Italy Travellers’ Guide 2021
Thank you for choosing to book your holiday with Sardatur Holidays. As specialist tour operator to Italy, we are sure that you will be able to relax and enjoy your holiday with us to the full.
Italy is arguably the most beautiful country in the Mediterranean with its diverse, astonishing landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Where else can one experience magical cities such as Venice, Florence and Rome, the turquoise waters of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, romantic Neapolitan Riviera, Sicily, Puglia or the stunning lakes of Maggiore, Garda and Como?
To help you make the most of your visit, we have designed this guide which is packed with useful information. We hope it will help answer many of the questions you may have, whether they be about airport procedures or the practicalities of driving in Italy.
Before you go
Travel documents - Passports and Visas
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a valid passport for the duration of your holiday. British and EC passport holders must be in possession of a valid 10 years passport to travel to Italy. Children and infants will need their own passport for travel. A visa is not required for European Union passport holders.
Holders of other passports must check Visa regulations with the Italian Consulate (0207 9365900).
Sardatur Holidays cannot be held responsible for any consequences resulting from failure to comply with Italian immigration requirements.
Checked-in baggage allowance, if purchased in advance, varies from airline to airline.
Usual allowance is one piece of luggage weighing between 15 – 23 kilos per person and if this amount is exceeded, an excess charge may be applied by the airline concerned.
Economy Class: British Airways, EasyJet and Air Malta – 23 kg; Alitalia – 20 kg,
Club Class: British Airways – 2 x 32 kg
Please note: infant in arms are not usually allocated any luggage allowance.
New regulations on airport security restrict passengers to one item of hand luggage usually not exceeding 7 kilos in weight, but airlines may vary and have dimension restrictions. Passengers can now carry a limited quantity of liquids, i.e. gels, lotions, pastes, liquid cosmetics, foams, medications for use on the flight etc, providing certain restrictions are adhered to.
Collapsible wheelchairs and pushchairs can be taken to the aircraft door and will usually be placed in the hold for the duration of the flight.
The following items are strictly prohibited by the airlines:
Knives or other sharp instruments
Explosives including fireworks, flares and Christmas crackers.
Flammable materials such as lighter fuel, paints and petrol.
Gases, including compressed air, tear gas, CS canisters.
Corrosives, spill able batteries, acids and other chemicals.
Please note: Conditions of Carriage of the Airline apply.
For more information on this and the latest up-to-date regulations, we suggest you consult the Airline website before travelling:
At the airport
Please check in with plenty of time for your flight. Check-in time should be a minimum of two hours prior to departure, so please check your ticket for the time of your flight and report to the desk where your flight number is displayed, or as instructed on the itinerary.
Once you have checked in, please go through security to the departure lounge and await your fight number and boarding gate to be displayed on the TV monitor. Please note, that your flight will not necessarily be called over the public-address system.
Your airline will be happy to assist you with any queries you may have while at the airport.
Departure terminal for flights to Italy are operated from:
Terminal 2 Terminal 5
Alitalia (AZ) British Airways (BA)
(Getting there and more information please visit www.heathrowairport.co.uk)
(Getting there and more information please visit www.gatwickairport.co.uk)
(Getting there and more information please visit www.manchesterairport.co.uk)
(Getting there and more information please visit www.bristolairport.co.uk)
On arrival in Italy
Once you have completed the entry formalities at your arrival airport, all customers who have booked transfers from the airport to their hotel, should approach our transfer agent in the Arrivals Hall. The name and the contact details of your transfer agent will be shown on your itinerary.
If a car is included in your holiday and is to be collected from the airport, please go to the Avis Rent-a-Car desk.
You will need: car hire voucher, driving licence and passport or photo-card licence and credit card for the deposit.
We have contracted special rate with Avis rent a car, please refer to your invoice and car voucher:
• CDW rate includes unlimited mileage, CDW, TP, APT/CITY surcharge and VAT taxes. Excess apply for damages, and vehicle being stolen
• SCDW rate includes unlimited mileage, SCDW, STP, APT/CITY tax surcharge, VAT tax and second driver. Total elimination of any excess for damages and theft of the vehicle.
