Red Tape and Visas
The beautiful Mediterranean country of Italy is a founding member of the European Union and control is minimal for visitors from other EU countries. You can actually drive through the border of Italy and France and not realise that you have changed countries until you make your first stop for petrol. Typically, as long as you have a new type EU identification card you do not need a passport – but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Visitors to Italy coming from the European Union should not be bothered by any red tape. British, Irish and other EU visitors can enter the country and stay as long as they like, providing they are carrying a valid passport. American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens also need only a passport but their stay is limited to three months. Visitors from other countries should contact their local Italian embassy or consulate.
If you are going to be driving in Italy, you’ll need a valid driving license, plus an International Green Card or other form of insurance. UK driving licenses or EU pink licenses are valid, but green-colored licenses must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit. Road assistance in case of accident or car failure is very well organized in Italy. EU visitors will find that their country’s health care privileges apply in Italy – and you should get the same treatment as an Italian citizen in case of a medical emergency.
Customs should also not be a problem for visitors coming to Italy from the EU. Visitors from other countries should check their customs allowance as they will probably buying a lot of Italian products to take back home. Also, when traveling by car, remember that Switzerland (bordering with northern Italy) is not in the EU hence different rules apply should you choose to visit Italy’s picturesque neighbour.
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Red Tape and Visas