A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Italy
What's in this Italy currency guide:
The official currency of Italy is the euro, with symbol € and currency code EUR.
The euro (ISO: EUR) is involved in slightly more than 30% of all foreign exchange deals, and as such, is the world’s second most traded currency, behind the US dollar.
The euro is the currency of the eurozone (officially called the ‘euro area’), which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, and is used by almost 350 million Europeans. It was introduced in January 1999.
Of all the thousands of exchange rates that exist in the world, the euro-to-US dollar exchange rate is the most actively traded, or most ‘liquid’.
Since its introduction, the euro’s lowest value against the dollar came in October 2000 when EUR/USD hit lows of 0.8231. The currency was strongest in July 2008, shortly before the worst stage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when EUR/USD reached 1.6038.
There are currently more than twenty nations and territories which peg their currencies to the euro, the largest of which is Denmark.
Major banks are forecasting the eurozone common currency to fall again to the $US0.95 level by the end of the year.
This multi-year low for the euro vs the US dollar looks only to worsen as winter approaches; the short term news for the single currency is all negative.
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The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Euro.
Italy’s legendary food, evocative countryside, plethora of excellent wine, and prominent long history make it a wonderful country to visit.
The Italian language is famed for its romance, beauty and musicality, so learning a few words to get by on during your trip will never go to waste. It’ll be appreciated by the Italians, even if they do reply in English – they like to practice what they’ve learnt too. Once there you’ll notice that the Italian’s love to wave their hands around when talking and these gestures are far from random. Italian’s apparently use more than 250 hand gestures in everyday conversations and the more common one’s such as – finger in the dimple of the cheek meaning “delicious” are worth learning for fun.
Some Italians still take a siesta during the day from 2-4 pm. It is somewhat of a past tradition but some of the shops still close and it’s best not to call on an Italian, as they might be having a nap.
LIke in any big city, stay alert while in the Italian big cities as theft, bag snatching and breaking into cars is common. Theft is also common on trains – day and night, so keep your eyes peeled. Try to avoid carrying passports, credit cards, travel tickets and cash together in handbags or pockets. Only carry with you what you need for the day and make use of safety deposit facilities in hotels.
Accommodation in Italy is not cheap, but there are plenty of options from 5 star hotels to airbnb and hostels.
The best way to get around Italy is via their extensive train network. Fast trains (Eurostar) cost between 35-65 EUR per trip. The slower regional trains cost between 6-23 EUR per trip. These are a fabulous option if you have the time and enjoy the views.
Public transport are at a good price, and of course now there are cheap flights in Europe that can save you a lot of time.
Rome is a stunning city, try to find a rooftop bar such as the Grand hotel de la Minerve, to enjoy sunset and gorgeous view. You can just walk around old city and catch all the sights if you have a decent map to follow.
Venice is beautiful and unique, but is so full of tourists you may find it a bit claustrophobic. it’s a much more pleasant and romantic place to visit in the winter when the throngs of tourists thins out a little. You can see what you need to within a few days, unless you know some locals.
Renting a car is a good option, as you can drive across Italy within a few hours.
Today, while house price growth remains flat across the majority of Italy, in parts of the Italian Riviera they have grown by as much as 5 percent a year since 2016.
Total purchase costs, including notary, agency fees and property taxes, come to approximately 10-12 percent. Property tax is 2 percent of value on primary residences and 9 percent on second homes. Many properties in Italy require restoration, which costs around €2,000 per square meter.
A twice-yearly property tax is payable on non-primary residences. Stamp duty is 9 percent for non-residents.
Italy has been trying to lure wealthy foreigners: in 2017 it introduced a flat tax of €100,000 on worldwide income.