Since Italy is part of the EU and the euro zone, then, consequently, the monetary unit of Italy is euro. You should buy euro beforehand to avoid problems when exchanging foreign currency, although if you arrive with dollars, then nothing bad will happen, and you also can exchange them. If you still come with you own currency, you should pay attention not on the exchange rate but on the percentage level of tax for exchanging. Most banks are open from 9.00 to 17.00 with a break for dinner, after dinner they work just an hour! When exchanging the currency you should also take the passport with you.
The customs rules in Italy are similar to common EU rules. It is allowed to bring no more than 2 cartons of cigarettes or 50 cigars, two bottles of wine, 500 grams of coffee and 1 liter of alcohol. It is forbidden to bring weapons, drugs and pornography.
The cheapest way of calling in Italy is a call from the public telephone. Many public telephones are installed in bars and similar establishments with a sign of a phone on the door. Cards for these phones are available at any newsstand or tobacco shop. Calls from hotel rooms are much more expensive than a phone booth. Almost all the calls in Italy are cheaper at night, on weekends and holidays.
Also in Italy there is a well-developed network of mobile communications. There are three major operators: VODAFONE OMNITEL, TIM and WIND. If you want to talk a lot within Italy it is better to buy a SIM-card of local operator.
Tickets for all types of public transport in Italy have are standard. These tickets are also adopted in railway transport within the city. So you will not have to buy a lot of tickets for certain types of transport. There are also day, week, month and year tickets. Tickets are not sold in the public transport. They can be purchased at newsstands, tobacco shops and some bars.
Classification of hotels in Italy doesn’t differ from the conventional system of stars. Prices for rooms and services in hotels set the state. Everyone can find a hotel for his taste and price. If you do not have a large sum of money, it is not necessarily to stop in luxury hotels. In the hotels of the second and third grades, as well as in pensions the prices are much lower and the quality of service is at the same high level, as the in hotels of higher category. Many hotels offer special conditions for the rest with children. In a hotel you should pay attention to the fact whether meals are included in the price of the room. Often, you can enjoy only free lunch, while other meals require additional money. Also near the railway stations are located hotel where you can rest, eat, but you can not book a room for a night.
Food and other stores in Italy are working normally from 9.00 to 19.30. The same schedule is at drugstores and travel agencies. Cafes and bars operate from 7.30 to 22.00; the restaurants are opened later, around 12.00 am and remain open until 23.00. In some cases, the staff in the restaurant or cafe can wait until the last client leaves. The banks are open from 8.30 to 16.30. However, at stations and airports sometimes are operating 24h exchange offices and much more.
But do not forget about such phenomenon in Italy as siesta. This is the hottest part of the day, from about 12.00 to 15.00, when many institutions and agencies are not working, and this should be taken into account.
And you should not carry large sums of money with you, it is better to use plastic cards or traveler's checks. You should not also carry original documents, the photocopies will be enough.