Some key things to remember when making preparations for a vacation in Italy (or Europe for that matter):
1. As an added precaution against lost luggage, we suggest you pack your most important things and a change of clothes in your carry-on.
2. Speak to your bank to ensure you have security clearance to use your credit card in Italy and memorize your pin. Do check to find out what your daily ATM withdrawal limit is before going. This will be the easiest way to get cash. Also, check with your bank to be certain you know if there are extra fees for foreign withdrawals.
3. You will find internet available, but keep in mind that “high speed” internet in Italy is closer to a 56k dial-up modem, and is not intended for streaming videos or large pictures. It works great for essential emails and surfing, however.
4. Make copies of your passport and tickets and keep them in a safe place in your luggage. If your passport is stolen, a copy will speed up the replacement process. Leave a second copy of your passport with a family member back home. It’s also a good idea to bring telephone numbers for your credit card company.
5. Get some Euros before you leave. Go to your bank at home and exchange a small amount of cash, just enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. That way if you get into town and an ATM machine is down, you aren’t stressed. But don’t go nuts exchanging too much. And don’t exchange money at the bureau de change or such at the airport because they usually charge an exorbitant fee. For another thing, they never give you the true going exchange rate, but always give you less in euros than your home-country currency is worth.