January 4


Some useful information for living in Italy

By Rick

January 4, 2014

OK, so it’s time for another “useful” post.  I’ve just had a look at my last few articles and realized that it’s been a while since I’ve written anything of actual value for you, my loyal readers—especially those of you who dream of the living in Italy.  But if you’re one of those folks who only read my blog in the hope of having a good laugh at my expense, this isn’t one of those posts.  So you might want to re-read my encounters with the malocchio or even more tragic, the Italian bureaucracy.

So today I’ll address a mixed bag of practical topics on living in Italy as an expat.


First thing to know: get used to NOT using your credit card for every day purchases.  Of course Rome is a big city and a major tourist destination, so it is easier here than the rest of the country.  Still, most U.S. credit card companies charge a significant foreign transaction fee, so it would be to your advantage to get out of the habit of using plastic for everything.  Back in the States, I’d use a credit card for everything, even a $2.50 coffee at Starbucks.

Checks are uncommon, too, and even more cumbersome for a foreigner who must show I.D. (usually a passport) each time.  Even then, good luck.  And can anyone even recall the procedure for using traveler’s checks?   Do they still issue those?

banking in Italy
Fort Knox?

Furthermore, I wouldn’t suggest trying to set up an Italian bank account—at least not until you’re sure that you’ll be staying for longer than a year.  Even then, my inclination is to avoid an Italian bank account.  The Italian banking system is much more restrictive than in the U.S. and typically loaded with procedural red tape.  And instead of paying interest on your money, they expect YOU to pay a fee to park your money in their bank!  Not to mention those annoying air-locked security doors that you have to pass through each time.

Instead, what I would recommend is working with an American bank before your leave.  Talk to them and ask about their foreign transaction fees and ATM charges.  I use a Charles Schwab High-Yield Checking Account and it allows me to use European ATMs with no transaction fees and no exchange premium.  And if the European bank charges you to use their ATM (in Rome they don’t), Schwab will reimburse you at the end of the month.

The checking account must be linked to a brokerage account that requires a minimum $1,000 starting balance. But after the brokerage account is opened, you can transfer that money into your checking account the next day and use it as you see fit. There is no minimum balance after the initial deposit in either account. This has proved to be a very easy, convenient solution for me and I would highly suggest looking into it.  (NOTE: I am not affiliated with Charles Schwab Bank in any way, and so my advice is merely based on my own anecdotal experience and that of others whom I’ve talked to.)


Internet Service

I’ve gotten a few inquiries lately about Internet service in Rome (and Italy in general).  The good news: the Internet service is better than the postal service. For the bad news, read my previous post about the Italian postal service.

Simply put, Internet providers in Italy are about as reliable as the politicians and priests. They’ll make you promises, fill you with hope, but then ultimately leave you disappointed.  If you want ADSL installed in your apartment, you’d better have some patience.  (Fortunately, if you’ve been waiting for your Permesso di Soggiorno, it’s likely you’ve already cultivated this virtue.)

Tips for living in Italy
In theory, this exists. Personally, I’ve never gotten it to work.

The Italian telecommunication market is dominated by Telecom Italia, the former state-owned monopoly.  Although users can now choose from other service providers, almost all fixed-line hardware is provided by Telecom Italia.  But yes, they also offer high-speed Internet with an ADSL package, and you can get your land-line telephone and Internet at a monthly fixed rate.  In theory.

These days there are many other providers besides Telecom Italia (for example Infostrada), offering a confusing range of telecommunication services.  Unfortunately, these companies are usually even less reliable than Telecom, if you can believe that.  For this reason, many people choose not to get a fixed line at all, and instead use their mobile connection for both phone calls and internet access.  This is what I opted to do.  I’ve used “3” and they’re decent…not super-fast, of course, but good enough for email, Facebook, etc. And pretty cheap, too, at 19 Euro a month.  And while they put limits on how much you can download, I’ve never once exceeded my limit.

