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Rights for Tourists

Rights for Tourists

When traveling to a foreign country, tourists vacationing in Italy may encounter problems if they are not familiar with the laws and regulations safeguarding their rights regarding travel, reception and hospitality.

Having the right information at hand is always a good idea, particularly information about your rights as a tourist in Italy; about your destination and the services and transport you use; and about formalities such as documents, visas, healthcare and currency. 

In response to this need, the Italian Ministry of Tourism drew up the Charter of Rights for Tourists in 2010.

The guide contains information useful to tourists organizing their travels to Italy and explains in detail the laws in force.
This section will summarize the principal and most useful information from the Charter, including tourists’ rights in terms of:

Orientation and Information

Information about tourism in Italy, tourist services and sites of interest are provided by the Italian National Agency for Tourism - ENIT, by the Regions and by the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, by Tourist Information and Reception Offices (IAT): the latter provide tourists with general information and help them during their stay in our country.

Healthcare

EU and non-EU citizens (if entitled to assisted health care in EU countries) traveling in Italy with the required certificate (European Health Insurance Card or a provisional replacement certificate) may obtain services required directly, free of charge – excepting the payment of an eventual co-pay (called ticket)– at a public hospital orfacility covered in private agreement with the National Health Service. Non-EU citizens coming from countries not covered by the agreement are provided with health services that must be paid for in accordance with the relative scale of charges. For further information, consult the website for the Ministry of Health. For information and assistance please find the relevant Emergency Numbers.

Customs

This section explains the laws in force regarding import/export of goods and currency EU and non-EU tourists traveling to and from the European Union.

For information on animals, protected species, arms, cultural goods and medicines, consult the Charter for Travel Customs and the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency. For Currency exchange/transfer equal to or more than €10,000, a declaration from Italian Customs is required.

Hospitality

Customers have the right to see the prices of offered services clearly displayed in the hotel lobby. Hotelkeepers are obliged to rent rooms to all customers. Rental can be denied only in case of unavailability of accommodation, the customers’ failure to produce proof of identity or refusal to pay the agreed amount. People with disabilities are entitled to access tourist services with due regard to the principles of non-discrimination, equal opportunity and participation in public life.

Tourism and Cultural Heritage

EU citizens under 18 and over 65 years of age, non-EU citizens coming from States who respect the principle of reciprocity, as well as disabled EU citizens with one relative or other companion, provided the latter prove to work for welfare and health care services (see Ministerial Decree n. 239, 20 April 2006), are entitled to enter State institutes and places of culture free of charge.

Air Transportation

All airlines operating in the territory of EU are required to inform passengers of their rights in case of denied boarding, cancellation or prolonged flight delay, without prejudice to the guarantees for tourist packages purchasers. The following is part of the essential information on the topic. Information regarding the safeguard of airline passengers’ rights are listed in detail in the Passenger’s Bill of Rights.

Railway Transportation

Before boarding trains clients must purchase tickets appropriate for the type of train, class and service they intend to use. This section contains information on disruptions (delays, cancellations), assistance and travelers’ rights to compensation. For further information visit the website of Trenitalia. Persons with disablities can visit the page for persons with reduced mobility on Trenitalia.com. Trenitalia.

Maritime Transportation

The right to maritime transportation is recognized once the passenger has purchased a ticket, which constitutes proof of the conclusion of a contract binding the carrier to respect the elements contained within. This section treats the principal information regarding Reimbursements and Carrier Responsibilities.

Road Transportation

The holders of valid driving licenses, issued by States of the European Union, can drive vehicles corresponding to the class of the license they possess, in Italy. The holders of driving licenses issued by non-EU countries can drive vehicles corresponding to the class of the license they possess, in Italy, if they also possess an international driving license issued according to the Convention of Vienna (1968) or the Convention of Geneva (1949), or a sworn translation of the national driving license.

For more information, visit the section on Driving Regulations.

Assertion of Rights

This section treats the tourist's options in the case of administrative violations (e.g. re. hotel grading system, price abuses, non-respect of hygienic and sanitary standards, failure to issue fiscal receipts), penal violations (theft or fraud), compensation claims, and other cases necessitating assistance and advice.