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Preface Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Like the Roman god Janus, Italy wears two faces. One, soft with the patina of age, looks back on a glorious history—the awesome monuments of Imperial Rome, the ruins of Pompeii, the magnificence of canal-fretted Venice or colorful Florence, cradle of the Renaissance. The other face, shiny and new, reflects the modernity of a nation surging with superhighways, busy factories, and skyscrapers.

Northern Italy, center of the nation's economic life, sprawls busily across the Po River plain. Industries sprout alongside time-worn medieval towns, and the alluvial soils make the area one of the richest agriculturally in southern Europe. Terraces on mountain slopes along the northern border grow grapes for wines and mulberry trees for leaves to feed silkworms.

Central Italy is dominated by Apennine ridges. Once they helped bar unity; even now a village dialect may not be well understood only a few miles away. This is the nation's heartland; the region of Dante, Saint Francis, and Leonardo.

Southern Italy, once poverty ridden and ravaged by malaria and erosion, rebounds under reclamation projects and expanding industry. Pacing its life is sunny Naples, the city of Vesuvius, of Capri, and Amalfi, of effervescent people who sing when they are happy, sad, or in love.

Italy is one of the most attractive assignments in the Foreign Service. The country boasts not only a rich cultural and historical tradition, but also enjoys a varied, pleasant climate. Italians are favorably disposed toward Americans, partly for historical reasons, but mainly because of their appreciation of things American. Americans generally enjoy Italy, though some find it more difficult than they expect. There is a chaotic element to life here that becomes immediately visible in street traffic, in bank lines, and in getting repairs done on an emergency basis. Urban air pollution has become a serious problem, particularly in Milan, Rome, and Naples.

Italy, as other Western democracies, currently faces striking economic and political challenges. It must reduce the economic differences between the wealthy north and the poorer south and control organized crime. In recent years, significant steps have been taken to deal with these problems, but they stubbornly persist. Approached with a spirit of adventure, humor, and patience, a tour in Italy is sure to be rewarding, both personally and professionally.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Italy covers 116,300 square miles (301,225 sq. km.), an area roughly the size of Georgia and Florida combined. Its prominent geographical feature is the 500-mile-long Italian Peninsula, which is shaped like a boot and extends southeast from Europe into the Mediterranean Sea. The Apennine Mountains form the backbone of the peninsula. North of the Apennine range lies the Po River Valley (300 miles from east to west), Italy's breadbasket and the center of Italian industry. North of the Po Valley are the foothills of the Alps, in which lie Italy's lake district. Its northern border meanders along the highest points of the southern Alpine passes.

The Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, which lie southwest and west of the Italian peninsula, respectively, are the largest islands in the Mediterranean. These, along with Italy's other, smaller islands, have hosted trading colonies since the dawn of recorded history and have traditionally provided a window on the rest of the Mediterranean Basin (the western tip of Sicily, for example, is only 90 miles from Tunisia).

Italy's climate is generally pleasant. Although summer temperatures can rise into the mid-90s with high humidity, evenings are considerably cooler, allowing people to take to the streets and squares. In the winter, night time temperatures often drop to freezing, but snowfall outside the mountains is rare. In all seasons, the south tends to be warmer and drier than the north.

Population Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Italy has a population of roughly 57.6 million on a land mass about three-quarters the size of California. Population density is about twice that of California. Historically, many Italians have emigrated (significant numbers of Italian communities are in the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Australia), and approximately 2 million Italians still work in other countries. Recently, however, Italy has been experiencing a growing influx of immigrants (around 100,000 new legal immigrants per year), a cause of controversy despite the fact that there would be essentially a population decrease in Italy were it not for the arriving immigrants.

Outside of Rome and the main tourist centers, few Italians speak a second language. Even in the big cities, truly bilingual persons are hard to find. The most commonly spoken foreign languages are English and French. With the exception of the German-speaking autonomous province of Bolzano (Bozen) and the significant Slovene population around Trieste, ethnic minorities are small. Isolated, ancient communities of Albanians, Greeks, Ladinos, and Frenchspeakers, however, are here. The Italian constitution provides religious freedom for all. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, although only a small minority regularly attends church. There are small Protestant (Waldensian), Jewish, and Greek Orthodox communities. The Vatican or "Holy See" is an independent sovereign nation located in Rome, whose head of state is the Pope.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Italy has been a Republic since June 2, 1946, when a national referendum abolished the monarchy. The constitution, which took effect on January 1, 1948, established a bicameral Parliament (Senate and Chamber of Deputies), a separate judiciary, and an executive branch composed of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) and President of the Council (Prime Minister), who is Head of Government. The Council of Ministers must retain the confidence of both houses.

The President of the Republic, who is Head of State, is elected for seven years by Parliament sitting jointly with delegates from the 20 regions. The President has limited powers. He or she appoints the Prime Minister, subject to Parliamentary concurrence. The President can also dissolve Parliament and call for elections, if it is clear that no governing majority can be formed.

Seventy-five percent of parliamentarians are elected as individual candidates, 25% by proportional ballot. There are 630 deputies and 315 senators, plus a small number of senators-for-life including all former Presidents of the Republic and a few appointed by the President in recognition of service to the nation. Parliament is elected for five years but may be dissolved by the President before the expiration of its full term. Legislative bills may be introduced in either house but must be voted by a majority in both.

Below the national level, Italy is divided into 20 regions (roughly equivalent to U.S. states), 103 provinces and over 8,000 communes (cities and townships). Regions and provinces have presidents and governing councils. Mayors and city councils are elected locally. Each province has a prefect appointed by and representing the central government. The prefect has special responsibility for law and order issues.

Since 1953, no single political party has held an absolute majority in either house. Successive Italian governments have been formed by coalitions or other parties providing "external" support. Until recently, governments centered around the now-defunct Christian Democratic Party (DC) and until the early 1960's, were generally "center" coalitions (the DC plus Liberals, Social Democrats and Republicans). From 1962-94, most governments were "center-left" (the DC plus varying combinations of Socialists, Social Democrats, Liberals and Republicans). The Italian Communist Party (PCI) was excluded from government coalitions although, after the late 1970's, the PCI often provided "external" support to center-left government coalitions. The center-right governed briefly in 1994.

The "clean hands" trials of the early 1990's, which investigated illegal funding of political parties, completely changed the static landscape of Italian politics, and opened a period of transition and transformation which continues even at the beginning of the new century. By 1994, the large and powerful DC and Socialist parties had collapsed and out of their ranks, a number of new parties were formed. In 1991, the PCI broke with its communist tradition and eventually joined with former socialists, left-wing Christian Democrats and others to form the Democrats of the Left (DS). Center right "Forza Italia" was founded by entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi in 1994. In 1998, the center-left formed the first government headed by a former Communist (DS) Prime Minister, Massimo D'Alema.

Since the 1994 elections, a roughly "bipolar" arrangement has emerged in Parliament with the majority of seats controlled by either the center-right "POLO" coalition or the center-left coalition. New parties have subsequently been formed within the coalitions and a few parties (see below) remain unaligned.

The following are major parties with representation in the national Parliament (as of January 2000).

Center-left Coalition

Democratici (Democrats) Democratici di Sinistra (Democrats of the Left) Partito dei Communisti Italiani (Italian Communists) Partito Popolare Italiano (Italian People's Party) Unione Democratica per L'Europa (Democratic Union for Europe) Verdi (Greens)

Center-Right "POLO" Coalition

Allianza Nazionale (National Alliance) Centro Cristiano Democratico (Christian Democratic Center) Forza Italia

Unaligned Parties

Lega Nord (Northern League) Rifondazione Communista (Communist Renewal) Radicali (Radical Party)

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Italy is the wellspring of Western civilization and has been a world crossroads for over 2,000 years. Continuous learning, creativity, and technological advancement on the Italian peninsula have shaped virtually every aspect of Western culture. Etruscan and Samnite cultures flourished in Italy before the emergence of the Roman Empire, which conquered and incorporated them. Phoenicians and Greeks established settlements in Italy beginning several centuries before the birth of Christ, and the Greek settlements in particular developed into thriving classical civilizations. The Greek ruins in southern Italy are perhaps the most spectacular and best preserved anywhere. With Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in 312, Rome became the open and official seat of the Catholic Church, and Italy has had a profound effect on the development of Christianity and of Western concepts of faith and morality ever since.

Italy became a seat of great formal learning in 1088 with the establishment of the University of Bologna, the first university in Europe. Other Italian universities soon followed. These great centers of learning presaged the Renaissance, as did innovative works by Italy's great late-Gothic artists. The European Renaissance began in Italy and was fueled throughout Europe by Italian painting, sculpture, architecture, science, literature, and music. Italy continued its leading cultural role through the Baroque and Classical periods and into the Romantic period, when its dominance in painting and sculpture diminished and it reestablished a strong presence in music. Italian artists have been quite influential in the twentieth century. They were the primary exponents of Modernism in the 1920s and '30s, and continue to have a strong presence in the international contemporary art market.

Today, Italy has one of the world's strongest and most vibrant popular cultures, and plays a large role in shaping worldwide trends in fashion, film, cuisine, industrial and interior design, advertising, and popular music. Following World War II, Italian neo-realism became an important force in motion pictures, and by the 1960s, Italy had established itself as one of a handful of great film cultures. Italian design shaped the look of the post-war world, and today Italy is arguably the international leader in fashion and design.

Italy's great presence in literature and the arts often overshadows its role in the development of science and technology. Italy has been a home for innovation in science and engineering in the centuries since Galileo formulated his theories of planetary movement and Leonardo da Vinci designed a primitive helicopter based upon his studies of nature. At the turn of the century, Marconi carried out experiments in electricity and developed the wireless, but he was preceded by Count Alessandro Volta, one of the pioneers of electricity, over 100 years earlier. By the end of the Second World War, Enrico Fermi's work in nuclear physics led to the development of both the atomic bomb and peaceful atomic applications. Today Italy is a strong competitor in high-technology sectors, including aerospace and communications. Italian education is still held in high regard for its rigor and thoroughness, and although the Italian curriculum and teaching method remains very traditional, Italy also produced Maria Montessori and her revolutionary educational theories.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Italy has a diverse, industrial economy, the sixth largest in the world. It is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of textiles, clothing, gold jewelry, footwear and machinery to produce all those goods, as well as some agricultural products. Numerous Italian companies are famous worldwide, but it is small and medium-sized firms that dominate the economy and are responsible for its dynamism. Germany, France and the U.S. are the most important export markets. As in other industrialized countries, the role of the service sector is growing. Italy is very dependent on imported petroleum and natural gas from Libya, Iran, Algeria and Russia.

Industrial activity is concentrated in the north in a swath that runs from Torino in the west to the Veneto region near Venice in the east. This is one of the most industrialized and prosperous areas in Europe, and accounts for some 50 percent of national income. By contrast the center and particularly the south, or Mezzogiorno, are less developed. Unemployment in the Mezzogiorno is three times that of the north, and per capita incomes are much lower. Italy has a large underground economy. Researchers attribute that to high taxes and rigid labor laws, and estimate it accounts for one-quarter of gross domestic product.

Italy is a founding member of the European Union (formed through the Treaty of Rome) and, in 1998, of Europe's Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Members of the EMU have ceded monetary authority to a European central bank and begun using the "euro" for accounting purposes. Euro bills and coins go into circulation in 2002. Polls indicate that Italians are among the strongest supporters in Europe of EMU and continued European integration. To qualify for the Monetary Union, successive Italian governments in 1992–97 implemented widely-praised fiscal discipline measures that produced sharply reduced government deficits and debt levels, lower interest rates and lower inflation. Challenges that Italy still faces are liberalizing labor laws and regulations that govern businesses, improving infrastructure, reducing bureaucracy and addressing a looming pension burden.


Automobiles Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Official cars are used for official business only. Although a car is not a necessity, most personnel own one, and many own two. Due to traffic jams, narrow streets, and pedestrian-only sections in some shopping areas, public transportation is preferable in city centers. Private cars are preferable for traveling outside the city, however.

Large models of American cars are not well suited for the narrow roads in Italy; mid-size and compact U.S. models are preferable. Some vans may be too large for standard underground parking and have reportedly been targets of thieves and vandals. Larger European models like Mercedes, BMW and Audi may be a good option if you plan to do a lot of autostrada driving. Minivans are also popular.

Diplomatic and consular officers may import two cars duty free at any time during their tour. Administrative and Technical (A&T) staff may also import two cars duty free within one year from arrival at post. All personnel are exempt from paying the circulation (road use) tax for two cars.

Personally owned vehicles must be shipped to Italy with license plates and a registration card reflecting such plates. Employees transferring from posts located in countries with languages not widely read (Cyrillic, Chinese, and Arabic) must have the registration card translated into Italian by the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate. Vehicles may be driven immediately upon arrival with their foreign plates and registration, pending re-registration with Italian plates.

Diplomatic and Consular Officers. Imported vehicles of diplomatic and consular officers can be registered with CD or CC license plates. The Italian Ministry of Transportation requires that all imported vehicles have catalytic converters. To obtain license plates, the vehicle must pass two inspections. The first inspection is by Customs and the second is by the Motor Vehicle Department, where the license plates will be issued. The licensing process will take approximately two months, and it cannot begin until the owner receives his/her Ministry of Foreign Affairs Identification Card through the Embassy Personnel Office. Cars imported duty free may be sold at any time to other persons with duty-free entry privileges. On the open market, however, a car originally imported duty free and registered with CD or CC license plates can be sold only after it has been "nationalized" (see below).

Diplomatic and consular officers may also purchase private vehicles on the local market and have them registered with CD, CC, or city license plates. If the vehicle is purchased new, the owner is exempted from paying IVA (Value Added Tax-VAT). You can purchase a brand new vehicle, only if you have not imported two vehicles.

Administrative and Technical Staff (A&T). The private vehicles imported by A&T staff will be registered with national (non-diplomatic) license plates. The Embassy has an agreement with the local Government that allows imported vehicles to be licensed with local national license plates without having to convert the vehicle to meet the European Community (EC) requirements. Based on a reciprocal agreement, such vehicles must be exported at the termination of the owner's assignment to Italy or sold to a diplomatic or consular officer or to another A&T staff member of the U.S. Mission. On the open market, it can be sold only after it has been "nationalized" (see below).