Here are some recent offers from various companies:

Tre: http://www.tre.it/opzioni/internet-con-chiavetta

Wind: http://www.wind.it/it/privati/tariffe_e_opzioni/internet/?prov=HP2_1

TIM: http://www.tim.it/internet/ultra-internet-4G-LTE

Before you opt for this solution, however, you should first check the signal strength in your area, which you can do here: http://opensignal.com/

Getting around town

If at all possible, avoid ever driving a car in Rome.  Just don’t do it.  It’s not that the drivers are all murderous psychopaths–which of course they are—but the problem is that eventually you become one of them.  I drove a car in Rome during my first six months in town and then wisely opted to preserve what little was left of my sanity over the marginal “convenience” of owning a vehicle.  (On the plus side, my vocabulary of Roman expletives improved dramatically during that period. In the beginning, they were all directed AT me, but once I got the hang of it, I quickly made up for the imbalance. I never would have thought myself capable of shifting gears, talking on my cell phone, and making obscene gestures at the same time. As it turns out, I can.)

driving in rome
What’s more shocking to you: the way the car is parked, or the fact the police have taken notice?

But even if, by some miracle of divine intervention, you successfully run the gauntlet and arrive home safely, you’ll spend another 30-40 minutes looking for a place to park before giving up and leaving your car on the sidewalk like everybody else. ‘Sti cazzi!


So then anyone who’s seen one too many movies about Italy will have the big idea to just get a scooter/Vespa/motorino.  This is actually a great idea—if you have lost your job, not to mention all hope—and want to leave a big life insurance settlement to your next of kin.  It’s not a direct method of killing yourself; it’s suicide by proxy, so technically your insurance carrier will still be obliged to pay the claim to your beneficiaries.

Seriously, this is not something that the uninitiated should attempt without proper training.  Instead, if you really want to channel Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, then hook up with one of the tour companies that offer this sort of experience. Check out Scooteroma.  They’ll keep you safe and you can enjoy this unique way to see all the famous sites of Rome.  But unless “romanaccio” is your first language, don’t rely on this for transportation.

However, if I still haven’t convinced you and you’re determined to donate your organs while they’re still viable for medical science, then you’ll have other obstacles to conquer beyond the kamikaze Fiat drivers.  I’m referring, of course, to the bureaucracy involved in getting a motorino license.

In January of 2013 they changed the law and now the once beloved Patentino (mini-license used for scooters) no longer exists.  You now must go through basically the same useless autoscuola as every other would-be assassin on the road.  For those in Rome, all the info can be found here: Motorizzazione


Once in a while you’ll need to get a document notarized in Italy.  To the American readers, this may not sound like a big deal.  In the States, anyone can be a notary and almost everyone has a friend, relative, or co-worker who can easily perform this task gratis.  Or else you can seek out the services of a random notary and pay a very small fee.

Not so in Italy.  For some reason, notary services are big business.  And not only that, the fees for these services are highly variable and completely subjective.  Jess and I needed to get a document notarized for our wedding, and then discovered they required almost an entire month’s rent to sign their name on a piece of paper.

Of course, this same service can also be performed for free at the local Comune…IF you don’t mind waiting six months or so.  At least in Rome.

For Americans, the best solution for most tasks is to use the U.S. Embassy.  You can easily make an appointment via the website and have it done there.  Here’s the page for notary services.  The appointment links are at the bottom of the page.

A call out

Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember back to my first days in Rome and recalling the biggest challenges that I encountered during that time.  Certainly, the Permesso di Soggiorno was number one and I’ve covered that nightmare at length in several other posts, or use the form above this paragraph to get the free step-by-step guide.  But beyond that, what are some of YOUR lingering questions concerning living in Italy?  Leave your comments below and perhaps I’ll take them up in a future post.  Of course, they must meet my criteria of providing adequate material for sarcasm and ridicule.

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About the author

Living in the Caput Mundi and trying to decipher Italian culture for the English speaking world.

  • thtathanks for the recommendation regarding where to place one’s money, I have always wondered about that and (unless my search-fu sucks, which is possible) it’s difficult to find information on-line as to where an expat American should put their money. I didn’t think it was possible to avoid having an Italian bank account, and I imagined there would be some sort of eventual legal issues or cost issues with constantly accessing a bank account abroad.

    I will say that one might still want to deposit some money in an Italian bank account and put up with the ridiculous charges, as this will enable one to have a Bancomat (debit) card. Most Italians have them and they come very much in handy when one can’t access an ATM (it can and will happen). When you need carburante for your macchina after hours, those “24 hour” machines at every gas station may not take credit cards, only cash or Bancomat. Worse yet, if you are trying to fill up and put too much money in, you will get a receipt that you will have to return with to get your change. Some gas stations now won’t even give you change for your receipt, you can only use the receipt to buy more fuel and only within a certain period (I’ve seen as short as 7 days).

