own safety.