The vehicle registration process takes approximately three months from when the request is forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Embassy will need the following documentation to submit the request:

A technical data information sheet from the vehicle manufacturer. GSO/Motorpool will translate and notarize this document. We strongly recommend A&T staff, who are not eligible for CD and CC plates and who plan to import a vehicle, to arrange for this document before they arrive at post. Certificate of residence. GSO/ Transportation will assist you in obtaining this document after your arrival at post. Photocopies of the vehicle title and registration card. A&T staff may also purchase private vehicles on the local market and have them registered with national license plates. If the vehicle is purchased new, the owner is exempted from paying IVA (VAT). You can purchase a brand new vehicle, only within 1 year from arrival to post, and only if you have not imported two vehicles. Locally Purchased Vehicles. New vehicles are sold with city license plates, and it will take between 60 to 120 days before the vehicle becomes available. Car dealers ask for a maximum 10 percent deposit when the contract is signed. When a diplomatic and consular staff member chooses CD or CC license plates, the request must be submitted through the Embassy and the dealer must be advised when the officer signs the contract. When the car is available, the owner must pay the balance and the vehicle can be collected approximately three days later with the license plates.

Secondhand vehicles are available through local car dealers, but there is no IVA exemption on such vehicles. The cost for the transfer of titles ranges from $450-$600, based on the size of the engine of the vehicle. Contact the GSO/Motorpool Unit before making any commitment when purchasing a vehicle on the local market; do not purchase a secondhand vehicle without a catalytic converter.

Nationalization Procedure of an Imported Vehicle. Full customs duties must be paid on imported vehicles nationalized within three years from date of importation. (Date of importation is the day the vehicle cleared through Customs for registration with Italian plates and not the date of arrival of the vehicle in Italy.) Nationalization is granted duty free after 3 years from official date of importation.

All vehicles must be converted to European requirements. This includes seat belts, headlights (sealed-beam headlights are not permissible), and amber-colored blinker-type directional lights in the front and on both sides of the vehicle.

Italy is a member of the European Community; its road code, in compliance with EC policies, requires catalytic converters. If you want to nationalize your vehicle with city plates, you must produce: 1) a manufacturer's certificate stating that the catalytic converter on the vehicle meets EC standards; 2) a technical data information sheet. These documents must be endorsed and legalized with the Seal of the Secretary of the State (Apostille) from where the vehicle is purchased. These documents must be translated into Italian and notarized by an authorized translator in Italy.

The title and the registration card must also have the Apostille Seal and be translated into Italian.

The Italian Government and the Mission require all personnel to purchase local liability insurance. Premiums for third-party liability are set by law and are, therefore, equal for all companies. Duty-free-entry requests are not processed until the liability policy is in effect. Vehicles driven into Italy must have an international "green card" certificate of insurance. Collision and theft insurance is available locally (but is expensive) or can be obtained from American insurers such as Clements in Washington, D.C., American International Underwriters, or USAA.

Current regulations allow foreigners to drive in Italy if they have a valid driver's license. If the license is not Italian, the original license with translation must be carried at all times.

Italian authorities limit the amount of duty-free gas allowed to Mission personnel. Once registered with the Foreign Office, vehicles are allotted gasoline as follows: diplomatic officers are allotted 300 liters per month for the first vehicle and 200 liters for the second; A&T staff are entitled to 200 liters per month for the first vehicle and 100 liters for the second. Gasoline coupon books are sold at the Embassy commissary. Vehicles that have not been licensed with CD, CC or local plates are not eligible for duty-free gas coupons. Only unleaded gas and diesel are available.

PXs in Italy carry some basic parts for American cars. Bring the most critical spare parts to post or be prepared to order them. Parts available locally cost far more than in the U.S. Smaller parts can be ordered from the U.S. via APO facilities. A few shops experienced in repairing American cars can be found in Rome and Naples, but not in other communities.

Traffic moves on the right side of the road. The highways are generally well maintained but are often narrow and winding, the exception being the superhighways, called "autostrade."


Local Transportation Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Transportation within the cities, whether by bus, tram, or subway (in Rome and Milan) is good, although crowded at rush hours. Always be alert to the danger of pickpockets and purse-snatchers on public transportation. Taxis are usually available but expensive. They do not cruise looking for fares but wait at taxi stands throughout the cities or can be called by phone.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Telephone connections within Italy and to international points are of excellent quality and reliable. For local calls, there is a usage charge of approximately two cents per minute. A long distance call to the U.S. can be direct dialed from any city at a rate of approximately $.50 per minute. You can also subscribe to callback services in the U.S. or utilize calling cards such as AT&A and MCI. Additional residential lines or service for a newly leased residence can be obtained within two weeks of placing an order.

Personal telegrams can be sent for about $4.


Telephones and Telecommunications

Wireless Service Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM Cellular phone service is reliable with a usage fee of approximately $1 per minute and a monthly basic service charge of $30. Bringing a cellular phone from the U.S. to Italy is risky in that converting and registering it is not always possible. A basic unit runs approximately $100 depending on the service agreement.


Internet Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Internet access in Italy is widely available. A number of Internet service providers (ISP) provide free internet access via dial up phone lines. The telephone charges during connection to the ISP from within Rome are approximately one cent per minute, depending upon the time of day.

Limited common internet access is available via equipment located in the Community Liaison Office (CLO) resource room at the Embassy. Newly arrived personnel may utilize this equipment to send and receive e-mail from existing accounts prior to arranging with an Internet service provider.

Personal Computers. Personal computers with U.S. specifications may be used successfully, although transformers may be required. Computer accessories and peripherals are available in Italy and are generally compatible with equipment brought from the U.S. although purchasing equipment online for shipment via APO may be less expensive. Shipment of computer equipment via UPS or Federal Express is not recommended.


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

International mail service between Italy and the U.S. is unreliable. Surface mail takes 6–8 weeks. Packages sent via international mail are subject to customs inspection. APO or FPO should be used whenever possible for importing from the U.S.

Official personnel and their dependents assigned to the Embassy or Consulates General are entitled to use the APO or FPO facilities. APO and FPO offices at Embassy Rome and Consulate General Naples provide airmail, U.S. postal money orders, parcel post, registered and insured mail, and Parcel Airlift (PAL) and Space Available Mail (SAM). Parcels sent via SAM must conform to weight and size limitations of 100 inches in length and girth combined and 70 pounds maximum weight. Parcels mailed PAL should conform to weight and size restrictions of 15 pounds and 60 inches in length and girth combined, respectively.

Personnel assigned to the other Consulates General in Italy may use the nearest APO/FPO for mailing letters and parcels, registering and insuring mail, and purchasing money orders.

Use the following forms of address:

For Embassy's APO:

Full Name PSC #59, Box XX (Use your section's box number for official and personal mail) APO AE 09624

For International Mail:

Full Name American Embassy Via Vittorio Veneto, 119/A 00187 Rome

Pouch for Embassy Rome:

Full Name: Department of State 9500 Rome Place Washington, DC 20521–9500

Pouch for Consulate General Florence:

Full Name 5670 Naples Place Washington, DC 20521–5670

Pouch for Consulate General Milan:

Full Name 690 Milan Place Washington, DC 20521–2690

Pouch for Consulate General Naples:

Full Name 5700 Naples Place Washington, DC 20521–5700

The APO address for the Consulates General is the same as for the Embassy; however, the box number should read Box-M (for Milan), Box F (for Florence). Although the Consulate General in Naples receives a few pieces through Embassy Rome, its mailing address is:

Box 18 PSC 810 FPO AE 09619


Radio and TV Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Italy has three state-controlled radio networks that broadcast day and evening hours on both AM and FM, in addition to RAI International on shortwave and virtual radio via internet. Program content varies from popular music to lectures, panel discussions, classical music, and opera, as well as frequent newscasts and feature reports. In addition, many private radio stations mix popular and classical music. A short-wave radio, though unnecessary, aids in reception of VOA, BBC, Vatican Radio in English and the Armed Forces Network in Germany and in other European stations.

The three public TV networks controlled by Radio-Televisione Italiana plus many other private stations offer varied programs, including news, operas, game shows, sitcoms, cartoons, plays, documentaries, musicals, and films—all in Italian. RAI also has a new 24-hour news and information system that is available on cable and at night on RAI-3. All programs are in color, except for the old black-and-white movies. Most Italians still depend on VHF/UHF reception, but both cable systems and direct satellite reception is increasingly common. Conventional satellite dishes can pick up European broadcasts, including some in English. Telemontecarlo and other private networks retransmit CNN and other American network programs late at night or in the early AM. CNN is widely available in four and five star hotels. Embassy staff eligible for PX privileges can purchase or rent an AFRTS satellite receiver, which, with a standard residential satellite dish provides access to AFN TV and radio. Programs are chiefly news, sports, network comedies and movies.

Radios, TVs, VCRs (both using the PAL/SECAM standard) and DVDs are available locally, but at much higher prices than in the U.S. They are also sold at the PXs.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The International Herald Tribune is published six days a week in Italy and is available with an English-language supplement, "Italy Daily" (edited jointly with RCS Corriere della Sera) throughout most of the country. The European edition of The Wall Street Journal is published in Bologna, and along with USA Today, is available in major cities. European editions of Time and Newsweek are available one or two days after publication. Other foreign newspapers and magazines are also available on newsstands, and current U.S. magazines can be found there as well. PXs have a large selection of magazines and paperbacks. The Center for American Studies in Rome subscribes to a variety of American magazines and professional journals and has over 70,000 volumes on subjects related to the U.S. Rome has several English-language bookstores with a varied but high-priced stock. A more limited selection in English is found in bookstores in other cities.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Quality medical facilities, including English-speaking physicians, specialists in most fields, and hospitals and clinics, are available in the post cities. Public hospitals are usually understaffed, and frequently the staff does not speak English. Private hospitals are similar to those in the U.S. and are equally expensive. The staff in private hospitals may or may not speak English. U.S. military medical facilities are available to American personnel and their dependents in Naples, Livorno, and Vicenza on an appointment and emergency basis. The cost of outpatient care at military facilities is the employee's responsibility. Dental services are sometimes available at military facilities for Foreign Service families.

The Embassy's Health Unit is staffed by an American-trained family nurse practitioner and an Italian-trained nurse. They provide primary care and can refer patients to English-speaking consultants as needed. Those with special needs are encouraged to have a private physician or specialist. The regional medical officer (RMO) and the regional psychiatrist (RMO/P) are assigned to Frankfurt and London respectively.

Equivalents to most American medicines are available in local pharmacies. Bring an adequate supply of medications, however, in case what is needed is not available. The Embassy Health Unit has only a small pharmacy of frequently prescribed medications and each individual is responsible for obtaining and reordering his or her long-term medications. Over-the-counter cold and cough remedies, antacids, aspirin and Tylenol are available in limited quantities in the Embassy commissary. A favorite brand may not be available, and the seasonal demand may exceed the supply. Bring a reasonable supply of such items with you.

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Sanitary controls throughout Italy are good. The water is safe but not fluorinated. Good pasteurized milk is available. Uncooked shellfish and uncooked pork are not safe. Precautions, such as washing fresh fruit and vegetables and avoiding raw seafood, are the same as those advisable in the U.S.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Environmental allergy symptoms are common during the spring and summer months due to dust and pollen levels, viral and bacterial respiratory ailments are common during the winter months. Smog levels can be high in any of the major cities. Throughout the country, when certain smog levels are exceeded, alternate-day driving is instituted. No special immunizations are necessary, other than those generally recommended by the Medical Division.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The U.S./Italy Bilateral Work Agreement allows for the employment of Eligible Family Members (EFMs) on the local economy. However, the requirement for Italian language proficiency may be a source of difficulty in the job search, particularly if the EFM is not seeking a teaching position. Provisions of the Bilateral Agreement are available in an Embassy Administrative Notice and can be obtained from the Embassy Personnel Office or the Overseas Briefing Center. EFMs should notify the Personnel Office prior to acceptance of positions on the local economy.

EFMs can apply for local-hire positions at post. Employment opportunities are available under the Family Member Appointment program, PIT appointment (Part-time, Intermittent, Temporary) and through personal services contracts. Many of these positions are clerical in nature and are made available on a competitive basis. EFMs interested in working at the Embassy may write to the CLO and bring an updated SF–171 to the Personnel Office upon arrival at post.

American Embassy - Rome

Post City Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Rome, one of the world's most famous cities, has been the capital of Italy since the nation's unification in 1870. It surrounds the small independent Vatican State, worldwide capital of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome is located about halfway down the Italian Peninsula, 15 miles inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea, astride the Tiber River. Although the seven original hills of the city are small (roughly 44-50 feet above sea level), some of the hills on the west bank of the Tiber, such as Monte Mario (elevation 462 feet), are considerably higher.

A city of about 2.6 million people, Rome is primarily a government and commercial center, though with growing industrial presence. It remains a city deeply imbued with a sense of history. Nevertheless, it is also a modern city with all the modern amenities and difficulties.

Rome is an international capital. Not only does it host the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, it is also the home to the Food and Agricultural agencies of the United Nations (FAO). A sizable foreign community is in Rome. Approximately 17,000 Americans permanently live in the consular district, which includes the regions of Lazio (Latium), Abruzzo, Marche, and Umbria.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 8/23/2004 10:37 AM

The U.S. Diplomatic Mission is headed by the Ambassador, who is assisted by the DCM. The major State Department organizational elements are Political, including Labor and Political/Military; Economic, including Science; Public Affairs; Consular and Administrative Sections. The Country Team includes representatives from Defense, Customs and IRS; Justice, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Naturalization Service; Agriculture; Commerce; and Federal Aviation Administration. Two independent offices are represented: the U.S. Sending State Office for Italy and the American Battle Monuments Commission. The constituent posts in Italy are located in Florence (See Special Information), Milan, and Naples. Consular agents are in Genoa, Palermo, and Trieste. The Mission also supports the American Embassy to the Holy See, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture (FODAG) and the Office of the Special Representative for the Southeast European Initiative (SEI). In total, the U.S. diplomatic missions in Italy number about 370 official Americans and 410 Foreign Nationals.