  • Hi Rick. I think addressing Italian medical practices is worth doing. We think the care here is great, but it is a bit surprising how little concern there is for modesty. While the doctor-patient time ratio is significant, it’s a surprise to most of us that one undresses and dresses without, shall we say, benefit or privacy. And then there are the male mammographers….

    As mentioned above, contracts for leases are quite different. It is only legal to have an lease for UP TO 18 months, or the traditional 4+4. Getting out of a lease needs to be clear up front, as does who is responsible for what on maintenance.

    • Ha, yes, I neglected to mention the disregard for modesty. It’s something that we Americans find surprising. Good point, thanks.

      And regarding the housing contracts, I don’t pretend to understand all the nuances, and I’m not sure that anyone at the comune does, either. Even if you think you’ve covered yourself, there are always surprises, it seems. But that’s what makes life in Italy so “interesting!”

      • Not only the contracts…. There is no ‘Equal Opportunity Housing.’ If they don’t like you, they do not rent to you.

        • That’s right. And for an expat, that can either be a good thing or bad thing. Sometimes they prefer expats because they think it will be easier to evict them when they want to give the apartment to their nipote.

  • A bit of a buzz kill? My experience on getting a bank account ( had to as I bought property) was great… Friendly, helpful and courteous…. Yes it is very different than US…. but why shouln’t it be? I am moving to ITALY to experience ITALY…Not to take the USA with me. Driving in Italy…. Yes have been in Rome with a car…Not any different than driving in NYC…actually not as scarry. Ony issue is finding parking…I have my secret area…over by Monte Mario park…

    • I’ve driven around Rome, I thought it was OK for driving. Just another big city, and I hail from a US city with an easy-to-navigate grid… as opposed to an ancient city that very much is not on a grid, with endless roundabouts and one-way streets. Of course, I am accustomed to how Italians drive and I can read the signs (quickly!). One must definitely have one’s wits about one’s self and fast reflexes!

      And speaking to another point Rick made, this is why Italians ride motorinos in the city despite the risks: it’s a much faster way of getting around. A Roman friend of mine made it to our flat on a visit, from the other side of Rome (roughly in the area of Cinecittà), in ten minutes on his motorcycle. A trip that would have taken thirty minutes or longer in a car!

  • If foreign transaction fees are the deterrent for using a credit card, get a card without a foreign transaction fee. (Chase alone has probably a half dozen of them; my favorite is the Sapphire Preferred, which even includes chip-signature.) If the concern is that few places want to deal with credit cards, that’s another story… but foreign transaction fees shouldn’t stop you from using credit cards, any more than foreign ATM fees should stop you from using ATMs. It’s all about using the right product (e.g., Schwab checking, which I also use!).

    • Thanks, that’s great advice on the credit card! To be honest, I just don’t use them in Italy, except for maybe the occasional car rental or hotel for a weekend.

    • I don’t think you can retain a US credit card without a US address for billing, unless you have a friend you’ve made an arrangement with to receive your mail and use their address.

      (remembering that this post is about living in Italy, not visiting Italy)

      I’ve used a credit card many times in Italy without an issue, it is not like the old days… but one should definitely have cash on hand as a backup, some businesses may not take them or may not be able to accept them on that particular day.

      Cash is always preferred by shopkeepers and restaurateurs in Italy, as it aids tax evasion (a national sport that rivals calcio in popularity). You might even get offered a small discount or freebies at a meal if paying cash (but, I think it’s poor form to take the initiative and ask; could be wrong).

  • Just FYI to all, as of the first of this year (2014), all rent must now be paid by bonifico (bank transfer) or check (!? lol) to landlords. If your apartment contract is registered (in regola), you might want to think of actually opening some sort of Italian bank acct for such purposes. I suppose wiring money is fine, but seems like a pain to me. This is supposedly to crack down on rents in nero(undocumented/untaxed) but I fail to see how so…..those without a registered contract will continue to take cash under the table until they (maybe) get caught in some way.

    • Great information, thanks! I wasn’t aware of this new procedure. As you say, though, most of the registered contracts are probably already compliant, and the ones “in nero” will continue to be cash under the table. I wonder what the new rules are for people who only sub-let a room?

