Entering Italy from most other parts of the EU is generally uncomplicated, with no border checkpoints and no customs thanks to the Schengen Agreement. Document and customs checks remain standard if arriving from (or departing to) a non-Schengen country.

Customs Regulations

On leaving the EU, non-EU citizens can reclaim any Value Added Tax (VAT) on any purchases over €154.94. For more information, visit www.italia.it.

Duty Free Allowances

Visitors coming into Italy from non-EU countries can import the following items duty free:

spirits & liqueurs1L
wine4L (or 2L of fortified wine)
perfume60mL
cigarettes200
other goodsup to a value of €300/430 (travelling by land/sea)

Passports

  • European Union and Swiss citizens can travel to Italy with their national identity card alone. All other nationalities must have a valid passport and may be required to fill out a landing card (at airports).
  • By law you are supposed to have your passport or ID card with you at all times. You'll need one of these documents for police registration every time you check into a hotel.
  • In theory there are no passport checks at land crossings from neighbouring countries, but random customs controls do occasionally still take place between Italy and Switzerland.

Visas

Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days (or at all for EU nationals); some nationalities need a Schengen visa.

More Information

  • Italy is a signatory of the Schengen Convention, an agreement whereby participating countries abolished customs checks at common borders. EU citizens do not need a Schengen tourist visa to enter Italy. Nationals of some other countries, including Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA, do not need a tourist visa for stays of up to 90 days. To check the visa requirements for your country, see www.schengenvisainfo.com/tourist-schengen-visa.
  • All non-EU and non-Schengen nationals entering Italy for more than 90 days or for any reason other than tourism (such as study or work) may need a specific visa. See http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it or contact an Italian consulate for details.
  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date from Italy.

Electronic Authorisation

The European Commission has outlined plans for an electronic vetting system for travellers to the Schengen area.

Under the proposed terms of the European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS), all non-EU travellers would be required to complete an online form and pay a €5 fee before travelling to the Schengen block.

If approved by the European Parliament, the system may come into force in 2020.

For further details, see www.etiaseurope.eu.

Permesso di Soggiorno

  • A permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay, also referred to as a residence permit) is required by all non-EU nationals who stay in Italy longer than three months. In theory, you should apply for one within eight days of arriving in Italy.
  • EU citizens do not require a permesso di soggiorno, but are required to register with the local registry office (Ufficio Anagrafe) if they stay for more than three months.
  • Check exact requirements on www.poliziadistato.it – click on the English tab and then follow the links.
  • The main office dealing with permits is the Ufficio Immigrazione (https://questure.poliziadistato.it).