The main Embassy building, known as the Palazzo Margherita, is centrally located at Via Veneto 119A, a few blocks from the railway station and near many well-known hotels. The recently acquired INA building is next to the main chancery, the Consular Section is in a building adjacent to the Embassy at Via Veneto 121. The Public Affairs Offices are at Via Boncompagni 2, also adjacent to the Embassy. These four buildings house almost all Embassy offices, plus the commissary and APO.

Personnel coming to Rome should notify the Embassy in advance of their arrival time and mode of travel so that arrangements can be made to meet them. If not met, personnel should telephone the Embassy at 46741, or take a taxi to the Embassy. A few public phones still accept coins, but most require a "scheda" -a telephone card that may be purchased from a newspaper stand or a cashier at a snackbar. Embassy hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. During off-duty hours, the telephone operator or the Marine Guard on duty at the Embassy will be able to assist you. Avoid arriving on weekends or holidays (see Local Holidays).


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

If permanent housing is not ready upon the arrival of a new employee, either TDY quarters or hotel rooms are available. When possible, post accommodates new arrivals in TDY apartments with a Welcome Kit and basic furnishings. If TDY apartments are not available, new arrivals stay in hotels. As part of the CLO program for arriving personnel, your sponsor or parent agency will reserve rooms for incoming personnel and dependents upon notification of arrival times. Early notification of arrival information is helpful.

Single and double rooms located near the Embassy are available. Several boarding houses ("pensioni") near the Embassy offer a single room with bath and breakfast. Restaurants near the Embassy serve American and Italian food in varying price ranges. Several residence hotels offer small suites with one or more bedrooms, a living area, and a small kitchenette with daily or monthly rates.

Personnel traveling with babies should bring all equipment for heating bottles and preparing formula. Powdered formula and bottled baby foods are available locally (at extremely high prices), but necessary services may not be available at hotels.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The Ambassador's residence, the 16th century Villa Taverna, was first leased by the U.S. Government in 1933 and subsequently purchased in 1948. It is located about one mile from the Chancery.

Two adjoining government-owned apartment buildings (Grazioli) containing 30 units with one to three bedrooms are located near the Embassy. Six garages are assigned on the basis of seniority at post, while outdoor parking space is available for other cars. There is a small play area for children around the buildings. Apartments on the upper floors have balconies. Each apartment has a washer and dryer.

About five miles from the Chancery, the Embassy owns a building (Val di Sole) with four apartments: three 3-bedroom and one 2-bedroom. Each unit has a washer and dryer. Storage and parking for one car per apartment are located in the basement. The Embassy also owns a 4-unit furnished apartment building (Villa Pinciana) less than 1 mile from the Embassy and a small, furnished house (Villa Allegri). These are assigned to the DCM and Minister-Counselors of the Embassy.

Mission policy is to assign all employees whose agencies participate in the post's housing program to quarters prior to arrival. This includes most, but not all agencies at post. The post Housing Board makes housing assignments after considering all pertinent factors. You can request a copy of the Housing Handbook, which contains a full discussion of assignment criteria and process. Incoming personnel should consult the Embassy Housing Office (in the General Services Office) or their agency to find out if they are covered by the Post Housing Program and/or to discuss personal needs (e.g., medical limitations, schooling, etc.) for living quarters. If personnel do not contact the GSO Housing Office upon assignment to Rome, it will be assumed that they have no special requirements that might affect a housing assignment.

Most housing is provided in short-term leased housing. Leased housing is virtually all apartment-style. Bedrooms are small; eat-in kitchens are rare; and heating and air-conditioning are not equal to U.S. standards. Modern apartment complexes with one- to three-bedroom units are found in the suburbs 3–7 miles from the Embassy. Some have pools and tennis courts. Larger apartments are scarce. Apartments within two miles of the Chancery are particularly scarce.


Furnishings Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

All quarters are unfurnished. Exceptions to this policy are for the official residence and dedicated housing for the Deputy Chief of Mission, the Minister-Counselors for Political, Economic, and Administrative Affairs, and the consul general. In addition, those State employees up to and including the FS–04 level assigned to the government-owned Grazioli buildings are given government furniture. Because these apartments are limited, they are subject to availability.

Housing pool units are provided (and paid for by the occupying agency) with the following items: washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, freezer, air-conditioners, small appliances, wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, light fixtures, ceiling fans, bathroom cabinets; accessories such as towel racks, mirrored medicine cabinet, shower rod and curtain, wall hooks, floor cabinet and wall-mounted cabinet, one fire extinguisher, two transformers, two space heaters, smoke detectors, kitchen exhaust fans, and filters. Minister-Counselors, Counselors and heads of Agencies are provided with a dishwasher.

Household furniture and appliances can be bought locally, but at prices higher than in the U.S. The military PXs (Livorno or Naples) offer basic items and can special order items not in stock. Delivery can take 3–6 months. Folding beds, tables, and chairs are available for loan. A few cribs are available for temporary loan on arrival. Floor coverings are often needed. Although refreshingly cooler than carpeting in summer, marble or terrazzo floors found in most apartments and villas are cold in winter. Purchase carpets and rugs elsewhere, as local items are expensive. American curtains rarely fit the windows and French-style doors are found in Italian apartments. Hospitality Kits containing linens, china, and kitchen utensils are loaned on arrival.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Most buildings are poorly heated by American standards, and electricity levels available to apartments restrict the use of multiple air-conditioning units in the hotter months. Local government regulation establishes the period that central heating systems can be operated, as well as the number of hours per day. Steam radiators are the most common form of central heating. Central heating systems are usually turned off in the early morning or late evening hours. Space heaters may be needed for a few months.

All quarters have 220v, 50-cycle, AC current. The government-owned apartments at Villa Grazioli, Villa Pinciana and Villa Allegri have 220v outlets. Transformers for 110v American appliances are sold locally and are also available in the PXs. You can often purchase them from departing personnel.

Turntables and tape recorders (unless direct drive) must be adapted for 50-cycle operation. This can be done in Italy, but there may be a long delay in getting replacement parts. Other motor-driven appliances run satisfactorily, although some at lower speed. Older American microwave models may not function properly because they operate at 60-cycle. Voltage fluctuates up to 10%, which makes voltage stabilizers useful, particularly for personal computers and stereos or TVs. Inexpensive plug adapters that eliminate the need for changing American plugs are sold locally and at the PX.

Food Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

A large variety of fresh produce is available locally. Prices and availability of particular items vary greatly with the seasons. Good beef can be hard to find, but veal and pork are plentiful. Meats and poultry are more expensive than in the U.S., and the meats are of different cuts. Groceries are available in great variety, including typically American cereals, crackers and cheeses. Local bread keeps only a short time because it lacks preservatives.

A medium-sized commissary, on the Embassy premises, is run on a cooperative basis. It carries food, including a limited variety of baby food and basic household items, pet supplies, some toiletry articles, American tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. There is a small section, which carries international magazines, newspapers and Embassy Rome logo items. The commissary also has a boutique carrying a sampling of Italian handicrafts as well as American greeting cards. Film developing is available for reasonable prices. English language videos formatted for American VCRs are available for rental. Color and black-and-white film are sold locally; film is also stocked at the PXs in Naples and Livorno.

Employees wishing to use the commissary must join the Commissary Association. Initial deposit for commissary membership is $300 for families, $200 for singles and $50 for military employees with rank of E-6 and under. All privileges for tax-free import of food and drink are pooled for the commissary's use; thus, individuals may not import food or drink. American employees also have commissary privileges at the military facilities at Naples (3-hour drive) and Livorno (4-hour drive), but the distances to these facilities make regular use impractical. The CLO sponsors a shopping bus trip to Naples about once every other month.


Men Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

American clothing is practical and satisfactory. Summer suits of synthetic materials can be worn here 6 months a year. Winter suits, a medium-weight overcoat and a raincoat are also needed. Sports jackets are very useful.

Tuxedos are worn for formal nights at the opera and for occasional formal dinners during the winter. White dinner jackets are sometimes worn in the summer. Tails are rare. Formal wear can be rented in Rome.

Good readymade suits are available, as are excellent tailors and a good selection of materials. Although prices vary greatly, the best tailoring is cheaper and the best material more expensive than in the U.S. Custom-made shirts of cotton and silk, worn by well-dressed Italians, are expensive. Underclothing, socks and readymade shirts are expensive. Fine silk ties and scarves, leather gloves, coats and bags are a good buy.

Although Americans generally prefer American styling for their shoes, Italian shoes are considered attractive and are available in a wide range of styles and sizes. Military PXs carry a supply of American brands of shirts, underwear and some sportswear and shoes, but selection is limited.


Women Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Wool or knit dresses and suits are popular and practical in Italy most of the year. American cottons are ideal for the summer. A full-length evening gown is rarely needed (except for an occasional event like the Marine Ball), but cocktail and short dinner dresses are worn frequently to the opera, concerts and parties.

Sportswear of all kinds is useful. Warm slippers or house shoes are useful during the winter, since apartments often have cold marble floors. American clothes, including lingerie, shoes and stockings, are available in limited variety at the PXs.

Dress shops are abundant in Italy, but the selection found in any one shop is limited. Clothing is in high fashion and made mostly of natural fibers (all wool, cotton or silk). Casual wash-and-wear summer fashions are hard to find (i.e., knit tops and skirts), and many women prefer to bring a supply of their favorite items or order from catalogs or shop online. Winter skirts and sweaters are abundant and of good quality. Prices tend to be considerably higher than in the U.S. Remember that sizes and cuts are different and are not always to American taste. Good quality undergarments are usually more expensive than similar items in the U.S. Some American brands are found locally.

Italian women occasionally have clothes made. This is expensive, but it assures quality. Quality materials are expensive, and simple cotton dresses may often cost as much as silk dresses. Silks and woolens, or blends, are beautiful and of good quality.

Italian shoes are stylish and attractive, but sizes generally vary by length only and do not always fit American feet. A few stores carry American-last shoes. Good comfortable walking shoes are a necessity and may be hard to find, but all leather boots are abundant.

Hats are seldom worn. Several hat shops in Italy sell readymade or made-to-order hats at prices comparable to those in the U.S. Ladies' gloves and other leather goods are an Italian specialty and are generally cheaper than those in the U.S. Designer items from houses such as Gucci, Fendi and Valentino are expensive but cheaper than in the U.S.


Children Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Beautiful handmade baby clothing and children’s party dresses are abundant but expensive. Play clothes for children under 10 are available but also expensive. Practical, inexpensive items, such as no-iron polyester/cotton clothing, are generally not available locally. American children’s clothes and shoes can sometimes be found in the PXs or can be ordered from catalogs or on-line.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The Embassy commissary stocks a small supply of toiletries and household supplies. A wider choice is available at the PXs. Both American and Italian brands are available locally, the former at a considerable mark up. Bring your favorite brands of cosmetics, drugs and toiletries, or arrange to order via APO. A variety of household and hobby equipment and tools is sold locally. Do not plan to bring heavy power tools, as space to set them up is limited, and the electrical system cannot handle them.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Adequate laundry and drycleaning services are available, although not as numerous as in the U.S. Drycleaning is expensive. Rome has both laundromats and coin-operated drycleaning machines; however, paid attendants operate the machines with varying reliability. Shoe repair prices are comparable to those in the U.S., and the work is very good. Excellent hairdressers and barbers are available, but they are expensive by American standards. Several have English-speaking hairstylists. One should inquire about expertise with different hairstyles and types. It is possible to have an American manicure and pedicure.

Repairs to American radios, sound systems and electrical appliances are not always dependable because most local repairmen are not familiar with equipment made for the American market. It helps to have circuit diagrams or maintenance instructions for each item. Other repair services are generally good, but substantial effort may be required to locate the particular service needed.

Inexpensive plug adapters that eliminate the need for changing American plugs are sold locally and at the PXs.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

American staff often find it necessary to engage the services of household workers. Domestic help is expensive, particularly if you are seeking experienced personnel. Italian workers are rare and the majority does not speak English. There are many third-country nationals available. The mandatory requirement for locally hired non-EU household workers is that they possess a valid sojourn permit for work in Italy.

Household worker employment is governed by specific Italian laws and by a National Contract for Household Workers, which is reviewed and renewed every four years. Italian law requires that employers pay several benefits, including health and social security insurance, food/lodging when appropriate, annual leave, 13th-month bonus, and termination pay. The cost of these benefits may equal the worker’s basic salary. This applies to all workers (EU or non-EU citizens) regardless of whether they are temporary, full time, or part time. Workers’ rights are based on Italian standards that are legally enforceable and failure to observe these basic standards can lead to unpleasant situations for the employer.

The Personnel Office has prepared a handbook on the main provisions governing the relationship between employer and a household worker in Italy. American staff members should read this handbook and, if necessary, seek further information from the Personnel Office. Staff members who wish to bring foreign domestics to Italy should also contact the Personnel Office.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Churches, synagogues and mosques in Rome with services in English include American Episcopal, Anglican, Baptist, Christian Scientist, Evangelical Assembly of God, Methodist, Mormon, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian. Services of other faiths include Bahai, German Lutheran, Greek, Seventh-day Adventist, Italian Waldensian Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, Russian Orthodox, Islamic and Jewish.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 8/23/2004 10:54 AM

The following schools should be contacted as far in advance as possible for registration. Most schools provide student lunch facilities, athletic and recreational programs and bus service. The school year begins in September and ends in June. Good American, British, French and German schools are available. Private schools, including English and French, enroll an increasing number of Italian students because of disciplinary and curriculum reform problems in Italian public schools. Copies of the Directory of the Rome International Schools Association are available in the CLO.

American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR) Via Cassia 811, Rome 00189 Tel: 06 334381, Fax: 3326 2608 E-mail: Website: Nondenominational, coeducational day school offering instruction in the American educational system (kindergarten through grade 12.) Instruction is by a multinational but predominantly American faculty. The school program is primarily designed to prepare students for American universities. Credits are transferable to U.S. schools and colleges. The school has boarding facilities available for high school students at the Villa St. Dominique. Middle school students can board with local families. Preschool is available for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Marymount International School Via di Villa Lauchli 180, Rome 00191. Tel: 06 3630 1742, Fax: 06 3630 1738, E-mail: An independent private day school is operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary. It follows the same course system and offers the same credits as their school in Tarrytown, N.Y., which is guided by the N.Y. State Board of Regents program. It also offers the International Baccalaureate program. The faculty is primarily nonclerical and international, drawing many teachers from Ireland and Great Britain. Instruction is offered in English to girls and boys from kindergarten through grade 12. Early childhood classes are available for 3- and 4-year-olds.

