Will shops in Italy accept traveler's checks?
In major Italian cities and tourist areas traveler checks are accepted. The rate of exchange is calculated on the daily rate of exchange shown on the newspapers.
ATMs and Debit Cards
Can I use my Credit Card/Debit Card in Italy?
Yes. Most reputable establishments will accept major credit cards. Those establishments accepting credit cards will post the logos in their front windows, just as they do in the USA and Canada.
Are there ATMs in Italy? Will I need to know Italian to use the ATMs?
Yes. The ATM (Automatic Teller Machines) in Italy are known as Bancomat. There are many to be found in the large cities and even in small towns. The machines operate just as they do here; at the beginning of the transaction, it prompts the user for the preferred language.
Using a credit card, or even better, a debit card or your local bank ATM card is very easy. One must first locate either the Cirrus or BankMate symbol (on the Bancomat and on your card) to insure the card is usable on that particular unit. Cirrus and BankMate are the two most popular and widespread banking systems in the world so they are the best to have. If you are unsure about the compatibility or the banking systems, contact your credit card company or
After discovering the system is compatible, simply withdrawal money as you would at home. Of course, in Italy the money will be dispensed as Euros, but when you return home, your bank will have converted the Euros into dollars using the most beneficial exchange rate possible. Be careful though when using credit cards, as many banks are now charging large fees of 2.5% to 4% for cash advances which negate any advantage of using the Bancomat in the first place. One's best bet is to use your regular ATM card and simply withdraw money from your account just as you would do at your local bank.
Banks in Italy are open Monday through Friday from 8:35 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. and from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.; in many tourist areas they are open no-stop from 8.30 a.m. to 4p.m. and closed all day on Saturday and Sunday and on national holidays. The afternoon one hour opening may vary from city to city. Travelers checks can be exchanged for Italian currency at most hotels and shops and at the foreign exchange offices in main railway stations and at the airports.
The new monetary currency is the Euro which is divided as follows: bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500; coins of 1, 2, 5, 10 Euros, 20 and 50 cents.