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI); this insurance will cover the cost of any personal medical cost incurred in the event of an accident. This Insurance is usually included on your travel insurance: please check with your insurance company to see that you are covered.
Global Vehicle Cover. This insurance will cover any charges payable in the event that the roof, chassis, tyres or windscreen are damaged or stolen.
Domestic One-way Fee between different cities.
Punctures, Garaging, Petrol, Parking and traffic fines, Baby & Child seats, Delivery and Collection at accommodation. Re-fuelling charges, Additional Driver charges.
Administration fee payable locally in case of loss or theft of car keys, dealing with and accident file or violation of the Italian Highway Code.
We strongly recommend that you purchase, for your peace of mind, additional insurance available.
You will be required to sign the relevant documentation and agreement, which is a direct contract between you and the car hire company. Please see Avis rent a car website for “Terms and conditions” and contractual agreement www.avis.co.uk
The vehicle should be delivered with a full tank of fuel (please report any un-filled tanks to the car hire company immediately, as this cannot be rectified at later date).
Please note that it is a legal requirement for all drivers to be over 23 years of age and to have held a full licence for over one year.
Drivers must be in possession of their licence and passport or photo-card licence always. Seat belts are also law in all areas.
Returning your car
When returning your car, always take local advice on the length of time required for your journey, as in some periods traffic may be heavy.
Please note: All car rentals are calculated on a 24-hour basis from time of pick-up.
Therefore on 7 days rental, if the car is collected at 13.00 it should be returned not later of 13.00 on the departure day (grace period 29 minutes). Failure to return the car within the set time will result in your credit card being debited for an extra day by the car hire company.
All vehicles must be returned with a full tank after your holiday. (Failure to return the car with a full tank of petrol will result in the cost of petrol, plus refill charges and local VAT, being charged to the credit card).
Driving in Italy
Driving in Italy is on the right-hand side of the road.
For safe driving a few reminders:
Headlights should be on always.
The speed limit on normal roads is 90km per hour and 50km per hour in built-up areas.
Parking on the street is allowed, but please use designated areas.
Do not leave anything valuable in the car.
When you stop, always take the keys out of the ignition and lock the car.
Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or taken medication.
Mobile phones are allowed only using hands-free equipment or earphones.
Use dipped headlamps on suburban roads.
Your car is equipped with a reflective vest, which must be worn every time you get out of the car to signal a breakdown or accident, or to change a tyre. If other passengers get out of the car, they must also wear a reflective vest.
Failure to comply with any of the above, may result in a spot fine by the police.
In the event of an accident, it is important that you make a formal report to the rental company and to the police.
If you have an accident, you will need to fill in the CAI form (jointly-agreed accident statement form), copies of which you will find with the car papers in the dashboard glove compartment. It is important that each of the two parties fill in all parts (name, vehicle licence plates, insurance policy number and name of the insurance company). Do not forget to state the location of the accident and the weather conditions.
Once it has been filled in, the CAI form must be delivered to the Avis rental office and signed by both parties. Keep a copy for yourself. If the driver of the other vehicle does not agree to sign the form, it is still important to fill in the information for which you are responsible, only stating the other party’s licence plate number and the make and model of their car. If there are any witnesses to the accident, it is essential to fill in their basic information on the CAI form.
Specific emergency numbers to contact are as follows:
Carabinieri 112; Police 113; Fire 115; Ambulance 118.
The road signs you may encounter should be internationally recognizable. However here are a few translations:
Senso unico = One Way
Senso Vietato = No entry.
Sosta Vietata = No parking.
Zona di Silenzio = Avoid using horn.
Entrata = Entrance
Uscita = Exit
Sosta autorizzata = Parking allowed.
Local drivers in Italy have a different “style” of driving to people in the UK. Please take extra care when on the road.
For any issues relating to your hotel accommodation, please contact to the hotel reception or the villa manager. For further assistance call our London office on: 0044 208 9408399 (Mon-Fri 09.00-18.00; Sat 10.00-15.00); for emergencies only: 0044 208 9732291.