St. Stephen's School Via Aventina 3, Rome. Tel: 06 575 0605, Fax: 06 574 1941. A private international high school accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, it offers a program in English designed to meet the entrance requirements of U.S. and European universities through the International Baccalaureate program to boys and girls in grades 9 through 12. Faculty is primarily American. Boarding facilities are available for both boys and girls. The school does not provide bus service for day students.

St. George's British International School Via Cassia Km. 16, (La Storta) 00123 Rome. Tel: 06 3089 0141, Fax: 06 3089 2490, E-mail: Nondenominational English day school, offering instruction in English to boys and girls from kindergarten through high school. Faculty is British and the curriculum is the standard general college preparatory program designed to prepare students for British schools and universities. For students in the International Baccalaureate program, it is adaptable for transfer to American schools and universities.

CORE-The Cooperative School Via Orvino 20, 00199 Rome. Tel/Fax: 06 8621 1614. This school was established in 1983 by a group of British-trained teachers and was formed as a cooperative. It is open to children of all nationalities from ages 3 to 11. All lessons are in English, although an optional Italian program provides for those who wish to enter the Italian state system at a later date. The curriculum emphasizes the basic skills, with each CORE teacher specializing in a subject that they teach throughout the school. Music, art, physical education and drama are part of their program.

Ambrit Rome International School Via Filippo Tajani, 50 00149 Rome. Tel: 06 559 5305, Fax 06 559 5309, E-mail: Providing an international education based on American and British approaches and techniques, the school's programs of study and activities foster the development of the whole child with opportunities for growth in all areas. Awareness and understanding of different cultures is encouraged, especially an appreciation of Italy, its language and its culture. Foreign language instruction is introduced at any early age.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

American University of Rome (300 students) Via Pietro Roselli 4, 00153 Roma. Tel: 06-5833- 0919, Fax: 06-5833-0992, E-mail: Instruction is in English. AUR offers bachelor-degree programs in business administration, international relations, interdisciplinary studies, and Italian studies and an associate degree in liberal arts. The American University of Rome is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and licensed by the Education Licensure Commission of the District of Columbia. It is the Rome study-abroad center for several American colleges and universities.

John Cabot University (400 students) Via della Lungara 233, 00165 Roma. Tel: 06681- 9121; Fax: 06683-2088, E-mail: Instruction is in English. John Cabot University offers bachelor degree programs in business administration, international affairs, art history, and English-language literature. Some associate degree programs are also available. John Cabot is affiliated with Hiram College in Ohio, which is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. All courses at John Cabot are transferable to Hiram College, which issues official transcripts for John Cabot students. It is the Rome study-abroad center for several American colleges and universities.

The Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Via Belmeloro 11, 40126 Bologna. Tel: 05-1232- 185, Fax: 05-1228-505, E-mail: Instruction is in English. The Bologna Center is an integral part of The Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. The center offers an interdisciplinary program of graduate studies in international relations. Courses are given in international economics, European studies (history, politics and culture), international law, U.S. foreign policy, and related topics (demography, the environment, and human resources). Degrees earned at the Center are granted by the Johns Hopkins University. Degrees offered: diploma in international relations (one year), M.A. in international relations (two-years, with year two at SAIS in Washington), master of international public policy (MIPP—one-year program for mid-career professionals), and M.A. in international relations (two-year program for non-Americans in Bologna).

St. John's University: Oratorio San Pietro, Via Santa Maria Mediatrice 24, 00165 Roma. Tel:06636-937, Fax: 06636-901. Internet: cba/g raduate/rome.html. Instruction is in English. The Graduate Center of St. John's University, located at the Oratorio San Pietro in Rome, offers programs of study in business administration, church administration, and international relations. The M.B.A. program is fully accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (A.A.-C.S.B.) and offers a fulltime and part-time American M.B.A. with a concentration in international finance. The church administration program began in 1996; the M.A. program in international relations began in 1997. This is a program of St. John's University in New York.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Almost any form of sports activity can be enjoyed in the vicinity of Rome, including golf, tennis, skiing, swimming, riding, boating, bicycling, hunting, and fishing. Spectator sports include soccer, boxing, horseracing, and auto and motorcycle racing.

Much of Rome's sports activity is organized around private clubs. Most memberships in private clubs are expensive and are not refundable. The Acqua Santa Golf Club, 5 miles from the city, has an 18-hole course. Embassy employees sponsored by two club members in good standing may apply for membership. The Olgiata Country Club, about 10 miles north of the city, has a 27-hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, riding horses, and a fine clubhouse. Membership is open to all Embassy personnel who are sponsored by two club members. The membership fee is very high.

The Foreign Ministry has a river club with pool, tennis courts, and rowing equipment that employees of the Embassy may join. Tennis and rowing memberships costs are extra. Several other tennis and swimming clubs are open to Americans. It should be noted that all sports/recreational facilities are very expensive to join.

Good sports equipment is available locally and at the military PXs.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

An incredible number and variety of places of historical and artistic interest are found in and around Rome. Commercial and cultural organizations arrange tours and visits daily. Tours are conducted in a variety of languages, including English.

Naples is less than 3 hours by car and Florence is almost as close. Rome itself has major monuments and archeological and historical sites. These exist in greater richness and variety in Italy than in any other country. The many good guidebooks to Italy available locally or in the U.S. give details on tourist attractions.

Many recreation areas and campgrounds are found in the countryside. Good, but often crowded, beaches with cabanas and some beach equipment for rent lie within 20 miles of Rome and can be reached by public transportation. To the south, 2 hours or less by car, are beautiful and spacious beaches. Terminillo and Ovindoli, 2 hours by car or bus, are the nearest ski resorts with tow systems and equipment for rent. Some hunting and fishing is available in the countryside around Rome, but most hunting is generally limited to invitation-only private reserves. Horses are available from several riding academies in Rome at reasonable prices.

Hikers and mountain climbers will find a wealth of possibilities in the nearby Apennines. The Club Alpino Italiano offers 1-day trips for mountain hiking and, in winter, cross-country skiing.

Rome has many parks for children. The large, beautiful Villa Borghese park has a zoo, a small theater where children's movies are shown in Italian, Punch and Judy shows, pony rides, small bicycles for rent, a lake with boats for rent, and a large playground.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Rome offers a variety of entertainment facilities appropriate to a major capital city. Knowledge of Italian is valuable. Movie theaters show current Italian, American, and other films with Italian soundtracks. One or two theaters offer French, English, and American films with original soundtracks.

Several theaters present classics, modern plays, and revues, usually in Italian. Rome's formal opera season opens in December and continues through May, with excellent productions and performances by leading Italian artists. During the summer, opera moves outdoors to a variety of interesting stages. In the past, these have included the Baths of Caracalla, the Olympic Stadium and the archeological site at Ostia Antica. Concert performances are given frequently during the winter season; outdoor performances are held in summer, usually in the late evening. Prices for most of these musical events are reasonable. Visiting theatrical groups, as well as local pageantry, offer additional interest.

Rome has many discos and a few nightclubs. Good restaurants are plentiful, some steeped in atmosphere and others featuring famous food specialties. Many places offer outdoor dining in summer. Meals in fine restaurants can be expensive, some very expensive, but the discerning diner can often find a good buy as well as a good meal.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM For most members of the Embassy family, social contact with fellow Americans, as well as with Italians, depends largely on the initiative of the individual. The volunteer board of the American Embassy Club, comprising of all members of the Mission community, organizes several holiday parties and children's events throughout the year. Rome has a variety of American organizations for men and women. Several hold monthly luncheons. Cub Scout and Brownie packs and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops are supported by the American community.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM The success of contacts with the Italian and foreign communities depends largely on individual initiative. Efforts are being made to further relationships within international groups.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Except for senior officers, attendance at formal functions is infrequent. For those few occasions, a dark suit (men) or a cocktail dress (women) is generally worn. The Protocol Assistant in the Ambassador's Office can give information about functions at the Ambassador's residence.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

It has been the practice in Rome to forgo some of the formality usually found at large posts. Social life tends to be informal and based on individual initiative. Some senior staff members have heavy representational obligations, and Rome's tourist attractions keep many people busy with out-of-town guests, especially during the summer. You will find that there is not as much official entertaining as there is in some small posts.

Officers can bring an initial supply of calling cards with them or have them printed locally. Protocol procedures at the Embassy are not elaborate. Informal cards from the same plate are used for invitations, reminders, and thank-you notes. Bring your plates with you; printing costs and quality are comparable to that in the U.S.

Special Information Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Visitors on Non-Official Travel

Tax-free goods (commissary, PX, gasoline coupons) are strictly limited by agreement with the Italian Government to government personnel in Italy on official orders. Given the large number of government employees visiting Italy privately, the Embassy cannot make travel arrangements for such travelers. Visitors on nonofficial travel should make reservations through airlines or travel agencies. In addition to the many good guides to Italy, the tourist office in each city provides free maps, guides, and hotel lists, including prices. Offices are usually located at railroad stations or central squares.

Post Orientation Program

The Embassy conducts an orientation program for newcomers. A valuable part of the program is the panel discussion featuring selected people who have arrived in the past year and made a smooth adjustment to life in Rome.

All newcomers are assigned both an office sponsor and a community sponsor. They will answer questions, assist with the check-in process and aid newcomers in getting acquainted with the Embassy and its staff as well as the neighborhood in which the newcomer will live. An FSI Italian language program is offered by the Embassy. Employees and adult dependents of all agencies with language support agreements who meet the Embassy criteria for training are eligible to attend.



The Florence consular district consists of the regions of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna (except for the provinces of Parma and Piacenza) and the province of La Spezia, with a total population of about 7 million.

The principal officer is also the U.S. Representative to the Republic of San Marino, the world’s oldest and smallest republic. Believed to have been founded about 300 A.D., the Republic covers 24 square miles and has 23,000 inhabitants.

Described by Petrarch as the “Pearl of Cities,” Florence’s glorious past and dynamic present never cease to fascinate students and visitors from all parts of the world. The splendors of the Italian Renaissance are seen not only in its famous churches, palaces, and museums, but are also kept alive in the tradition of craftsmanship, which makes Florence and the region of Tuscany one of the world’s major artisan centers. The high fashion industry has found a world-renowned home in Florence.

Florence is in the heart of a rich agricultural region whose principal products are cereal grains, vegetables, olives, and the famous Chianti wines. The city has a population of about 500,000. About 30,000 are non-Italian residents, mainly other Europeans, American and Chinese citizens. Most members of the foreign colony (except the Chinese) and the Italians who move in this circle speak English. Fewer in the general Italian population, however, and only some Italian officials speak or understand English. Shopkeepers, travel agencies, and hotels catering to tourists have English-speaking personnel.

The Post and Its Administration

Consulate General offices and residential housing occupy a city block bounded by Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci, Corso Italia, Via Garibaldi, and Via Palestro. The main entrance is at Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 38, on a boulevard running along the Arno River. The Consulate General is in a residential area but within walking distance of the main shopping and cultural centers and the railway station. The telephone number is (055) 2398-276. The Consulate General’s office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to l pm and 2 pm to 5:30 pm. On holidays and after working hours, the duty officer can be reached through the number above.

The American staff consists of the principal officer and the consular/administrative officer, and a locally hired American Foreign Commercial Service Representative, plus eight FSN employees. Florence receives over a million American visitors each year, including many VIPs in all fields of endeavor. The routine needs and problems of these visitors, and of the large active American community, constitute a heavy consular and representational workload.


Temporary Quarters

The second floor apartment in the Annex, as well as some rooms on the third floor of the main building, are available for the use of TDY personnel. See the description below.

Permanent Housing

Both American Foreign Service employees have government housing in the Consulate General compound. The second floor apartment in the main building, Palazzo Canevaro, is the principal officer’s home, while the deputy principal officer (consular/administrative officer) currently occupies the top floor apartment in the annex building. The ground floor of the Annex building, across the garden from the main building, is open for use as a cultural and commercial promotion space.

The Palazzo Canevaro is a great government treasure. It was built in 1857, the last in a series of residential palaces to be built in Florence, and was acquired by the U.S. Government in 1947. The principal officer’s quarters are a spacious apartment ideally suited for entertaining on a large scale. In a separate, elegant representational area are a large reception area, library, drawing room, and a dining room that seats 14 people comfortably. The private living quarters consist of a sitting room and two bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms on the same floor as the representational rooms, plus two additional bedroom suites, each with a sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom half a flight down from the second floor (a mezzanine). The large, eat-in kitchen is equipped with stove, refrigerators, and a freezer. There is a laundry room with washer and dryer. There is also a third suite which has in the past been used as quarters for domestic help.

The third floor of the Palazzo has several bedrooms that are used by interns and TDY personnel.

The second-floor apartment (Annex) consists of a large living-dining room, two bedrooms, and one bath. The kitchen has a gas stove, refrigerator, and washer and dryer. There is also a narrow balcony.

The third-floor apartment (Annex) consists of a large living/dining room, three bedrooms (two large and one half-size), two bathrooms, and kitchen. The kitchen contains a gas stove and refrigerator. There is a laundry room equipped with a washer and dryer. The apartment also has a large terrace with tables and chairs. No elevator is available for the residences in the Annex. Note: A complete set of photographs of all these apartments is available in FBO.


In the Consulate General compound there is a four-car garage. These covered parking places are occupied by three official cars and the consul general’s private vehicle. There is room for two additional cars in the driveway area.


All government quarters are fully furnished. The principal officer’s home is supplied with china, glassware, flatware, and kitchen utensils, but other employees should bring these items, as well as linens and paintings. Storage space is limited in most apartments.

For additional information on furnishings, utilities, appliances, food, clothing, supplies and services, and domestic help, see the American Embassy section.

Religious Activities

The following churches have services in English: Christian Science Church, Via Baracca 150; Convento Ognissanti (All Saints Catholic), Borgo Ognissanti, 42; St. James American Church (Protestant Episcopal), Via Rucellai, 15; St. Marks (Anglican), Via Maggio, 16.


Dependent Education

The American International School of Florence offers an American curriculum as well as an international baccalaureate program for children from preschool through grade 12, with preparation for American schools and colleges. Transportation is available. The address is Villa La Tavernule, 23/25 Via del Carota, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli (Firenze). Tel: (055) 640033. Information on tuition and other charges can be obtained by writing directly to the school. The school is not officially supported by or connected with the Consulate General.