    • Italy is indeed the land of well-intentioned but ineffective laws that only accomplish inconveniencing everyone!!! When we retrieved my grandfather’s ashes at one of the Florence cemeteries (he could only remain buried 12 years), we were asked where we planned to store the ashes. Then we had to fill out a form with such information, paid a fee and it was stamped. We were told the carabinieri could come by at any time to inspect and see if the ashes were indeed stored where we said they would be; apparently cremated remains are considered hazardous waste…

      We did as asked, and then our next stop was the same as previously planned… to scatter his ashes at what was his favorite fishing spot on one of the tributaries to the Arno.

  • Glad to read that your conclusion about openig an Italian bank account is the same one we arrived at. I echo your praises about the Schwab account as we are doing the same and it’s been super easy. The only hassles we’ve encountered by not having a local account is when we need to pay a fee at our kids’ school. While shopkeepers and the like are happy do deal in cash (too bad for our frequent flier points ;-( there are certain transactions which require the Bancomat or some other local electronic transfer of funds. And for this it doesn’t make sense to pay the wire transfer fee via Schwab or another US account. So, on a few occasions we’ve had a friend here pay on our behalf and we just give them the cash instead. Not ideal, but do-able. Maybe there’s a workaround I’m not aware of. Some have mentioned the PosteItalia bancomat, but others say that’s not worth the hassle either (and I think you DO need a Permesso to open an account at the Poste Office, which thankfully we have after a 4 month wait!) But we are opting to ride out our year here with Schwab banking only, lack of car or scooter (Hai ragione on that one, Rick — and you forget to mention the more than occasional lack of helmets on folks, or the little kids zooming on the backs of parents without any kind of seatbelt – yikes!) and mobile phones only:-) This is in Genoa, by the way. Which may be slightly more put-together than Rome. But just slightly;-)

    • Great feedback, Jacqueline, thanks! Yes, I think you highlighted my point exactly: while every situation is different, often the inconveniences (and costs) of obtaining an Italian bank account are greater than the inconveniences of not having one. As you said, there’s always a work around if you acquire “l’arte di arrangiarsi!” Thanks for the perspective from Genoa…Ciao!!

      • I sent a Christmas card from Malaysia to an Italian family in Rome using the Malaysian national courier service, and surprise, surprise, the card arrived in time (the family sent me a photo of the card they received). I sent in quite last minute when I returned to Malaysia after my vacation in Italy (mostly in Rome for a month). I’m sure once it the card made its arrival in Italy, it would have to be handled by the Italian postal service.

        I have been planning my move to Italy and planning to execute it by 2015, so I AM following your posts very closely. Grazie mille!

        • You’re quite welcome, Alice, and thanks for your input on the mail service. Best of luck to you as you plan your “leap!” It’s not too soon to start putting things in order, especially finances.

  • Hi Rick,brilliant commentary as usual.I was wondering if in one of your next articles you could attempt to talk or describe the “”health system””in Italy,and where would our rights be or stand(as north americans) if we happen to be there as visitors!!!!in case bad luck strikes and we need to be hospitalized.On the one hand we often hear of the great geniuses of doctors and caregivers that they have(including their medical schools)but often we also hear about some horror stories,because this test machine wasn’t working or that x-ray machine wasn’t functioning properly.Sorry to say this but i hear from relatives that in the south of the country things can get really challenging,bordering on scary!!!!!!!!I hope i am not asking for too much,but honestly i know it’s a touchy subject right now.Thanks Rick………….

    • Hi Pino, and thanks for your kind words!! And don’t worry about being touchy…your questions are very valid and important.

      First, to address the two differing stories that you’ve heard…in my opinion, they’re both true and it depends on where you live. Yes, unfortunately, the further you go south, the greater your chances of a “scary” encounter (in general, of course every situation can be different). And while there are those “machine isn’t working” incidents, in general I’ve found the Italian healthcare givers to be kind and very competent.

      And if bad luck strikes, never worry, free emergency care is extended to everyone, including tourists. However, if you need rountine medical care, you’ll have to either pay out of pocket, but a private policy, OR, yes, you can participate in the state system for a small annual fee. I did, in fact, write an entire post on this. Just scroll down past my irreverent story-telling to the actual information at the bottom of the page:


      And finally, Buon Anno! Ciao!


    • Sadly, there is a great deal of ignorance (I mean that in an non-judgmental way, just stating a fact) among Americans about health care elsewhere in the industrialized world… United States-ians stubbornly cling to this notion that the US does everything the best despite abundant evidence that Americans pay WAY more than in other countries and get WAY less in return, except for the wealthiest who of course can always afford the best in everything including health care.

