Afun, photogenic, and food-filled country like Italy is a place you’ll always need well-charged devices. Whether you’re planning to bring your digital camera to capture the Fontanna di Trevi or an electric toothbrush to freshen up between copious plates of pasta, having the right Italy power plug adapter can make or break your trip.
Which power outlets do they use in Italy
Outlets in Italy support either Type F or Type L plugs, as well as Type C. This means American Type A/B plugs are not the right shape—and you will need an adapter.
Electricity in Italy conforms to the European standard of 220V to 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz whereas in the US, for example, the electrical supply comes out of the wall at 110 to 120 volts, and the frequency is 60 Hertz.
Wall outlets in Italy will fit device plugs with two or three round pins. Plugs that have the three round pins tend to stay in the wall better and they are grounded.
What kind of power adapter do I need for Italy?
When preparing for your trip you’ll probably be wondering “What plug do I need for Italy?” You’ll need at least a basic two-prong plug adapter, European standard. Look for an adapter that allows you to plug in a Type A/B device into a Type F or L outlet.
We highly recommend traveling with this grounded Italy Adapter (pictured) that’s specifically designed for Italian wall outlets. The fact that it is grounded adds an additional level of safety, which helps prevent high voltages of electricity ruining your devices. Also, if you use two pinned adapters in Italy they are more prone to falling out of the outlets!
What’s the electricity and power supply like in Italy?
As a Western European country, and a member of the EU, Italy counts on a highly reliable electricity infrastructure —with extremely rare exceptions. While fossil fuels account for about 70 percent of the country’s energy sources, 17% already comes from renewable sources and the government is aiming to bump that usage up to over 26% in 2020.
In fact, the only times you may experience a power outage is in the rare case you stay in an area where new electrical infrastructure is being constructed.
However, because electricity is generally more expensive in Europe, Italian hotels tend to have fewer outlets per room. If you are sharing a room and charging multiple devices, plan ahead to take turns using the outlets, and charge your devices overnight.
Do I need a voltage converter for Italy?
Perhaps ten years ago, one would need a voltage converter even for your laptop. However, most devices these days support dual voltage, thus making a voltage converter unnecessary in most cases. Most laptops, cameras, mobile phones, and tablets, for example, support dual voltage and you would likely only need a power adapter.
The best way to be sure if your device supports dual voltage is to check the fine print on your power cord. Look at your device or the power cord that comes with it, and you’re bound to see some small print or a button that describes its voltage capacity. If you see a range of voltages printed on the item or its plug (such as “110v–220v”), you’re all set to take your device to Italy with just a plug adapter.
Some high-powered appliances, such as a hairdryer or a travel kettle are not dual voltage.
Other Italy packing list items not to forget
In addition to your US to Italy power adapter these items will help you on your travels:
1. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes will save you time and space, allowing you to organize your suitcase into categories of items. Separate your socks and underwear from your shirts and pants, so you know more easily where everything has been stashed. Keep dirty shoes in their own cube, and electronics accessories all together. By using packing cubes, you’re less likely to lose items—and be able to pack your suitcase quickly and efficiently as you move from one city to another on your Italian tour.
2. Lipstick-Sized Charger
What happens if your phone or camera runs out of battery when you’re in transit between tourist sites? The best way to ensure you are photo-ready and connected at all times is to carry a Lipstick sized charger in your pocket.
3. Neck Wallet / Passport Pouch
Most of the touristy cities (such as Rome, Venice and Florence) are prevalent with pickpocketers so it’s quite risky to walk around with your wallet in your pocket. Instead, we recommend putting your cash, credit cards, passport, smartphone, and any other small valuables in a neck wallet. A pickpocket can easily relieve you of your valuables if they are in your pocket, but it will be almost impossible for them if they are safely tucked away in a neck wallet.
4. Windproof Travel Umbrella
There are so many amazing attractions to visit in Italy, so you don’t want your plans to be put on hold due to some unexpected rain. Make sure you come prepared with a reliable, compact travel umbrella. The one we recommend has a handy automatic open/close function that makes it a breeze to open and close when you’re entering or leaving a museum or any other attraction.
5. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A Virtual Private Network is a handy tool if you plan to spend a significant amount of time connected to the internet. This private and secure network allows you to access websites with a lower risk of getting your personal data hacked. As a convenient side bonus, VPNs will allow you to watch TV and Netflix no matter where you travel.
6. Travel Insurance for Italy
Country-specific travel insurance will protect you against risks specific to your destination. Italy’s travel insurance will cover medical costs in case of an accident, as well as repatriation to your home country, if necessary. If you have to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, insurance will help you reclaim money for the travel expenses. To find plans that will cover these essentials, we like to use TravelInsurance.com. You can compare policies from top companies and find the one that best fits your needs. Travel insurance is one of the most important things we make sure to have before every trip.
If you visit Italy in the summer, prepare for hot summers and a high UV index—particularly from Tuscany southwards. Protect your skin with a liberal application of SPF 20 or higher—and make sure to reapply throughout the day.
Other FAQs about traveling in Italy
1. When to travel to Italy?
It depends very much what time of year and what part of Italy you wish to go. If you want to go skiing in the mountainous North, January through March is your best bet. Meanwhile, from Tus-cany further to the south, it gets very hot in the summer, with temperatures in Rome, for example, reaching 40 degrees (100+ F) on a daily basis in mid-summer. A general rule of thumb is that June through September is the best time to check out Italy’s many beautiful beaches. Be sure to check current Italy travel advisories before you go.
For city tourism, April, May, and September through November will see temperate climates that make urban exploration much more fun.
2. What is the weather like in Italy?
Italy’s climate is generally temperate and dry. In Rome, Italy’s most popular destination, winter temperatures hover at a high of 13 degrees—but scale up quickly to a scorching 40 by mid-summer. The south experiences a much milder winter, and equally hot summers but with a much more agreeable breeze.
Northern cities, like Milan, are considerably cooler, with average winter temperatures hovering around 6 degrees. Summers are equally sweltering, but winter and spring are quite rainy—making April, May, and October the best months to visit.
A general rule of thumb is to check the weather region by region to plan according to your activity—and avoid peak tourist season.
3. What to do in Italy?
What isn’t there to do Italy? Home of the Roman empire, with Carthaginian heritage and beautiful beaches in Sicily, the World’s Best Restaurant located in Modena, and the Renaissance art collections in Florence… Italy is a paradise for many.
Top cities for tourism include Rome for its ancient Roman ruins and history, Florence for the Renaissance art collections and architecture, Venice for the famous St Marks Square and water canals, and Milan for its avant-garde fashions.
Of course, this goes without mentioning the food – Italian cuisine is perhaps one of the best-loved around the world. One can spend a week at Sicily’s couscous festival and an entire year exploring Tuscany’s olive groves, wineries, prosciutto, pizza and pasta. Each region offers a number of opportunities for food and wine tourism.
And if you’re a beachgoer, you can’t skip Sicily or Cinque Terre. With beautiful views and glorious summer weather, Italy offers something for everyone.
4. Do they speak English in Italy?
English is a useful language to have if you want to get around the touristic areas of Rome, Florence or Milan. However, outside the touristic areas of these particular cities, knowing a little Italian goes a long way.
Your best bet is to practice a little Italian, pack a phrasebook, and memorize how to say basic phrases like “thank you”. One simple phrase can go a very long way with the hospitable locals.