Florence also has a number of good private and state-run nursery and elementary schools. Italian is the language of instruction in most of these schools, although a few teach in French or German. Many schools provide bus transportation at an additional charge. A number of American parents have found Italian public schools very satisfactory, especially in the lower grades.

There are no English-language schools in Florence for children with learning disabilities. Italian schools include handicapped children in classes with regular students under the guidance of specially trained teachers.

American Universities and Colleges. Over 30 American colleges and universities, including some of the most prestigious, conduct a rich and wide range of full semester and summer program in Florence and in other cities of the consular district. Contact the Consulate General for a complete list.

Several excellent schools in the Florence area-graduate and undergraduate — specialize in the fine arts, Italian language and culture, and music. These include the Pius XII Institute, the University of Florence Center of Culture for Foreigners, the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory of Music, the Instituto Statale d’Arte, and the Accademia delle Belle Arti. Tutoring is available in art, music, and Italian language.

Post Orientation Program

New arrivals are given a short orientation by the Administrative Section and a packet of general orientation materials. The FSI Italian-language program is available.

Recreation and Social Life


There is ample opportunity to enjoy sports in the Florence area. Golf, tennis, swimming, riding, bicycling, hunting, and fishing are the most popular participant sports. Spectator sports are mostly limited to horseracing and soccer.

A great deal of sports activity centers around private clubs. The Ugolino Golf Club, about a 30-minute drive from the city, has an excellent 18-hole course and swimming pool. The Circolo del Tennis, about a 5-minute walk from the Consulate General, offers good tennis courts and a small swimming pool. Children under 10 are not allowed to use the pool. Membership in both clubs is rather expensive.

Public sports facilities are limited to a number of children’s playgrounds and a few large public swimming pools. Horseback riding is also available in and near Cascine Park. Good sports equipment is available locally, but usually at higher than U.S. prices. Golf and tennis balls and other small sports items are available at the Camp Darby PX in Livorno, but selection is limited.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

The hills and mountains surrounding Florence are excellent for hiking, picnicking, and camping. Fishing and small game hunting are also popular in this area. In winter, there is skiing at nearby Abetone and Vallombrosa. Equipment can be rented at moderate rates at both places.

Seaside resorts and public beaches dot the Tyrrhenian coast within easy weekend distance of Florence. Closest resort areas are concentrated around the towns of Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, and Tirrenia. Camp Darby has a private beach with excellent facilities near Tirrenia that Consulate General personnel and their dependents may use for a modest fee.

Florence and the surrounding countryside are rich in points of historical and cultural interest. Besides the world-famous museums, churches, and palaces in the city proper, hundreds of charming and historically important villas, monasteries, and churches are within its environs.

Bologna, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and a number of smaller towns of great cultural interest are all within easy driving distance. In addition, excellent autostrade and train service link Florence with most major Italian cities, making them accessible for weekend trips. Many good campsites with facilities are open during the summer throughout Italy.


Each season a number of worthwhile cultural and artistic events happen in Florence. The city’s musical life reaches its high point in May and June with the Maggio Musicale featuring concerts and operas by world-famous performers and conductors. In addition, a winter opera season is followed by a concert season and many other musical events throughout the year. Open-air concerts are given at the amphitheater in Fiesole and in various locations in Florence during the summer. Plays are occasionally performed at the city’s two theaters, the Pergola and the Verdi, always in Italian.

Movies are very popular with Italians, and the city has many cinemas. Foreign films are shown dubbed in Italian. There is a small English-language cinema that has films most of the year, and a few other theaters show films in English once a week.

Florence is the site of a number of important fairs, including a crafts fair, a biennial international antiques fair, a gift fair, and others. Florence and other nearby towns have traditional pageants and festivals, with participants in medieval costume, held in the spring, summer, and fall. Among the most important are the Scoppio del Carro and Calcio in Costume in Florence, the Palio in Siena, and the Giostra del Saraceno in Arezzo.

Florence has many bookstores, some with a good selection of books in English. Consulate General personnel may use the post library and Stars & Stripes bookstore at Camp Darby in Livorno, the American library of the University of Florence, and the library at St. James American Church. All have many general interest books in English.

A wide selection of music, camera equipment, and film is available locally at prices generally higher than in the U.S. The Camp Darby PX stocks most brands and types of film and a fair selection of cameras and photo equipment. It also carries a variety of popular music and a small selection of classical music. Florence and the other cities of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna have many good restaurants, ranging from the high-priced deluxe to the inexpensive, simple establishments called “trattorie.” The nightclubs of Florence are few and expensive.

Social Activities

Among Americans. The city has an active American community and ample opportunities for Consulate General personnel to make rewarding friendships with other Americans in the area. Much of the charitable and social activity for Americans centers around the St. James American Church and the American International League. Other American organizations with primarily Italian memberships include the American Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and Lions Clubs.

International Contacts. The opportunities for forming friendships with Italians and nationals of other countries are limited only by the initiative of the individual. The many social, cultural, and charitable organizations in Florence offer occasions for meeting Italians. In addition, several foreign cultural organizations, including the British Institute, the Institute Francais de Grenoble, and the Kunsthis Torisches Institut, present opportunities for getting acquainted with other foreign resident communities in Florence.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions

The principal officer and the consular officer are accredited to the Republic of San Marino and are expected to attend the semi-annual “Changing of the Regents” ceremony.

Standards of Social Conduct

Although formal functions are infrequent, official and private social activities and obligations are often quite heavy. This is especially true for the principal officer and the consular officer. Social activity is seasonal; fall, winter, and spring are peak periods for the Italians, but in summer both official and personal visitors more than make up for the decrease in local social activity. Calling cards are exchanged, but on a limited basis; a supply of 200 should be adequate. Good-quality engraved cards can be obtained in Florence at a higher price than in the U.S. Officers should bring at least an initial supply of calling cards with them, however, since there is a long delay in having plates engraved and cards printed in Florence.

Special Information

It is extremely difficult for Americans to find jobs on the local economy. Spouses who have TOEFL training may be able to find employment at one of the local language schools. The American International School of Florence (AISF) employs American-citizen teachers who are university graduates and hold a state teaching certificate. Contact the principal at the school prior to arrival at the following address: Villa le Tavernule, Via del Carota 23/25, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli (FI).

Consulate General - Milan

Post City Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The Milan consular district includes the regions of Lombardia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Piemonte, Trentino Alto Adige, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto and parts of Emilia Romagna. Milan is Italy's second largest city, with a population of about 1.6 million, and is also the country's principal industrial, commercial, and financial center. In the heart of the rich Po River Valley, Milan is linked to important European highway, rail, and air networks.

Milan is a city of contrasts. Old buildings, some dating from the Middle Ages, line the narrow winding streets of the central portion of the city, while modern glass and marble skyscrapers and wide boulevards characterize the newer areas. The city has a bustling atmosphere reminiscent of New York or Chicago and has been called the least Italian of all Italian cities. Milan is a city of apartment buildings; most ranging from six-to-eight stories. Practically all Milanese live in apartments, and the American one-family house with its yard and garden exists only in the distant suburbs. An extensive and growing industrial area surrounds Milan. A number of satellite cities have sprung up, characterized by two-to-six story, medium-priced, apartment complexes interspersed with park and garden areas.

While probably 1.5 million tourists (10% to 15% American) travel through Milan each year, most are on their way to another destination. Many stop briefly to see the principal tourist attractions. The Milan Cathedral (Duomo) is a late Gothic structure and the third largest cathedral in the world. The Brera Museum is one of Italy's outstanding galleries; and the refectory at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie houses Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, the Last Supper. Other major attractions are the fashion district and the world-famous La Scala Opera House.

One of the finest aspects of life in Milan is its proximity to the Italian lake district, Alpine ski and summer resorts, the Italian Riviera and Adriatic beaches, and the tourist centers of Florence and Venice. By train, car, or plane, practically all of continental Europe is reachable in a day's travel time.

Milan is at about the same latitude as Portland, Oregon. The climate is temperate. Winter temperatures average 35 °F to 50 °F; summer temperatures 65 °F to 85 °F. Milan receives about 30 inches of rainfall a year; snow usually appears at most a few times from December to March. Year-round clothing for the whole family, including gloves, hats, scarves for winter, and lightweight clothing for summer is necessary.

The headquarters of many of the largest Italian industrial firms are located in Milan, along with the headquarters of many of Italy's leading industrial and trade associations, and largest banks. The city hosts many specialized trade fairs, national and international, throughout the year.

Milan is home to one of Europe's largest trade exhibition centers, the Milan fairgrounds. The U.S. Department of Commerce frequently holds exhibits of U.S. products and services at the trade fairs staged in Milan.

The permanent foreign colony in the area is substantial, including approximately 5,000 Americans. Only the Moroccans, Albanians and Philippines are represented in greater numbers. British, Swiss, German, and Austrian nationals also compose a large part of the foreign population.

Consulate General families in Milan occupy quarters in apartment buildings in the center of town, preferring to avoid the congested traffic and long commutes from outlying areas. All quarters are adequate in size, room arrangement, and location. The amenities of urban life—electricity, gas, central heating, elevator service, garbage collection, telephone service—are mostly on a par with those in the U.S.

In recent years, Milan has become one of the most expensive cities in the world, and the price of almost everything on the economy is higher than in the U.S. For this reason, some American families find it convenient to buy certain commonly used items in bulk at the military base in Vicenza (a 2-hour drive from Milan).

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Offices of the Consulate General, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Secret Service (Treasury Department) are on the 5th and 7th through 11th floors of an office building at Via Principe Amedeo 2/10, convenient to both the Central and Garibaldi railway stations. The telephone number is (02) 290 351. The Foreign Commercial Service offices are on the first floor in the same building as the Consulate General but have a separate entrance at Via Principe Amedeo 2. The Consulate General and Foreign Commercial Service hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m, Monday through Friday. The commercial library is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The phone number is 02-659-2260.

Personnel assigned to Milan usually arrive by air at Malpensa Airport, which is about an hour's drive from the center of the city. This airport handles mainly intercontinental traffic, including all American carrier flights from the U.S. Airline buses transport passengers to the central rail station, and train service runs between Milan's north rail station and Malpensa Airport. Milan's second, smaller airport, Linate, is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Milan and accommodates mainly national flights.

During the period November through March, plane arrivals and departures at Linate are frequently delayed by fog, resulting in canceled flights or in last-minute rerouting to Malpensa Airport or elsewhere.

When advance notice is received, new arrivals in Milan will be met by Consulate General staff. Personnel arriving without notice should telephone the Consulate General.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

If advised in advance of arrival dates, the Consulate General will make temporary housing arrangements for all incoming personnel for whom assigned quarters are not available. Two types of accommodations are available: hotels and residence hotels. The temporary lodging allowance is adequate to cover the cost of either option.

Most families find the residence hotels, located in the vicinity of the Consulate General, preferable. Accommodations at these hotels consist of a combination living/dining room, bedroom, a kitchen, and a bath. A connecting room is usually available for larger families. A 30-day lease is required.

Accommodations are difficult to obtain during September and April, the periods of the most intensive activity at Milan's fairgrounds. Those who plan to arrive during these times should notify the Consulate General well in advance.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The home of the principal officer is an apartment furnished with government furniture. A principal officer assigned to Milan should contact the General Services Section of the Consulate General for details about the apartment and furnishings. Other employees assigned to Milan will reside in government short-term leased housing in accordance with Mission policy, which calls for the provision and installation of refrigerator, washer and dryer, stove, light fixtures, kitchen and bathroom accessories, and one air-conditioner per bedroom and one for the living room. For additional information on furnishings, utilities, appliances, food, clothing, supplies, and domestic help, see the Rome section.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Most Milan churches are Roman Catholic and use the Ambrosian rite. The Santa Maria del Carmine Catholic Church, about a 15-minute walk from the Consulate General, holds services in English. Other Catholic churches hold only Italian-language services, although the cathedral and a few other churches have English-speaking priests who will hear confessions.

The following Protestant churches hold services in English: Methodist Church, Via Porro Lambertenghi 28, Sunday at 10:45 a.m.; All Saints' Episcopal Church (Church of England in communion with American Episcopal Church), Via Solferino 17, Sunday at 10:30 a.m.; Church of Christ, Via del Bollo 5, Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Christian Science Church, Via Bigli 16, holds English services every Sunday morning and on Wednesday evening.

A Jewish synagogue, located in Via Guastalla 19, holds evening prayer service daily in Hebrew and Italian. The North Italy Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) is located at Via Gadames 128. Two of the largest local Islamic associations are located at Viale Monza 160 and Via Fara 30.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM Most dependents of U.S. Government personnel attend the American School of Milan (ASM), a nonprofit institution accredited by the Midwest State Association. ASM offers a typical American high school diploma as well as an International Baccalaureate (I.B.) for those students who qualify. Many U.S. colleges and universities recognize the I.B. as equivalent to up to one full year of college education. Recent ASM graduates have attended Harvard, Stanford, Princeton as well as other prestigious U.S. schools. ASM is directed by an elected board of governors. There is currently a Director and Vice Director of the school.

ASM is located in modern facilities on about 10 acres near the outskirts of Milan, about 1/2 hour by car from the center of the city. It averages an enrollment of about 500, including about 160 American students, and offers a full American curriculum from nursery through grade 12. Over 70% of the teaching staff is American.

In the high school, almost half the courses are honors, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate level. Class sizes are usually small, and SAT scores are generally above average.

The school also offers extensive athletic, music, drama, and other extracurricular programs. Field trips throughout Europe are regularly scheduled for upper grades.

Children with serious learning disabilities cannot be effectively accommodated. There is no learning disabilities instructor currently at the school.

ASM offers optional bus service, which provides service to the city. Every effort is made to ensure that a bus stop is within easy walking distance of each passenger's home. Total fees, including bus service, are fully covered for all grades by existing educational allowances.

Milan has two other institutions, the British School and the International School, which offer English-language instruction under the British educational system. Although these may be adequate at the elementary level, there are possible accreditation issues involved for middle or high school students returning to the U.S. or transferring to other American-system schools. There are also German, Dutch, Swiss, French and Japanese schools. American children are ordinarily accepted in the Italian kindergartens and elementary grades without special formalities. Although the Italian educational system is good, inevitable language and curriculum problems occur, which become more serious in the higher grades.


