What Is the Currency Used in Italy? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Money in Italy!

By Alice Ross | EUROPE

Dec 12
currency used in italy

No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in Italy. From historical sites to picturesque cities, the famously delicious cuisine, and the idyllic countryside, this country has it all. You can enjoy Italy’s rich culture and history, and eat to your heart's content in the land of pizza, pasta, and gelato. But money is a key consideration for every trip, and it's important to know your destination's currency in advance to have a stress-free travel experience. So, if you're wondering what is the currency used in Italy, this article will help you.

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Below, we answer this essential question, along with other important things you need to know to enjoy a seamless trip.

Currency Used in Italy

Italy has become a member of the Eurozone. Like most countries in Europe, it switched to the Euro when many early members of the European Union started adopting it on 1 January 1999.

Other types of currencies are not widely accepted in the country. And although you may be able to find some establishments that accept alternative currencies, you can expect the exchange rate to be very unfavorable.

coins

Euro Characteristics

Euro Symbols: EUR, €

1 EUR: One euro is made up of 100 cents.

Coins: Coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and €1 and €2.

Banknotes: Banknotes are available in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500.

Exchanging Currency in Italy

There are ​a few tips you may want to follow to convert your home currency into euros at the lowest possible rates. Here are some of them.

euro currency used in Italy

Before changing your first dollars into euros, you should know that you will get a much better exchange rate when you choose to pay with a credit card than you ever will by directly withdrawing money from an ATM.

Depending on the current exchange rate, you could save a lot of money by travelling cashless. The definite bank-by-bank figures to change your home currency into the currency used in Italy range from 4% worse than credit cards up to 14.25% worse.

But of course, you also have to keep in mind that not every establishment accepts credit cards. In particular, small stalls and service providers may not be able to. However, you can easily use your credit card to book plane tickets or to pay for hotels and restaurants.

Where to Change Money in Italy

Just as when you are traveling in any other parts of the world, there’s no better place to exchange money than at a bank. This way, you will be able to get the best rates possible by paying the lowest change fees.

currency used in Italy euro note

If you are in a pinch and in need of local currency or traveler's checks fast, the best place to go to is a bank.

Many establishments trying to draw you in with "Exchange! Wechsel! Cambio!" are exchange booths. The majority offer bad exchange rates and higher fees than banks, and should only be used if there is no other option available to you in times of need.

It is not rocket science, and it is obvious why knowing the currency used in Italy is not the only thing you should be concerned about. Knowing how you can save some bucks is also important, especially if you have a limited travel budget and are trying to save money.

Using Credit Cards and Debit Cards in Italy

euro coins

It is worth noting that all major types of credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Italy. Normally, restaurants and shops put up a sign on their door to show what types of cards they accept. But then again, it might be better to ask them first just to make sure.

Again, you have to remember that smaller businesses and establishments may not accept payment by credit or debit card. So, you should make sure to carry some cash with you just in case you need it. Fortunately, you will be able to find ATM machines easily all over the country, especially in big cities like Rome, Venice, and Florence.

If Possible, Choose to Be Charged in Euro

wallet euro currency used in Italy

An important thing you have to be aware of is that using a credit card or debit card abroad is something known as Dynamic Currency Conversion, or DCC. So, how does it work? Well, this is when you pay and you are asked whether you want to be charged in the local currency or in your home currency.

Because the currency used in Italy is Euros, it may sound less complicated to pay in it. However, this may also mean that an exchange rate will be applied to each transaction, which could end up costing you more.

Top tips to plan a great trip to Italy

Here are a few more of our recommended tips and resources to help you design a successful trip to Italy, and save some valuable euros along the way!

Pick up a good, up-to-date guidebook

Our favorites in 2020 are the DK Eyewitness Italy, which is packed with gorgeous illustrations that will transport you straight to your destination, and of course the very detailed, bestselling Lonely Planet Italy.

There are a few other guidebook series we like as well. If you're not sure which guidebook imprint is right for your style of travel and your tastes, check out our article, Top 5 Best Travel Guidebooks to Buy in 2020.

Accommodation

A trip to Italy is your chance to sleep in grand historical city hotels, charming countryside farms and inns, and even hillside castles! If you're on a budget, don't worry: there are also plenty of hostels and affordable guesthouses to accommodate you. Booking.com is our go-to platform to find the best range of options at the best prices in Italy. 

Check out your accommodation options now.

Car rental

Keen to get your own wheels to explore Italy? We recommend booking your rental car from online ahead of your trip through Discover Cars. This user-friendly comparison platform has become our go-to for finding and booking car rentals around the world. It offers the best and most reliable selection of vehicles in Italy for all types of budgets, as well as an easy booking and rental process. You can search and compare offers, and potentially save up to 70% on early bookings.

Find a great value rental car.

Travel insurance

Granted, this is not the most exciting part of travel planning. But personal past experiences and the horror stories we've heard from other travelers have taught us never to travel abroad without reliable travel medical coverage, and we recommend you don't either! We use SafetyWing, a flexible and affordable provider that can protect you against mishaps from just $1.32 per day. If you ask us, it's a steal to be able to enjoy your holiday with greater peace of mind!

If you're looking for more extensive coverage that also protects you against theft of your electronics and belongings and covers you for all types of sports and activities, World Nomads is a pricier but more comprehensive option used by many global travelers.


So, there you have it! Hopefully, this article helped you not only to find out the currency used in Italy, but also other information that will help you save money while travelling in the country. If you have other helpful tips you want to add to this article, make sure to let us know in the comment box below!

Read more:

What Is the Drinking Age in Italy? You'll Be Surprised to Know!
10 Best Places to Backpack in Europe
12 Must See Cities for First Time in Europe

Don't forget to also share this article with your family and friends and help them make their travel experience better and easier!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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