Follow Us on
The Euro has been the currency in Italy since 2002. The euro notes come in denominations of Euro 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5, in different colours and size. Euro coins are in denominations of Euro 2 and 1, 50 c, 20 c, 10 c, 5 c, 2 c and 1c. Each participating state decorates the reverse side of the coins with it’s own designs, but all Euro coins can be used anywhere that accepts Euros.
You can exchange money in banks, at post offices or in currency-exchange booths and sometimes even your hotel can exchange money. The post office and banks are reliable. You’ll find most of the main banks in the area around Rialto and S. Mark. Keep a sharp eye on commissions at Bureaux de Change which sometimes exceed 10% on traveller’s cheques. Major cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus are accepted throughout Italy. They can be used in many hotels, restaurants and shops.
Banks are usually open between 8.30 am and 1.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Most also open for an hour in the afternoon from about 2.35 pm until 3.35 pm. They close weekends and for public holidays, and they also close early the day before a major holiday. Most banks have cash machines/ATM’s that are open 24 hrs in front of their offices and are multi-lingual friendly.
A recommended website for current exchange rates is: www.Oanda.com.
PHARMACIES AND HOSPITALS
Most pharmacies in Venice are open 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm to 7.30 pm. They are closed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. When closed, pharmacies are required to display a list of other pharmacies in the area that are open (on rotation) for extended hours. You must go to the pharmacy for anything from aspirin, bandaids ‘cerotti’, creams, contact lens supplies to basic over the counter medicines and prescription drugs.
Visitors from the EU are entitled to reciprocal state medical care in Italy. Before you travel, pick up form E111 from the post office which covers you for emergency medical treatment. Visitors from outside the EU should take out a comprehensive insurance policy covering emergency medical treatment.
If you are in need of urgent medical attention, go to the Pronto Soccorso (First Aid) department of the Ospedale Civile. Should you require a consultation with a doctor, ask the advice of your hotel or look in the yellow pages of the telephone directory under medici.
International operator 170
HELPFUL TIPS FOR CHILDREN
There aren’t too many places specifically designed for children in mind in the city, but if your little ones are itching to play, then try taking them to the park at Giardini. Here they can play on swings, slides, etc...with other children too and burn all that energy they never seem to lose. Another option is in the squares Campo Stefano and Campo Santa Maria Formosa where you will find the churches have set out toys and things for children to play with next to the church. They are left out all during the day and it is free! There are not too many places to sit if you need to feed your little ones, but there are the lovely Royal Gardens, located on the Riva/waterfront next to San Marco Square. It is the only place where you will find trees and benches to rest your weary feet. A hidden gem! As far as restaurants are concerned, very rarely do they offer high chairs or booster seats. However, there are 2 Mc Donalds and a Burger King/Spizzico (Pizza) if you just cannot get them to eat pasta!! And don’t forget there is always San Marco Square with it’s endless pigeons to feed. The kids will have a blast and don’t forget your camera!!!
If you are willing to venture on over to the Lido, you will find bikes to rent and the beach! There is a public beach for everyone or you can rent umbrellas and chairs at one of the private beaches for the day. “Zona A” beach is great for kids with activities just for children. You will also find a lovely park right across the street where the local children play daily.
You are not expected to tip on top of restaurant service charges, but it is common to leave a small amount, say Euro 1 per person. If there is no service charge, you might consider leaving a 10% tip, but this is by no means obligatory. In bars, Italians often leave any small change as a tip, often only 5c or 10c. Tipping taxi drivers is not common practice, but you should tip the porter at higher-class hotels.
BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS
Venice is uneventful by night and you can stroll through the streets without any threat. There is no red light quarter or any area that could be described as unsavory. Street crime is relatively unusual but by no means lacking. Pickpockets pray on tourists in crowded places, notably S. Mark’s Square, crowded bridges and on waterbuses.
PER FAVORE & GRAZIE!
Although you will find that most people in Venice speak some bit of English, don’t assume everyone does. Learn a few key phrases before you go to Venice, You will find that locals appreciate travelers trying their language, no matter how muddled you may think you sound. So don’t just stand there, say something!
- Hello - Buongiorno
- Goodbye - Arrivederci
- Please - Per favore
- Thank you - Grazie
- You’re welcome - Prego
- Yes/No - Si/No
- Excuse me - Scusi
- I’d like to... - Vorrei
- I don’t understand - Non capisco
- How much does it cost? -Quanto costa?
- Postcard - Cartolina
- Stamp -Francobollo
- What time does the Vaporetto leave? - A che ora parte il vaporetto?
- Ticket - Biglietto