      Many are not even covered, something inconceivable to the rest of the world (and more recently we have the spectacle of an elected government doing its best to deprive even more of its citizens of affordable access to health care: also inconceivable elsewhere). Quite a few are bankrupted thanks to medical bills and quite a few don’t even go to the doctor for fear of the cost.

      Italians live longer than we do and are generally healthier (mean expected lifespan has actually gone DOWN in the US recently). That is certainly due in part to better eating habits and a less stressful lifestyle, but surely the superior health care system that everyone can access has something to do with it.

      We have a three year plan to move permanently to Italy and using the health care system there is not even on my list of worries. I’ve always thought it odd that Americans obsess about taxes while ignoring how they are gouged (the kindest, most G-rated adjective I can think of) by, among others, the US health care system.

  • I will say that having an Italian bank account is handy, if for no other reason to pay bills electronically. We live in a small city in Northern Italy and found there really wasn’t any better way to do this than to open a BNL account that we could transfer the bill money to and then go online to pay the bills. It was also necessary when we purchased our car and needed a local bank cashier’s check. The audit trail has helped on more than one occasion when the landlord lost track of our rent payments.

    • Thanks, Mike, it’s good to hear that perspective. And it’s probably also the case that a small city in the north is different that dealing with the same issues in Rome. But in some odd way, I actually sort of enjoy going to the bar/tobacco shop to pay my electric bill, etc. But you bring up a great point about the audit trail. I think that the individual expat must decide what works for them, depending on a number of factors. Mine is only one man’s experience. And so your input is very much appreciated…grazie!

    • You can pay all your utility bills at the Post office. They have a machine that you get your number from for the queue. Its not hard and most of the times very fast.

    • Bwahahahaha! Indeed, in Italy once it crosses the banco, the transaction is final so shop wisely. Especially in small- and medium-sized shops. At large chains such as Euronics policies are a bit more consumer-friendly but we have been asked in the past to bring the defective item (a Sony TV still under factory warranty) in the original box. Few in Italy have the space in their flats to store bulky boxes just in case they eventually have to be returned! Negotiating their actual acceptance of the return was another story, and even then it took several days to get the replacement TV (yes, they didn’t just replace like-for-like from the sales floor, it had to come from the regional Sony center). In all three trips involved.

      none of this nonsense would ever deter me from moving to Italy, however! It’s part of the experience… this is just how Italy works. My stepfather could never, ever get used to this sort of thing, nor all sorts of other Italian habits like jumping the queue or parking wherever a spot can be ‘created’, despite having spent quite a bit of time in Italy.

  • Hi Rick,
    If you do have a bank account in an Italian bank, make sure you don’t lose your bank card or forget your password. This happened to me at least 3 times during my 2 years in Rome and I must say that obtaining a new card was almost like pulling teeth without any tools. Here in Canada if that happens, you immediately get a new card and set your own password. In Italy you. It’s wait for a new card to arrive at the bank, go to the bank during hours of business, sign away half your life then use their own password. Process was brutal. After the 2nd time I gave up and didn’t bother asking for a new card! Of course, if I hadn’t lost,y card or the password, I wouldn’t have to go thru this. Maybe that’s the message. No client service, as you know!!

    I recall my fist few weeks trying to navigate the streets around my be neighbourhood. Can’t tell you how many times I got lost. Maybe you can write about The old roman infrastructure. No rhyme or reason on the unparalleled streets. Fun to get lost when you have time as a tourist but when you live there, it can be very frustrated. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.

    Thanks for your blog. Always look forward to reading your adventures in Italy.
    Un bacio

    • Thanks as always, Joce! I think your final point hits “home:” there are a lot things that seem “charming” when playing the tourist, that aren’t so charming when they need to fit into your life. I had similar experience when I lost my wallet: 5 minutes on the Internet and I had a new FL driver’s licence delivered to my dad’s house in less than a week. For the replacement Permesso, it was 7 MONTHS and counting…

      • Joce, I must say, at their defense, that c. cards or identity thefts are a big business in Italy, which is part of the reason why the replacement process is so complicated. When Rick lost his American DL and all he had to do it was sending an email to receive a new one in the mailbox a few days later, I was sure shocked at the efficiency, but also the danger of fraud. That’s sure to happen in Italy if you mail an ID.

        • Good point, Jess. You know, I’m always a little creeped out by the fact that there’s another Rick Zullo with a Florida driver’s licence wandering around Rome. Hopefully he’s not writing a blog, too!

