Italy’s country code is +39. To make international calls, first dial the international code for the country you are calling, then the number. To make local calls, dial the number without the international code. Please note that making international calls from a mobile phone can be very expensive, so check the rates with your phone company. In Italy there are 4 major phone companies (Vodafone, Wind, Tim and 3), with several shops in Lake Como area.
Internet access is available in some cafés, restaurants, shops, internet points and accommodations.
Italy’s national currency is the Euro, which comes in denominations of 5€, 10€, 20€, 50€, 100€, 200€ and 500€. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1€ and 2€ denominations. Currency exchange is available at banks and international airports. Banking hours are usually from 8.30 a.m./8.45 a.m. to 1.30 p.m/2.00 p.m. and from 2.45 p.m. to 3.45 p.m./4 p.m., from Monday to Friday. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club and JCB are accepted in Italy. Always carry a little cash, because some shops (especially kiosks and cafes) do not take credit cards under a certain amount (generally €20-30) Some shops may impose credit card surcharges.
In Italy, tipping is always your choice.
Post offices are usually open from Monday to Friday from 8.20 a.m./8.30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturday from 8.20 a.m./8.30 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. Some post offices in Como are open from Monday to Friday till 7 p.m. Closed on Sunday.
SUPERMARKETS AND MINIMARKETS
At Lake Como there are several supermarkets and minimarkets, where you can find food, beverages and other goods such as detergents and make-up products. The opening times are generally from 8/9 a.m. to 7/8 p.m., except from somesupermarkets and minimarkets, especially in Como, that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Lake Como’s climate is generally mild and moist, thanks to the Alps that shelter the lake from the strong winds coming from the north. Breva and Tivano are the two winds on the lake, that mitigate the summer climate. Rain is reasonably frequent, but don’t worry because there are many Lake Como activities you can do on rainy days.
The unit of measure of temperature in Italy is Celsius (°C), (0°C corresponds to 33,8 F).
The average Lake Como temperatures are, in Winter minimum 1-2 °C and maximum 9 °C, in Spring minimum 8-10°C maximum 20 °C, and in Summer minimum 17 °C and maximum 30 °C.
EMBASSIES and CONSULATES
In Milan there are numerous embassies and consulates providing assistance to foreign travelers. If you need help with documentation or dealing with legal, medical or other emergency matters, contact your country’s diplomatic mission or consular office in Milan. Please visit www.esteri.it for more information.
DRIVING IN ITALY
If you come from EU countries with a valid license, you can drive in Italy.
If you come from other countries, you can also drive in Italy for up to 12 months.
To drive in Italy, you must be over 18 and you must have the necessary insurance coverage. In Italy, driving is always on the right-hand side of the road.
In Como there are some Restricted Traffic Areas (ZTL), where you are not allowed to enter by car.
Remember not to drive if you have consumed alcohol, even if the general legal blood alcohol limit if you drive is 0.05%