Most of swimming pools do not have depth markings, as this is not a legal requirement in Italy. For your safety please familiarise yourself with the pool and use common sense. You may also find that hotels do not all provide life guards and access may be limited to certain opening times. Children must be supervised always.
Most of our hotels have air-conditioned rooms. The period of operation is at the hotel management’s discretion and in compliance with the fuel saving requirements current in Italy, but this is usually from 01 July to 31 August. In some hotels, the air-conditioning is a centralised system and therefore you may not be able to control the temperature from your room. Please keep all windows and doors closed when the air conditioning is on to ensure maximum effect. Please contact the reception desk should you have any query.
The voltage in Italy is generally 220 volts. You will need to take a two-pin round travel plug adaptor if you wish to use hairdryers and electric razors etc.
Television / Satellite TV
Where we have stated in the brochure that a hotel or self-catering property has a television or satellite TV, we make no guarantee of the channels available, which may all be in Italian.
Connections can be unreliable in rural areas and vary from area to area in Italy and a fast connection is not always available. In hotels it may be only available in reception areas and not in the rooms. We cannot of course take responsibility for any interruptions in the service caused by weather conditions, failure of service provider etc. some hotels may charge for internet connection.
The drainage system in Italy is different from the UK and may not be as efficient as at home. Please do not dispose of anything other than toilet paper in the toilet.
Please be aware that in Italy it is not unusual for shower-rooms to have no shower curtain.
At the beginning and end of the summer holiday season, it may happen that certain facilities mentioned in the brochure are not available, as the resort/hotel is beginning to close or has just opened. This may affect the choice of entertainment, facilities and dining options available, as the number of visitors is less than at the height of the season.
Some hotels are located near main roads where traffic can be reasonably quite during the low season and yet can become very busy during the high season months. Quiet seaside resorts also can become busy and noisy during the high season. Regrettably, we have no control over such situations of course. Hotels and resorts may have entertainment until late into the evening.
Arriving early at your resort
Hotel rooms and self-catering properties are not usually available for access until between 3pm – 5pm. Please prepare yourself by packing your swimming things and anything else you may need for a leisurely lunch out.
Hotel Check-In times
Check-in varies from one hotel to another. Generally, most hotels allow you to occupy your room at around 2pm. The Hotel will require you to check out on your last day at around 10am. If you wish to keep your room for a few more hours, this may be possible by arrangement with the hotel management.
Meal times are generally displayed in the hotel foyer and we would ask you to observe the stated times.
Continental style breakfast is the norm in Italy and does not usually include fruit juice or eggs etc. If these are ordered, please remember that they may be charged as an extra.
You will be provided with the telephone number of our representative in case any problems or emergencies arise.
Self-catering accommodation is not normally available for occupation until around 5pm. You should vacate properties by 10am.
You will be asked to pay a deposit when you arrive (see Terms and Booking Conditions), which is to cover any breakages during your stay.
All villas and apartments are equipped with refrigerators, cooking facilities, crockery, cooking utensils, bed linen and towels. In general, all are adequately equipped for holiday use and it should be noted that the kitchen will not have an oven, a kettle or teapot. As a result, you may find yourself having to boil water in a saucepan, as Italian households use neither kettles nor teapots.
The bed linen will consist of two sheets, a pillowcase and a towel per person. Please bring your own beach towels. Linen is changed on a weekly basis and you may be required to make your own bed. Additional cleaning and laundry may be possible for an extra charge.
It is a good idea to take a travel iron, a hairdryer, some candles, a torch, matches, mosquito repellent and toilet paper. Food shops are usually closed on a Sunday, so you may not be able to buy any provisions until Monday. In some areas you may find shops which are open on a Saturday afternoon. It is important to bring a few essentials with you to help you settle into your accommodation on arrival.
Should a problem arise with your villa or apartment, please contact the manager/villa agent as soon as possible who will try to rectify the problem for you. Please note that receptions and management offices are manned only during the times stated.
Electricity, water and gas
These are all included in your holiday price. Electricity is generally 220 volts –240 volts as in the UK. Please note that running too many sockets at once may result in a system overload. Should this occur, switch off the appliance, locate the fuse box and push all the black buttons into place. Storms can sometimes cause problems, but these are usually dealt with by the local electricity board.
