Currency, Credit Cards, ATMs
The currency used in Italy, since 2002, is EURO. Notes are in denominations of Euro 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and Coins are in denominations of Euro 2, 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent.
To find out how much the Euro is today, you can use the following currency converter: http://www.xe.com/.
The best option is anyhow the CREDIT CARD, these are accepted anywhere, just bring your ID and/or Passport along, as a confirmation of your identity may be asked before the purchase.
Consider taking with you at least two cards from different banks. It is better to play it safe and have a backup card, in case the first one fails. Also, for additional peace of mind, do bring with you some euro to get you started.
ATM machines (Bancomat in Italian)allow you to withdraw cash day and night, and are usually located outside Banks - all transactions will be charged at the official net rate. ATMs withdrawals are the cheapest way to get local currency, but watch out for the per-transaction fee and avoid small withdrawals. Be aware that most Italian ATM/Bancomats impose a maximum withdrawal limit of 250,00 Euro per transaction.
Most ATMs in Italy ask for a 4 digit pin number – make sure your card does not have a 5 digit pin number or you will not be able to withdraw cash - you can ask your bank to change it to 4 digits, no letters – but test it before you leave your country. Bring some Euro bills with you before you leave: it's much easier than having to run around for a ATM or negotiating at a currency exchange office in the Airport with your load of baggage after a long distance flight.
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