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Italy Trip Planning   |   Italy Guide


Franks Travel J.A.C.K. is a Canadian Company that was developed to promote travelling to Florida and Italy.

All premises have full efficiency and provide economical accommodation alternatives for travelers seeking vacations in Florida and Italy.







Trip Planning - Realistic Expectations

Introduction

Italy is an ancient country and the properties available for rental are likely to have been built anywhere between the 15th to the 17th century - averaging an age of 500 years old. So that your expectations are realistic, we urge you to read the facts below. Our Italian Vacation Rentals are a standard category for the budget traveler.  The facilities will vary according to the bedrooms however it's important for our clients to be aware that there are many differences between Vacation Rental Apartments in Italy and those available in modern countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Plumbing

In Italy's ancient buildings the pipes are narrower and older than the pipes in newly constructed homes in other parts of the world.  That means that the water pressure may not be anything near to what you're used to at home.  As the apartments contain relatively small water heating systems, it is advised that occupants should leave intervals between showers, if more than 4 occupants.  If you place anything other than the "usual" items in the toilet you will get a blockage, this goes for the sink too, there is no such thing as a garbage disposal unit in Italy - in ancient homes  this would simply not function. 

Italian Cities & Construction

Italian cities are, and will always be under renovation, when you consider that age of the buildings this should come as no surprise!  To preserve these beautiful ancient buildings it is necessary to completely remove the rendering on the buildings and re-render, there is rarely a street without scaffolding or some other type of  construction in the historic center of any city in Italy.  If you know this before you arrive and appreciate that it is necessary to preserve this wonderful city then it will be less of a surprise and annoyance to you.   Italy's cities and their ancient buildings do gather more dust than in a modern city, it's just a fact of life here in this part of the world and needs to be understood, all properties are meticulously cleaned after each departure in readiness for the next client, but during your stay, if a little dust and salt water spray settles, you need to understand that it's just one of the facts of life when living in an ancient city and so close to the Sea you are less than 150 feet away from Mediterranean shore.

Coffee

Italy is famous for its wonderful coffee, the coffee maker of choice in Italy is a Moka, this will be found in the apartment and makes delicious coffee.  This coffee maker makes very strong coffee that is drunk by the inch, either as a short black, with hot milk for breakfast, or with boiling water for a long cup.  An American coffee maker is almost never used in Italy therefore the course ground coffee necessary to use one is also very difficult to find, therefore we suggest you put aside your usual habits and enjoy the delicious Italian coffee whilst you holiday in Italy.

Noise

Italian cities were constructed with the pedestrian in mind, in the city of Paola (not near you) four and five story buildings  were constructed on either side of narrow cobblestone streets, housing cafes, restaurants, bars and grocery stores on the ground level and residential apartments and offices in the floors above.  This design means that voices, footsteps and any other traffic can echo and disturb light sleepers, so we suggest you bring ear plugs with you if you foresee that as an issue.  The Italian lifestyle mixed with the level of tourism means that there will always be many people walking the streets at night, so if you will be turning in early you need to realize that the rest of the city is likely to be out enjoying themselves, so to enjoy Italy to it's fullest, you should either swing into the Italian lifestyle or bring earplugs. Please secure and lock your windows and doors when you are out for the night, lots of bug’s salt water and other flying creatures love to come into the apartment, being vigilant about your personal security is recommended no matter where you go Italy is no exception, please lock your doors and windows when sleeping.

Amenities

Apartments do not have washing machines (use the sink) and no dryer in apartment or villa, instead you will find a drying rack or railing. 

Sets of Keys

Upon pick up you will receive a set of keys, from escort/receiver.  Keys are expensive and can be difficult to cut in Italy, so it is not always possible that you will have as many keys as there are occupants.

Air Conditioning

One thing to take note of is that the air conditioning you are used to at home is not the same as the air conditioning in apartments.  At home, many houses and apartments are equipped with central air conditioning, rooms have individually controlled air conditioning units in each room, electricity is very expensive and air conditioning is still relatively new in Italy.  One bedroom apartment has window air conditioner, two bedroom apartment has no air conditioner yet a portable one can be procured at extra cost. Terrazzo apartment is very cool and shaded with a continuous Mediterranean breeze blowing through.

Linens and Towels

All of our apartments are fully furnished and come with linens and towels.  Linens and towels, however, will not be changed daily.  The apartment is cleaned after each guest leaves.  If you wish to have your linens and towels changed during your stay you can request this, however, you will be charged an extra fee.





Italy Guide - Regulations for Tourists

Registration for Tourists

Under Italian law, all tourists are required to have a copy of their passports lodged with the local authorities within 3 days of a tourist's arrival in Italy.  In the case of a hotel this would normally done at the reception at check in. **So as not to inconvenience our clients we require that a copy of the passport of each person residing in the Villa/Apartment is either faxed to our office - or - scanned and emailed.  The copy of your passport can then be lodged by our office without our needing to handle your passports on arrival.