Dependent Education

Away From Post Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM Boarding facilities are available in Rome at St. Stephen's School, a coeducational school modeled on the private preparatory schools of New England. See the Rome section for more information.

English-language boarding schools are found in Switzerland, England, and elsewhere in Western Europe. The International Schools Services, 147 East 50th Street, New York, NY, can give you information on such schools.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The three universities in Milan offer instruction only in Italian. Private and community-sponsored adult education courses are also available to Italian speakers in a wide variety of subjects ranging from the arts to technical areas such as engineering and accounting. Arrangements can be made in Milan for private lessons or tutoring in languages, music, art, dance, tennis, and horsemanship.

The Open University offers BA, BSc, MA, MSc, and MBA diplomas as well as professional training certificates from a range of over 150 correspondence courses in English.

The opera and ballet schools of La Scala attract advanced students of music and dance from many parts of the world. Many private teachers in these fields are directly or indirectly associated with La Scala.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The Consulate General has a small fitness room available to Consulate General employees at no cost. Although Milan has some outdoor sports facilities, most are on the outskirts or outside the city center. With few exceptions, Milan's private clubs are exclusive and prohibitively expensive. A small number of health clubs with swimming pools are available at fees equivalent to similar U.S. clubs.

Within the city there are public indoor and outdoor swimming pools (one indoor pool open year round is within 4 blocks of the Consulate General). Public pools are quite crowded on holidays and during summer weekends.

Several riding schools and clubs are located in the city and in the suburbs. Private and group riding lessons may be arranged.

The nearest golf courses are private clubs at Monza, Barlassina, Carimate, and Montorfano. All are within reasonable driving distances from Milan. Some occasionally issue honorary memberships, particularly to principal officers. Otherwise, large, non-refundable initiation fees (several thousand dollars) are required. Others, with smaller initiation fees, rarely have enough turnover in membership to accept new members. There is one public golf course that is located on the outskirts of Milan.

The city's two ice palaces are open for ice skating from October to April. A number of American-style bowling alleys can be found in Milan and the near suburbs. In summer, boating, swimming and picnicking at the nearby lakes (Como, Maggiore, Garda, Lugano) are popular.

Swimming areas at the lakes usually have rock or gravel beaches, and in some areas swimming is only possible by diving from rocks. The nearest ocean beaches are near Genoa (2 hours by autostrada or 2 hours by train).

Many ski areas are within an easy drive of Milan, including several within 2 hours of the city, so that even 1-day trips are feasible. Ski season usually runs from November or December through April or May. Resorts provide accommodations in all price ranges. Slopes range from very easy to very difficult, with all types of lift facilities. The lower Alpine areas are popular with mountain climbers during the summer; climbing areas for the beginner and the expert are available.

Baseball has a small following in Italy, and a number of amateur teams compete during the summer in the Milan area. Basketball is becoming increasingly popular; four major professional and semiprofessional teams are in the area. American football is beginning to find its place in the sporting scene. A racetrack on the outskirts of Milan has horse races 5 days a week from spring through fall and 3 days a week in winter. Italy's principal spectator sport is soccer, with a season from September to June. Milan has two class A teams, AC Milano and Internazionale. Their matches at the San Siro Stadium draw crowds of up to 85,000 people.

Hunting and fishing in season are popular among Italians, and licenses can be obtained for Consulate General personnel.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

In addition to the participation and spectator sports described above, northern Italy and neighboring France and Switzerland have much to offer the sightseer. Many points of historical and artistic interest are easily reached on one-day trips.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Milan offers rich entertainment for the music lover. There is a large number of concert and recital series throughout the winter, many presenting world famous artists, orchestras, and chamber music groups that feature music from all eras.

The opera season at La Scala begins early in December and runs through mid- July. Eight or nine theaters in Milan present legitimate stage productions (all in Italian), ranging from Shakespeare and Chekhov to works of contemporary Italian and foreign playwrights, to musical revues and operettas.

Milan has as many cinemas as any large American city, presenting foreign as well as Italian films. Several movie theaters present foreign films, including American, in the original-language version.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM The American Consulate Association (ACA), established in 1991, includes American and FSN employees who organize activities involving the entire Consulate General family. The Consulate General's CLO organizes events and outings for Consulate General staff and their families. Consulate General personnel generally meet other Americans through their jobs, the English-speaking churches, and the American School's activities.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM The following organizations offer excellent opportunities to make international contacts: the Benvenuto Women's Club, meets monthly and regularly organizes additional inter-cultural programs for its international membership.

Americans in Milan is a group of Americans who operate under the umbrella of the Benvenuto Club. Monthly luncheons organized by the American Business Group are attended by Americans from a broad spectrum of American and Italian businesses.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy consists of Americans in business in Italy and Italian business representatives from firms doing business in the U.S. Its headquarters are in Milan; the Honorary President is the American Ambassador in Rome. Its business meetings and luncheons offer a chance to meet Italians in the commercial and economic fields. The Professional Women's Association has monthly evening meetings that provide professional women the opportunity to gather and make contacts in a social setting.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The principal officer's social obligations are heavy, since attendance is a must at many official, semiofficial, and private functions throughout the year (except during the summer when most Milanese desert the city for the seashore or the mountains). In return, the principal officer is expected to give a number of dinners, luncheons, and receptions.

Other officers have more limited representational requirements and generally find that they can maintain their official contacts through entertaining at lunches and small office receptions.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

As in most European cities, dress at social events in Milan is more formal than comparable functions in the U.S. For evening occasions, suits are appropriate for men, suits or dresses for women. Only the principal officer will encounter some events where a black tie/long dress is appropriate. No recent principal officer has found formal attire (white tie) necessary.

Calls on consular officers of other consular establishments are not required for officers below the principal officer level. The procedure for calls within the official family is quite informal.

Special Information Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The post's administration provides orientation to each new employee. Italian language classes are available at post and may be arranged with private or agency funding.

The CLO seeks to be of assistance. It organizes shopping trips and other programs according to the needs of the community and the availability of volunteers.

Limited employment opportunities are available for dependents. Some PIT positions are available from time to time, for which dependents are encouraged to apply. In the past, some spouses have found teaching positions at the American School and with private English teaching schools.

Employment on the local economy is now possible with the implementation of a reciprocal work agreement between Italy and the U.S. However, because of the lack of employment opportunities and the need for fluent Italian-language skills, finding employment on the local economy remains difficult.

Consulate General - Naples

Post City Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:15 AM

Few cities have undergone the social, political, and cultural changes that Naples has in its long and colorful history. Although Naples is a modern city, with modern problems, it remains a beautiful city, a mixture of the old and modern, a city of great historical interest. Once a major Greek colony, and later ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Normans, Swabians, and the Houses of Aragon and Bourbon, Naples is today a city of diverse cultural styles and competing historical influences. The splendid natural setting of the bay, flanked by Mount Vesuvius, the Sorrento Peninsula, and the islands of Capri and Ischia, continues to attract a heavy stream of visitors from all over the world.

Although Naples is a major seaport and an industrial and distribution center for southern Italy, the city's economy is still dominated by small artisans and entrepreneurs. The official population for the city proper is approximately 1.5 million. Many foreigners live in Naples, with Americans forming the largest group. A small American business community and about 10,000 American military personnel and their dependents live in the area.

The U.S. military presence in Naples is an important one and includes commands such as the Naval Support Activity (NSA), the Naval Air Facility, and Fleet Air Mediterranean (COMFAIRMED). Other American military personnel are stationed at the NATO Southern Regional Headquarters (RHQ AFSOUTH), which houses the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH).

Security Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:16 AM


In spite of its shady reputation, Naples is a fairly safe city. Serious violence against foreigners is rare. Feuds between organized crime factions account for most of the city’s murders. On the other hand, such crimes as robbery, car theft, and counterfeiting are very common. You should not wear expensive jewelry while touring the streets of Naples. Neapolitan thieves are famous for their ability to grab jewelry, watches, and purses while flying by on motorcycles. If you have to carry a purse or briefcase, always carry it on the "building side" of the sidewalk. Keep car doors locked when you drive and don’t hang your arm out of the car window. Robbery occurs frequently on the highways—beware of the seeming Good Samaritans who point to your car and seem to see a flat tire or mechanical problem. Do not stop when this happens, go directly to a service station to investigate any possible problems.

If you do get robbed, contact the Polizia or the Carabinieri to secure a denuncia accounting for the crime. Cancel all credit cards immediately (Italian credit card companies will hold you fully responsible for charges incurred before cancellation). You should keep a list of your credit card information and emergency numbers on hand for this exigency.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:42 AM

The jurisdiction of the Consulate General encompasses all of Southern Italy: the regions of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Molise, Calabria, and the island of Sicily. The Consulate General in Naples is a multiple agency post with a total complement of 50+ persons and is responsible for the full range of Foreign Service work— consular, public diplomacy, political, economic, commercial, and administrative. The Consulate General in Naples also oversees the activities of the Consular Agency and Public Affairs Office in Palermo, Sicily. The consul general is the senior official U.S. representative in southern Italy.

The Consulate General is also responsible for providing guidance to and liaison with U.S. Military Commands in the Consular District and with the NATO Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe.

The Consulate General building is in Piazza della Repubblica, a square situated opposite a large communal park. The building is on the waterfront, giving many offices an attractive view of the bay and Mount Vesuvius. The telephone number is (081) 583–8111. Working hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

New personnel will be met on arrival during regular workdays if the Consulate General is informed in advance of the time and place of arrival.

If arriving by rail from Rome, take a train that stops at Mergellina Station, which is near the Consulate General and the hotels that it uses most. It is easier to meet and assist arrivals at Mergellina Station, as the Central Station of Naples is located in the heart of the business district and parking can be problematic. Many trains from Rome stop at Mergellina, but travelers from Rome should verify that tickets include the Mergellina stop.

If arriving by air, a representative of the Consulate General will assist new arrivals with customs formalities at Capodichino Airport. Should security reasons prevent the representative from entering the baggage claim area, personnel should show their passports to customs officials. Usually, they will not experience any difficulties in clearing their baggage.

Housing Last Updated: 11/8/2003 6:21 AM

Post provides STL housing to fit position and family size.

Most STL housing is located in the Posillipo area, considered by some the

"Beverly Hills" of Naples. Some housing is located near the famous "Centro



Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:18 AM

Every effort is made to have permanent quarters available when you arrive. If this is not possible, new arrivals are usually lodged at the Hotel Royal. It is within walking distance of the Consulate General. This hotel will accommodate small pets only; other hotels and pensiones do not accept pets. Please be sure the Consulate General is advised in advance if you are traveling with pets.

There is a severe housing shortage, which was worsened by the disastrous earthquake in November 1980. The influx of homeless from surrounding areas has made suitable housing extremely difficult to find. Employees and their families should therefore be prepared to spend up to 2 or 3 months in a hotel until permanent housing is found and made suitable, unless a new arrival is assigned in advance to occupy an apartment vacated by a departed U.S. Government employee.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The principal officer's quarters, on the fifth and sixth floors of the Consulate General, are government-owned. All other American personnel occupy government short-term leased modern apartments. The apartments are generally a short drive or 30-minute walk from the Consulate General.

A stove, refrigerator, washer and dryer, light fixtures, some ceiling fans, and kitchen and bathroom accessories are provided. The tenant provides furniture, rugs, and draperies. With the exception of the principal officer, all employees are authorized full shipments. Most apartments have balconies, but none have yards, and parks and green spaces are not abundant in Naples. There is a park with a nice playground across from the Consulate General, which many families use.


Furnishings Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:44 AM

Consulate Provisions

Listed below are items supplied to residences by the Consulate:

Kitchen cabinetry, sink, stove, oven, and refrigerator Washing machine and dryer Bathroom cabinetry, towel racks Two transformers Lighting fixtures One ladder Two split air conditioners, ceiling fans, and two stand alone fans Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers Wardrobe cabinets (one per bedroom) You can also receive a "curtain allowance" for purchasing window treatments up to $1000. The Embassy will reimburse your account after you have completed your project and turned in receipts to the Admin officer. But check first with the Admin officer to confirm that there are sufficient funds.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:22 AM


The Consulate pays all residential expenses for utilities,

including gas, electricity, water, and initial installation for

phone service.


Most homes in Naples have 220 volt electricity. There are still a

few places that have not been converted to all 220 volt, and

have a combination 125/220 colt wiring system. Check with

your landlord or the housing unit to be sure what volt electrical

system you have before plugging in appliances.

Regardless of whether you have 125 or 220 volt electricity, the HZ (cycles) in Italy is 50. US appliances are made to operate on 60HZ. With some appliances, this will not make a difference; others, however, will have to be converted, as they will run too slowly on 50HZ (i.e., record players). Transformers change the voltage, but do not change the cycles.

Also be aware that Italian apartments are not supplied with as many kilowatts as American houses so you will not be able to have as many appliances in use at once as you are used to. For instance, you may trip the fuse switch when you try to make toast with the dryer running! Experience will be your guide. But first know where the breaker box is and how to reset the switches.


One of the first things you will notice is that Italian outlets don’t look like ours! You’ll need a whole collection of adapters for your electrical appliances. (CAUTION: 110v. appliances will also need a transformer. See below.) Even appliances that are 220v. often are not fitted with plugs that match the outlet where you want to place them.

You can also find them at your local "elettrodomestici", where household appliances are sold. An electrical supply store, usually labeled "elettricitá", will have them as well. There should be one or the other in your neighborhood. Ask your sponsor, neighbors or portiere, or look in the Telecom or English yellow pages. The Country Store at the Naval Support Activity in Naples also carries a supply of adapters and transformers.


These useful devices need to be handled with special caution. Make sure the transformer is the proper size for the appliance you intend to use. Also remember that transformer location and installation demand precaution against electrical shock.

Always isolate transformer location out of the reach of children. Transformers get hot! Do not place on combustible surfaces. Keep transformers and wiring from any contact with water. Unplug transformers when not in use. They pull a lot of electricity. Label appliances that need transformers and don't let the un-informed use them. Plug transformer in the wall outlet first; then plug in appliance. Don’t connect both at the same time. DO NOT OVERLOAD TRANSFORMERS!