  • Hi Rick, thanks for your entertaining and helpful blog. As we all know, Italian wines are fantastic and arguably among the best on the planet, but their beer is a little…well, lacking is the kindest word I can use in polite company. However, the last time we were there (in 2012), we happened upon an organic food market at Circo Massimo and found a craft brewer. We tried his beer – a lager, as I recall – and it was GOOD!

    Perhaps in a future post you can explore the nascent Italian craft beer scene? I found several beer bars in Rome on the web and will have to try at least a couple when we’re in town in March. Ciao!

  • Hi Rick…I have lived in Florence for over a year, have a Permesso and internet (my way of telling you that I have acquired patience and some insanity), but I still rely on ATMs for all my money. I have been wary of opening a bank account here. Could you share your thoughts on that?
    Really enjoy your blog posts. I write about my adventures and thoughts on life in Italy on several sites, Huffington Post being the most well known. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-condie/moving-to-italy_b_4177765.html
    Best wishes, Lisa

    • Hi Lisa, and thanks for your kind words! But yes, like you, I rely on the Bancomat for my banking needs. I’ve got the Schwab account that allows unlimited international withdrawls, and I use my AMEX for the occasional plane ticket or hotel when travelling about.
      Now that you make me think of it, I should have included this topic within this post. Italian banks are tough to deal with…typically loaded with procedural red tape and instead of paying interest on your money, they expect YOU to pay a fee to park your money in their bank!
      (Great articles on HP, by the way! Very helpful!)

      • I actually opened a BancoPosta Click account with the Post Office (!!!) and it couldn’t have been easier. Well….easier in terms of Italy. With Banco Posta Click, I didn’t have to pay any fees, do free online bill-pay, and haven’t had any real issues. (knock wood). When the woman told me the whole signing of forms would take 5 minutes…it was actually true. The only niggle was I hadn’t registered on the Poste site myself first (which nobody told me to do) and when I arrived to sign up and sign on the line, the woman frowned and said “as of last week we can no longer sign you up online. You’ll have to go home, register an account online, and come back.” Ho hum. Another thing I like is when I have stuff to do in the Post office, I can take the coveted letter “E” and usually fly through the lines (unless they feel like backlogging E’s that day….)

        • Hey, this could be the perfect compromise solution! It goes beyond my method of using only US banks, but doesn’t quite require “full immersion” into the Italian banking system. Seriously, I’m going to look into this…thanks so much for sharing! Ciao!

          • No problem! I chose it because I needed a bank acct somehow and was iffy on all of the traditional banks and stories/feed I had heard. A friend of mine works at the Post and suggested it. The only thing I find annoying is the same old story…..when I do a bonifico online you then have to plug in your info (and debit card) in the little card reader they give you too. Not terrible, but….I suppose it goes along with all of the suspicion and ID theft issues, lol ???? But the process wasn’t terrible at all.

  • We didn’t have any trouble getting a landline 10 years ago when we bought our house. I had a friend call Telecom and 3 days later we had a phone. We get excellent high speed Internet for a monthly rate and have been very happy with the service. We use Cloud Italia for our house in the mountains as there is no broadband in the area. It works well too, though there were a few problems getting it set up.
    I agree with you about driving in Rome and would extend that advice to any large city in Italy.

    • Hi Debra, thanks for the feedback. And I suppose your comment highlights the difference between services in Rome and a smaller town in Tuscany. But as for driving, yes, the only sane option in Rome is using public transportation for getting around town. And if you want to get out of town for a weekend trip, it’s easy (and cheap) enough to rent for a few days

    • Debra, Rick

      I am based in the hills just outside Lucca and have found trying to get connectivity to be a nightmare over the last few years. Got the yes we can do it from Telecom Italia for ADSL a few years back, only to be subsequently told that in fact I couldn’t get it – to far from the MPOE…Currently have CloudItalia fixed wireless…was promised 6M down when I installed…have been getting on average less that 0.22M the last week I have been here! Dial up would be faster! I have tried using dongles from 3 – turned out to be pretty expensive and not very reliable…so basically still hunting for a good solution…happy for input!

      • Ciao! I wish I could help, but actually in Rome things are improving…I don’t know much about the more rural areas of Tuscany. Debra must know, though, because she has a couple of great blog with lots of amazing photos, so I’m sure she’s worked it out somehow.

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