Many of the cookers still use bottled gas. The tap on this bottle (Bombola) should be kept closed when not in use. If the gas appears to be burning very low, check the on/off switch. If the bottle is very light, then the gas has probably run out and you should contact the villa manager for a replacement.
Tap water is safe to drink, although most people prefer the bottled variety. During the summer, water may be in short supply so please use it sparingly.
Insects & wildlife
In a warm climate, insects are a fact of life. Any problems can easily be avoided with a few basic precautions.
Food crumbs attract ants, so it is advisable to store food away carefully and to keep all surfaces clean. An ordinary insect spray is usually enough to deter them.
Mosquitoes can also be common in areas near to woodland. It is advisable to use a plug-in repellent as well as a spray for your skin. These can be purchased locally and in the UK.
When you go out
In addition to switching off the lights, please ensure that all windows and doors are locked. Do not leave items of value lying around.
At the end of your stay
To leave the villa or apartment in a reasonable state, we kindly request that you do a minimum clean up which includes:
Disposing of all rubbish, perishables and bottles from the property as required by local authorities. Leaving all kitchen equipment, crockery and cutlery clean, dry and stored away. Failure to apply this courtesy may result in a deduction of the costs of extra cleaning from your breakage deposit, held in resort.
Telephoning the UK
The dialling code for the UK is 0044 followed by the STD code minus the first zero, plus the number.
Local currency in Italy is the Euro.
Bank opening hours are 8.30am – 1.30pm and either 2.45pm – 3.45pm.
You must take your passport along when changing money or travellers’ cheques.
Seasoned travellers accept that local life does not come to a halt for the convenience of the holidaymakers. Road works, building and maintenance take place in Italy as they do at home.
Equipment such as air conditioning and swimming pools in hotels can break down and although every effort is made to repair them quickly, unavoidable delays do occur.
Please note that credit cards are not as widely accepted in Italy as in the UK and therefore it is advisable to check that hotels, restaurants and shops etc take this form of payment.
Most shops are open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 1pm and 3.30pm to 7.30pm. On Monday morning shops are closed in some areas.
As the UK is no longer part of the EU, as part of the deal announced on 24 December 2020, the UK and the EU agreed that the Europena Health Insurance (EHIC) cards can still be used until their expiry dates.
After that, the government will issue a new Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) which will replace the EHIC for the majority of UK citizens. For further information please refer to the Department of Heath website at www.dh.gov.uk
Fatigue, too much sun and change of diet are the cause of most minor complaints whilst on holiday.
Precautions on holiday
Petty crime is a sad fact of life today, not just in Italy but also all over the world.
Many mishaps can be avoided however, if you take a few simple precautions:
• Never leave valuables on display in your hotel room. Always use the safe provided either in your room or at the hotel reception desk.
• Do not carry all your cash in the same purse or wallet; divide it amongst your party.
• Do not keep your travellers’ cheques together with their receipt.
• Keep a firm grip on your handbag always.
• Never leave your bag on the floor or seat when eating out.
• Never leave anything like a bag on show in your car.
Should any loss or theft occur, you should report it at once to the nearest police station. You must then obtain a copy of the police report to submit an insurance claim, (provided you have the appropriate cover) on your return.
It is your responsibility to check that the insurance policy you purchase is adequate for your needs and to take out additional cover if required. Please read your insurance policy carefully and take it with you on holiday.
It is a condition of our accepting your booking that you take out adequate travel insurance at the time of booking.
Clients in breach of this condition will be deemed to have indemnified the company for any consequential loss incurred by the company on their behalf and such costs will be redeemable from them.
On departure from Italy
For departure time from hotel to the airport, please refer to your itinerary and/or the hotel reception. We recommended that guests wait by the reception for collection.
We would like to thank you once again for booking your holiday with Sardatur Holidays. We hope your stay is a pleasant, enjoyable and relaxing one.
The information contained in this booklet is intended as a useful guide.
Standard Sardatur Holidays General Information and Booking Conditions apply; please refer to our website www.sardatur-holidays.co.uk for full details.