Food Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:47 AM


Open markets in Naples are fun and often full of great bargains. These take place on different days throughout the city. As the shopping ritual varies from market to market, it may be best to have someone to show you the ropes the first time you go. Some markets sell only food; others sell only clothing and household items. Prices tend to be fixed at the booths but one may negotiate prices with the informal vendors who usually sell their wares in the perimeters of the markets. These latter vendors see African and Asian goods as well as their counterfeit designer products. You may find the local markets described in Eyewitness Guide to Naples.

NOTE: Take care to carry plenty of smaller bills with you. Counterfeit money is prevalent and often given as change

Local food shopping

In Naples, neighborhood markets and delis will usually deliver groceries to your home at no charge beyond the tip you give the deliverer. This service can be particularly helpful while you are waiting for your car to arrive.

Food Shopping

Now we get to the kind of shopping everyone loves—especially in Italy! Food is an art and Italians take it as seriously as they do their fashion. There are all kinds of food shops and every neighborhood has its collection of small (usually family-owned) specialty stores. Sometimes specialties overlap one another and you will find bread at the salumeria and pastries at the local bar.

Food shops are generally open from 8:30-1:30, closed for a long lunch, then open in the afternoons from 5:00-7:30. They are usually closed Thursday afternoons and all day Sunday. From June to September they close Saturday afternoons as well.

Remember when you shop—especially in the smaller establishments—to greet the shopkeepers upon entering. They will keep track of your turn to be served. Or if the store is very crowded, try to ascertain where you are in "line" (there won’t be an obvious one) and remind the person behind you that "io sono la/il prossima/o" when it’s your turn. A few places have numbers to take, so check to see if customers have them in their hand.

Some bakeries have only breads (panetteria or panificio); some only sweets (pasticceria) while others have all sorts of pastas as well. If you are entertaining and need larger than usual quantities of rolls or special cakes, order a day or two in advance.

Bars are a great all-purpose shopping resource. They are open early and cose late and are good sources for last minute gifts as many carry wines and chocolates. At most, you can buy dairy products—milk, cream, ice cream and even whipped cream! For the latter request panna montata (sold by the kilo) and your elegant dessert is ready in no time. Some even sell cakes and tortas (pies) to take home.

Delicatessens don’t have an exact equivalent

here although salumerias come close. Tavola caldas

are also related in that they have prepared dishes of

all kinds that can be purchased to go. Your

neighborhood salumeria will have a variety of

cheeses, cold cuts, ham (cooked and cured), pastas, anti-pasti, wines, and many other foodstuffs.

Grocery stores tend to be smaller (the closer you

get to the centro) and are usually quite cramped, but they have everything. Several of the Stand and UPIM department stores also had food markets attached. Large supermarkets are found farther out and generally are open non-stop from 8:30-7:00 weekdays and Saturdays. Most are closed Sundays.

Clothing Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:32 AM

Suitable professional attire is suggested for all incoming officers and family members. Even during the hot season a light jacket is often worn. The business/government/diplomatic community in Naples tends to dress up.

Supplies and Services Last Updated: 11/8/2003 6:22 AM

Naples offers many supplies. It is just a matter of knowing where to look and what you are looking for. Many supplies are available at Capodichino Naval Base and Agnano Naval Base. Other items, such as interior lamps, are best purchased on the local market.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:50 AM

Repairs and Maintenance

The GSO office has limited resources. You will be expected to do the same ordinary maintenance tasks here that you do at home and the U.S. Embassy Rome provides the following list showing examples of things you should do for yourself:

Change the lightbulbs Hang pictures and mirrors Find and set up bookshelves Hang drapes and curtains Know where your fuse box is and how to use it Change gaskets in leaky faucets

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:51 AM

Domestic Help

It is best to ask other Americans for references.

Housekeepers charge approximately 6-7€ per hour for part-time or full-time work. Each December, the employer is expected to pay a full month’s wages—the so-called "13th month". Also expected is 2 weeks paid vacation, usually in August. One does not pay for holidays or days when the housekeeper fails to come in as scheduled. At the time of your departure, you will be expected to provide 3 months severance pay for the time spent unemployed. Regardless of hours works, you are expected to contribute to INPS on your employee’s behalf.

Babysitters charge approximately 7€ an hour. Italian babysitters are usually older women. Immigrant babysitters (often Poles) tend to be younger and will often clean house while sitting. One does not usually pay babysitters vacation, 13th month, or severance pay.

Nannies in Naples are usually non-Italians. They will live in or out of the house. Average pay is $800. If they live in, food and board is provided on top of regular pay. Work is usually 45-50 hours per week with Sundays off. 13th month and 2 weeks paid vacation is expected. Severance pay is negotiable depending on whether they have a job waiting or not.

Doormen (Portieri) for your building are paid salaries by the ‘housing committee’ of your building. However, you may be expected to pay a Christmas bonus (approx. 50-100€) to the regular portieri, and a bonus (approx. 100-200€) to the extra night-time who works at some apartments during the August vacation period. It is best to ask neighbors what a proper tip would be.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:53 AM

There are numerous Catholic churches throughout the city, with a weekly English-language Mass sponsored by the Filipino community at Gesu' Nuovo on Sunday afternoon.

Other churches with services in English are:

AFSOUTH Chapel. Catholic services at the NATO Base. Armed Forces Chapel.

Nondenominational Protestant services, Sunday school, and Catholic Masses are held at the Naval Support Activity, Capodichino complex.

Church services are held at the Support Site.

Christ Church. (Anglican/Episcopalian) at Via San Pasquale, Chiaia 15B.

Christian Science. Chapel behind Christ Church.

Church of Christ. Viale Augusto 164. Latter-day Saints. Piazza Vittoria 6.

A Jewish military chaplain visits Naples at regular intervals. There is an Italian synagogue in Naples that holds Sabbath services provided by a lay person and services at major holidays. In addition, the U.S. military forces sponsor services on the last Friday of each month and on certain high holy days.

Education Last Updated: 1/17/2004 7:53 AM

The schools in Naples vary so it is best to ask other families which school they prefer. Following is a list of the schools currently used by Consulate families:


Montessori School (3-14 years old)

International School of Naples (pre-school-12th) Currently undergoing the accreditation. (January 2004)

NSA Gricignano

Naples Elementary School (K-6th grade)

Naples American High School (7-12 grade) Yearly NCA accreditation.

Other options for pre-school and Kindergarten are local Italian schools. Check those close to your apartment or near the Consulate.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

DOD. The Department of Defense operates two schools: an elementary/middle school (which includes kindergarten), and a high school, both located at the new Gricignano facility that is nearly an hour outside of Naples. The schools are staffed with trained, experienced American teachers. These schools have special educational facilities for mildly developmentally delayed children and those with hearing and speech problems. They are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. There is an active after school athletic program that includes volleyball, basketball, football, soccer, gymnastics, track, and tennis. There is a school newspaper and other extracurricular activities such as choir, band, drama, and science club. Tuition is charged to Consulate General personnel to attend the DOD schools, but it is normally covered by the post educational allowance. Bus transportation is provided at no extra charge if you are on an established route. The DOD buses will not go to neighborhoods where military dependent children do not reside. Unfortunately, the DOD buses do not generally service the areas where Consulate General families reside. The school cafeterias serve soup, sandwiches, and milk at fair prices. The schools have no boarding facilities.

The Allied Nursery and Kindergarten School. A cooperative endeavor, it is run by wives of NATO personnel. Located in one of the buildings at NATO Headquarters at Bagnoli, it provides instruction five mornings a week. Transportation to and from school costs extra. It is well patronized by Consulate General personnel with preschool-aged children. There is usually a waiting period for admittance.

The International School of Naples. Also located on the NATO base, this private, coeducational day school of about 150 students offers instruction in English from kindergarten through grade 12. The non-graded method of class assignment is used from grade 5 on. It is accredited by the European Council of International Schools. Teachers are American and British citizens, except for the Italian-language instructor. Emphasis is placed on a classical college preparatory curriculum. Bus transportation is provided from most areas of Naples.

The Italian-American Montessori School. Also located on the NATO base, this school of about 300 students offers an English-language, American curriculum to children in kindergarten through grade 8, based on the teaching philosophy of Marie Montessori. Teachers are American or British. American textbooks are used in all classes. Bus transportation is available from most areas of Naples.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The University of Naples. The main campus is in the downtown section of the city. This school enjoys an excellent reputation and provides courses in agriculture, architecture, economics and commerce, engineering, law, letters and philosophy, medicine and surgery, naval affairs, oriental languages, pharmacy, science, mathematics and physics, and veterinary medicine. It is not too difficult for a foreigner to enroll in the university; however, instruction is in Italian.

Naples boasts an Academy of Fine Art and a Conservatory of Music that Americans sometimes attend. At the NATO complex, the Universities of Maryland and Oklahoma offer courses leading to master's degrees in education, business administration, and human relations, and the University of Maryland and other schools offer undergraduate classes in various subjects. The University of Maryland and a growing number of other institutions also offer undergraduate and advanced degree courses via the Internet. (There are several Internet service providers available in Naples.) The French Institute gives French-language instruction to children and adults. Upon successful completion of various levels at the Institute, University of Grenoble certificates of accomplishment are awarded. Local schools offer typing, stenography, and related business subjects in English.

Language Program. Language instruction is available for employees who arrive at post without having achieved the language level designated for their position. Language instruction is also available in the Consulate General for adult family members. NATO also offers Italian classes to Americans stationed in Naples. Private tutoring is available for persons wishing to study the language independently at a cost of approximately $25 an hour.

Recreation and Social Life Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:54 AM

Naples offers ample opportunity for sports and outdoor recreation during the long summer season. The Bay of Naples is ideal for sailing and the NATO Yacht Club has moorings and dinghies. Several beaches suitable for swimming are within an hour's drive. NATO operates a beach with picnic and water sports facilities. Tennis, bowling, and a fitness center are also available.

The Naval Support Activity provides a large recreational facility for military personnel known as Carney Park. The park is located about 12 miles from Naples and includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, picnic areas, camping sites, and overnight cabins. There is also a mini-mart, a restaurant, snackbar, and sports equipment store. The new military facility at Capodichino offers a state-of-the-art fitness center and movie theater. Consulate General personnel are authorized to use all of these facilities.

In the winter, Roccaraso, a mountain ski resort about 2-1/2 hours from Naples, offers trails for beginners as well as experienced skiers. Skis and other equipment can be rented locally or at the resort at reasonable prices. The Naples area has many interesting places for hiking, sightseeing, and picnicking, including the islands of Capri and Ischia and the beautiful towns along the Amalfi Coast-Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

The USO at NSA Agnano offers free and paid tours, both within Italy and to other European cities. Their schedule is extensive and tours are reasonably priced.

For artists, historians, and interested amateurs, Naples and the surrounding regions are rich in possibilities. The Palazzo di Capodimonte, with its large collections of paintings, tapestries, arms, and furniture, is one of the most impressive museums in Italy. The National Museum houses the world's finest collection of Roman antiquities, many of them recovered from Pompeii. Countless numbers of small churches, museums, and castles within the city reflect the many periods and styles of Neapolitan history.

Excursions outside the city to places such as Paestum, Pompeii, and Herculaneum (to name only the most famous) offer unparalleled opportunities for exploring the remains of earlier civilizations. Many other sites in southern Italy can be visited in the course of weekend outings by car. Campi Flegri is one of the most popular.

Sports attire commonly seen in the U.S. is acceptable in this region.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

The season at the world-famous San Carlo Opera begins in January and runs until December (as opposed to the norm of September to June). The 18 first-run Naples cinemas only occasionally offer films in English. However, Consulate General personnel may go to the two American theaters run by the U.S. military. In addition to plays and variety shows presented in five theaters in Naples, some spectator sports events are available.

American media programming is provided by the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), which broadcasts one channel of TV and two FM radio stations. Additional channels are available for owners of satellite dishes with the rental of an AFRTS converter box from the Navy Base. There is a video rental store at NSA Agnano.

Official Functions Last Updated: 9/1/2003 8:55 AM

The principal officer's social obligations are heavy. Official invitations are often limited to the principal officer, although they sometimes include other senior officers. Junior officers and other staff members are under no obligation to do a great deal of representational entertaining. Although Naples is not a formal post, Neapolitans do put heavy emphasis on doing things "properly." For example, calling cards are copiously exchanged and otherwise employed. Principal officers assigned to this Consulate General use about 200 calling cards a year. Officers with substantial contact responsibilities, such as the political-economic and public affairs officers will also need a large number of cards. For most other officers, 150 to 200 will suffice for a 2- or 3-year tour. Calling cards can be obtained locally, but quality varies.

Special Information Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Services Available to Americans. Members of the Consulate General staff and their dependents are authorized to use the U.S. Navy Hospital at Naples for medical treatment, including childbirth. However, the individual through his or her medical insurance plan must pay for these services. For patients requiring extensive examinations and treatment not available at the Naval Hospital, medical evacuation is arranged through the Embassy health officer in Rome, either to facilities in Germany or the U.S.

At present, the dental clinic at the U.S. Navy Hospital is available to the Consulate General staff and their families for emergency treatment only. Persons at the Consulate General have found Italian dentists satisfactory for routine work. Whenever possible, complete major dental work before arriving in Naples.

Other facilities to which Consulate General personnel are granted access include the Navy Commissary and Exchange, the Fleet Post Office, and the numerous small shops located at AFSOUTH, NSA and Capodichino. A range of American products, including food, clothing and furniture, as well as banking facilities, is available to the Consulate General staff and their families.

Job opportunities in Naples for dependents are limited. Occasional PIT positions are available at the Consulate General, but they normally are seasonal or limited in nature. Other U.S. Government agencies in Naples have hired dependents, but the military tends to give preference to their own dependents. Employment in the local economy is now possible with the implementation of a reciprocal work agreement between Italy and the U.S. There are few U.S. and other multinationals in Naples. However, because of the lack of employment opportunities and the need for fluent Italian-language skills, finding employment in the economy remains difficult.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Present regulations require that all official travel between the U.S. and Italy be on American carriers, with limited exceptions. Present schedules do not allow stopovers in Europe en route to Italy by American carrier. Excellent rail or air connections exist to all posts from Rome or Milan airports. Always check the latest travel regulations and flight/train schedules. Regular U.S. passenger ship service to Europe is no longer available. It is possible (although difficult) to make reservations on cargo ships, which carry about 12 passengers.