Purchasing counterfeit goods

Hefty fines are imposed on tourists purchasing counterfeit goods while visiting Italy as part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the safety and security of travelers, the Italian Government Tourist Board strongly recommends that tourists do not, under any circumstances, attempt to purchase any counterfeit items, as this may end up costing them well more than an authentic product. As of May 2005 a new legislation was implemented (which carries fines of up to 10,000 Euros for people caught purchasing counterfeit products, and criminal charges for anyone caught selling counterfeit goods.) It aims at a national wide crackdown on the sellers and buyers of counterfeit items, i.e. purses, sunglasses, watches, belts, etc bearing luxury labels such as Prada, Gucci, Fendi only to name a few.

***at this point it appears that this law is only being enforced in Venice - however I did watch a situation recently from my window where a tourist called the police over to complain about  a purchase she had made from a bag seller,  although I couldn't hear what went on, her bags were confiscated by the police and she was taken away in the police car, so do be very cautious if you do buy counterfeit goods and most importantly be aware that there is strong evidence that counterfeit good are funding terrorist organiziations -- Read more



Customs Regulations

Luggage is examined on entering and leaving Italy. Free entry is allowed for personal effects: clothing (new and used), books, camping and household equipment, fishing tackle, 1 pair of skis, 2 tennis racquets, computer, CD player with 10 CD's, tape recorder or Dictaphone, baby carriage, 2 still cameras with 10 rolls of film for each camera, 1 movie camera, binoculars, personal jewelry, portable radio set (subject to a small license fee), 400 cigarettes and a quantity of cigars or pipe tobacco not exceeding 500 grams (1.1 lb).

All items mentioned above may be imported duty-free only on condition that they are for personal use and are not be sold, given away or traded. A maximum of two bottles of wine and one bottle of hard liquor per person may be brought in duty-free. The bottles must not be open. A maximum of 4.4 lbs. of coffee, 6.6 lbs. of sugar and 2.2 lbs. of cocoa are allowed duty-free. Overseas tourists arriving in Italy after visiting other countries are allowed to carry with them souvenirs purchased in other countries up to a total value of $500 and only a verbal declaration is required. Purchases may include up to a half litre of perfume.

Exports from Italy

There are no restrictions on gifts purchased in Italy except for antiques and works of art. These require the authorization of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali. Canadian Regulations on Purchases Abroad Any person residing in Canada returning from a trip abroad can qualify for personal exemption.

All articles acquired abroad, whether purchased or received as gifts, or purchased at a duty free shop, either abroad or in Canada, must be declared by the traveler on return to Canada. U.S. Regulations on Purchases Abroad Each U.S. tourist may bring back to the U.S. duty-free $800 worth of goods purchased abroad.

The goods must accompany the traveler. A flat rate of 3% is assessed on the next $1,000 worth of goods purchased. Parcels containing gifts may be sent from abroad to the U.S. duty-free, providing the total value of such parcels received by one person, one day does not exceed $100. Each package should be marked "Unsolicited Gift". The amount paid and the contents of the package should be declared.

Passport Regulations

A visa is not required for a U.S., Canadian or Australian citizens holding a valid passport unless he expects to stay in Italy more than 90 days. If, after entering Italy, the tourist decides he would like to stay more than 90 days, he can apply, once only, at any police station (questura) for an extension of an additional 90 days.

He will be asked to prove that he is a bona fide tourist with adequate means of support.  As a rule, permission is granted immediately. Non-American citizens should check current visa requirements with the nearest Italian Consulate before departure.

Traveling With Your Pet

As of October 2, 2004 a new European Union regulation (EC 998\2003) applies for the non-commercial movement of pet animals (cats, dogs, and ferrets) in the European Union Member States. Pets may enter Italy only if accompanied by their owner or a person responsible for them on behalf of the owner during their movement in Italy, and are not intended for sale. Up to a maximum of five pet animals are permitted.

In accordance with the above EC Regulation, it is mandatory to obtain, for each pet, a European Community Veterinary Certificate, issued, in the country of origin, by a certified veterinarian, containing information about the pet's general state of health and proving there is an effective vaccination protection against rabies: animals under the age of three months may not travel to Europe since the anti-rabies vaccine is not administered before the pet is three months old.

Pet animals must be identifiable by a clearly readable tattoo or an electronic identification system (microchip/transponder), which provides the pet owner's name and address. The certificate (issue date not to exceed 30 days prior to the departure date) is valid for 4 months from the date of the official veterinarian's signature or endorsement by the competent Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture's) or Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and is equivalent to the EU Pet Passport.

The certificate forms are available from Italian diplomatic of consular representatives, whose authentication or certification is not needed.  To introduce pet animals in Italy from third countries, it is not necessary to subject the animals to tick or echinococcus treatments.   Parrots, parakeets, rabbits and hares also require health certificates, and, upon entering Italy, are subject, to examination.

In Italy, it is mandatory to use a muzzle for dogs that walk on the streets or any open space without a leash, and a muzzle and a leash for dogs in public places and public transportation.