Airfreight may take from 2 to 4 weeks (during the peak season) between the U.S. and Italy, while household effects (HHE) in surface shipments require at least 2 months. The Italian Government processes clearance for duty-free importation of HHE immediately after notification of the new employee's assignment to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Such notification is routinely performed by the Personnel Office when it receives the TMFOUR cable. (Notification of personnel belonging to agencies other than State follows a different process.)

Prior to shipping HHE or airfreight, posts should check with the GSO/Travel and Transportation Unit on availability of approved customs-free entry permit and with the Housing Office on permanent quarters. HHE shipments may be sent to the ELSO facility in Antwerp pending delivery. Label all HHE with the employee's name and his or her agency and post, e.g.:

John Smith (State) American Embassy Rome, Italy

Mary Smith (Public Affairs Section) American Consulate General Florence, Italy

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

No limit is placed on the dollar amount of currency you may import. You may neither import nor export more than 10 million lira per border crossing, however. Legally, all dollars brought into Italy must be declared on entry. An equal amount may be exported upon departure. Dollar currency is used only for commissary, PX, or APO purchases. Exchange between dollars and lire is normally made through the local bank, the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Branch located at the Embassy, PX, or banking facilities. Consult the Financial Management Office on any currency exchange questions.

Diplomatic and consular officers are accorded rationed free-entry privileges on liquor and tobacco products. All personnel assigned to the Consulates General have been able to obtain an adequate supply through pooled orders. A rationed supply may also be obtained from the military PXs. In Rome, these privileges are pooled, and the Embassy commissary has been able to supply all American personnel with adequate rations. Employees in Rome, therefore, may not import any tobacco products or liquor.

Duties of over 50% are levied on radios, cameras, stereos, and typewriters. If hand-carried or shipped separately from HHE, they are subject to a deposit procedure. When these items are hand-carried or in baggage, officials generally raise no questions. When shipped separately, a person may face the choice of either leaving the item at the customs house pending free-entry clearance by the Embassy, or else providing a deposit varying between $25 and $100. The deposit may be recovered afterwards with Embassy assistance if free entry is granted or upon final departure with the item. This problem may be avoided by shipping these items with HHE or via APO.

Declare imports into Italy that might be considered national treasures through the Embassy upon arrival. This avoids delays at time of departure, payment of export tax, or even possible outright prohibition of export. The exportation of antiques and objects of art purchased in Italy is subject to approval of the Italian Fine Arts Commission and payment of an export tax.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Visas. Diplomatic entry visas are required for all employees and family members assigned to Italy. Without a visa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) will not issue the employee or family member a Foreign Ministry Identity Card. Diplomatic entry visas are issued by Italian Embassies and/or Italian Consulates and must be obtained before the date of arrival in Italy. State Department employees, while in Washington for consultations or training, can also go to the Employee Service Center, Room 1252 at Main State to apply for their visa. Present a copy of your orders and two pictures of each person applying for the visa. Allow 2 weeks for a visa to be processed. Military personnel and other civilian agencies should contact their passport office for a visa application.

Diplomatic/official passports. Employees are required to check the validity of their diplomatic/official passports and those of their family members well in advance of their transfer to Italy. Diplomatic and official passports should be valid for at least one year, and preferably longer, after arrival at post. The validity of the identity card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is limited to the validity of the diplomatic/official passport. Should the U.S. passport expire within 6 months from arrival at post, the MFA will not issue an identity card.

In addition to your diplomatic passport and entry visa, to enter Italy you need international certificates of vaccination for cholera or yellow fever if you arrive from countries where those diseases are endemic.

Upon arrival, all baggage must be cleared through customs and is subject to inspection, although this is often waived for accompanied baggage. All personnel are limited to two bottles of liquor (sealed or unsealed) and two cartons of cigarettes. These must be declared. If cigarettes or liquor in excess of this limit is found in the baggage, the inspection is usually carried to completion and the excess impounded for payment of duty. A box of 50 cigars may substitute for, but not be added to, the two cartons of cigarettes.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Both dogs and cats must be accompanied by a health certificate containing the following:

Identification of the animal Name and address of the owner Statement that the animal has been examined on the date of issuance of the certificate and found sound. Statement that the animal has been vaccinated for rabies at least 20 days, but no more than 11 months, before the date of issuance. The certificate expires 30 days after the date of issuance and must be signed by an official or officially accredited veterinary doctor of the country of origin.

Importation of dogs is subject to payment of an import tax, which is 19% of the dog's value, as determined by customs authorities, and normally runs between $30-$60. If informed in advance of the arrival of a dog, GSO/Transportation will request a free-entry authorization through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that the employee will be exempted from payment of this import tax. The authorization must be received in the Embassy before the arrival of the employee. You are therefore requested to inform GSO/Transportation without delay if you plan to bring a dog into the country.

If the owner of the animal is in the U.S., a statement is required from the Department of Agriculture certifying that the veterinarian who examined the animal was authorized to do business in the U.S. Current regulations provide that dogs and cats are subject to examination by an Italian veterinarian at the border, airport, or other port of entry into Italy. Pets may be sent unaccompanied by air but not by ship. Importation of pets is a personal item. However, the Embassy will assist as much as possible.

All dogs on the streets must be muzzled and leashed. No exceptions are granted, and the regulations, though not generally enforced, are invoked in case of trouble. Remember that pets are a privilege, not a right (6 FAM) and that you will be required to pay for any damage caused by your pet to the U.S. Government-owned or -leased property or furnishings.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 10/31/2001 6:00 PM

Up to a total of three pistols may be imported per year so long as the weapon is of the type, make and caliber registered in the "Catalogo Nazionale." A special permit may be requested from the local Prefect if an authorization for the importation of more weapons is necessary. The same applies for shotguns. Three shotguns may be imported per year, so long as they are smooth bore. A shot gun with a rifled bore must be registered in the "Catalogo Nazionale" as mentioned above. Upon importation, the weapon would have to be sent to Gardone Valtrompia, Brescia, to the Banco Nazionale di Prova for balistic typing and marking.

The current fees for the Porto d'Armi are incorrect and should read as follows:

Pistol and hunting permits for Diplomat: Free of charge except for the medical examination (obligatory) for a fee of Lit. 50.000.

Pistol permit for technical/administrative staff pay the government tax Lit. 170.000, three government stamps for a total of Lit. 60.000, the medical visit Lit 50.000 and the local Questura tax for approximately Lit.4.000.

Hunting permit for technical/administrative staff: government tax Lit. 260.000, regional tax Lit. 129.000, medical visit Lit. 50.000, plus a special authorization from the local Prefettura to be allowed to hunt. Lit. 40,000 in administrative stamps may also be necessary.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 1/17/2004 7:57 AM

The official unit of currency in Italy is the Euro. Its value versus the dollar fluctuates daily. You should keep a checking account with a U.S. bank to maintain your U.S. dollar obligations and salary deposit. It is also useful to maintain a Euro account in Italy. This can be done through a local bank and with the help of the Administration staff. This is very important if you are planning on purchasing a car locally, as it will most likely be needed for money transfers. Also, if you plan on taking advantage of the Telepass system (an automatic toll payment) in Italy, you will need a local bank account. As of January 2004 the exchange rate was as follows:

Euro 1.00 = US$ 1.259

US$1.00 = Euro 0.794

Italy uses the metric system for weights and measures.


1 kilo equals 2.2 pounds (kilogram) 1 ounce equals 28.25 grams 1 gram equals .04 ounces 1 pound equals .45 kilograms

A common unit of measure (weight) used when buying cold cuts, cheese, pasta, fruits and vegetables is the "etto" which equals 100 grams or about 4 ounces. If you ask for "due etti" of boiled ham, you would get about 8 ounces (half a pound.)

Liquid Measures

1 quart equals .95 liter (almost a whole liter) 1 liter equals 1 quart, 2 ounces or 4 cups 10 liters equal 2.64 gallons


1 inch equals 2.54 centimeters 1 mile equals 1.61 kilometers 1 meter equals 39 inches 1 kilometer equals .62 miles

To convert kilometers to miles, divide the number of kilometers by 8 and multiply the result by 5 or multiply the number of kilometers by .6.


Temperatures are expressed in degrees Centigrade or Celsius.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 1/17/2004 7:58 AM


All Foreign Service employees, spouses and children (regardless of age) must have an Italian identity card. For these, bring four passport-size photos, black and white or color, 2" x 3". For Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Cards, employees, spouses and children age 10 and over should bring one photo, 1" x 1".

All personnel accredited to the Italian Foreign Ministry are entitled to exemption from paying the IVA (value added tax) on purchases over 500,000 lire. The exemption is obtained by means of a certificate issued by the Foreign Ministry, which requires about 14 days from request to receipt, and which must be obtained before purchase. Some vendors are not willing to accept the exemption forms because they do not want to go through the troublesome process of registering IVA exemptions. CLO keeps a list of shops that accept the exemption, and the Foreign Ministry is informed of those that refuse to honor IVA exemptions.

All personal property imported or purchased tax free must be for personal use or bona fide gift, not for sale or barter. Other than for vehicles, no specific restrictions are placed on sale of used property, except that it should be offered for sale with preference to others with duty-free import privileges.


Currency exchange facilities, which accept all convertible currencies and travelers checks, are available at the international airports and railroad stations, as well as at banks. They generally give better exchange rates than hotels. Cashiers at some constituent posts may cash dollar checks drawn on American banks for a limited amount of dollars. In Naples you may write personal checks and have them cashed at the Consulate from your US account. It may take up to eight to ten weeks though for those checks to be deposited.

There are numerous ATM's around the city that accept US credit and debit cards.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 1/17/2004 7:59 AM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Barzini, Luigi. The Italians: a Full-Length Portrait Featuring Their Manners and Morals. Simon & Schuster: New York, 1996 (c1964).

Bassani, Giorgio. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis: A Novel. William Weaver, translator. Fine Communications, 1997.

Burke, Greg. Parma: A Year in Serie A. Trafalgar Square, 1998.

Burnett, Stanton H. The Italian Guillotine: Operation Clean Hands and the Overthrow of Italy's First Republic. Stanton H. Burnett and Luca Mantovani. Lanham, MD, Rowman and Littlefield in conjunction with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1998.

Calvino, Italo. Italian Folktales. George Martin, translator. Harcourt Brace, 1992.

Calvino, Italo. If On a Winter's Night a Traveler. William Weaver, translator. Harcourt Brace, 1982.

Claridge, Amanda. Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998.

Di Lampedusa, Giuseppe. The Leopard. Archibald Colquhoun, translator. Pantheon Books: New York, 1988.

Frei, Matt. Italy: The Unfinished Revolution. London, Mandarin, 1996.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Italian Journey, 1786-1788. Translated by W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer. Penguin Books: London, 1962.

Guicciardini, Francesco. The History of Italy. Sidney Alexander, translator. Princeton University Press, 1984.

Hay, Denys. The Italian Renaissance in Its Historical Background. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Hearder, Harry. Italy: A Short History. Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Hofmann, Paul. The Seasons of Rome: A Journal. Henry Holt and Co.; New York, 1997.

Hutchinson, Robert J. When in Rome: A Journal of Life in Vatican City. Doubleday: New York, 1998.

Lamb, Richard. War in Italy, 1943-1945: A Brutal Story. DaCapo Press, 1996.

Levi, Carlo. Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of the Year. Frances Frenaye, translator. Noonday Press, 1995.

Levi, Primo. If Not Now, When? William Weaver, translator. Penguin, 1995.

Levi, Primo. If This is a Man; and, The Truce. Stuart Woolf, translator. Penguin: New York, 1979.

Lintner, Valerio. A Traveller's History of Italy. 5th ed. Interlink Pub. Group, 1998.

Masson, Georgina and Tim Jepson. The Companion Guide to Rome. University of Rochester Press: Rochester, 1998.

Mayes, Frances. Bella Tuscany: The Sweet Life in Italy. Broadway Books: New York, 1999.

Mayes, Frances. Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy. Broadway Books: New York, 1996.

McCarthy, Mary. The Stones of Florence. Harcourt Brace: New York, 1989.

McCarthy, Mary. Venice Observed. Harcourt Brace: New York, 1963.

McCarthy, Patrick. The Crisis of the Italian State: From the Origins of the Cold War to the Fall of Berlusconi and Beyond. New York: St. Martin's Press, c1997.

Parks, Tim. Italian Neighbors or, A Lapsed Anglo-Saxon in Verona. Fawcett Books: New York, 1993.

Parks, Tim. An Italian Education: The Further Adventures of an Expatriate in Verona. Avon Books: New York, 1995.

Pirandello, Luigi. Six Characters in Search of an Author. Eric Bentley, translator, Signet Classic, 1998.

Richards, Charles. The New Italians. Penguin Books: London, 1995.

Sciascia, Leonardo. Open Doors and Three Novellas. Sacha Ravinovitch and Marie Evans, translators. Vintage Books, 1993.

Silone, Ignazio. Bread and Wine. New American Library, 1988.

Smith, Denis Mack. Modern Italy: A Political History. University of Michigan Press, 1998.

Stile, Alexander. Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian Jewish Families Under Fascism. Penguin, 1993.

Stile, Alexander. Excellent Cadavers: The Mafia and the Death of the First Republic. Vintage Books, 1996.

Be sure to bring along travel guides for the areas you are interested in visiting. Though available locally, they can be very expensive.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 1/17/2004 8:04 AM

The following Italian holidays are observed:

. New Year's Day Jan. 1

Epiphany Jan. 6 Martin Luther King's Birthday Jan. 20 President's Day Feb. 17 Easter Monday varies Liberation Day Apr. 25 Labor Day May 1

Memorial Day May 26 Foundation of the Italian Republic June 2 Independence Day July 4 Assumption Day Aug. 15

Labor Day Sept. 1 St. Gennaro's Day Sept. 19 Columbus Day Oct. 13 All Saints' Day Nov. 1

Veteran's Day Nov. 11 Thanksgiving Day Nov. 27 Feast of the Immaculate Conception Dec. 8

Christmas Day Dec. 25 St. Stephen's Day Dec. 26 In addition, each city observes the local patron saint's day, and most businesses close for a week or two in August

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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