No matter where you are in Italy, dial 113 for all emergencies, or find somebody (your concierge, a passerby) who will call for you, as not all 113 operators speak English; the Italian word to use to draw people's attention in an emergency is Aiuto! (Help!, pronounced ah-you-toh). Pronto soccorso means "first aid." When confronted with a health emergency, head straight for the Pronto Soccorso department of the nearest hospital or dial 118. To call a Red Cross ambulance (ambulanza), dial 06/5510. If you just need a doctor, you should ask for un medico; most hotels will be able to refer you to a local doctor (medico). Don't forget to ask the doctor for una ricevuta (an invoice) to show to your insurance company to get a reimbursement. Alternatively, the city of Rome has recently opened a medical clinic dedicated to tourists suffering from symptoms (flu, fever, minor aches and pains, etc.) that would probably have them waiting into the wee hours of the night at the emergency room. The Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital offers a 24-hour tourist medical service and is staffed by one medical doctor and two nurses. The tourist medical service is free of charge every night 8–8 and on weekends. On weekdays (8–8), there is a charge of €20.66. Patients under six years old or over 65 are always free. The tourist service is located at the Nuovo Regina Margherita Hospital on Via Morosini 30 (Trastevere); the phone number is 06/58441.

Other useful Italian words to use are Al fuoco! (Fire!, pronounced ahl fuh-woe-co) and Al ladro! (Follow the thief!, pronounced ahl lah-droh).

Italy has a national military police force (carabinieri) as well as local police (polizia). Both are armed and have the power to arrest and investigate crimes. Always report any theft or the loss of your passport to either the carabinieri or the police, as well as to your embassy. Local traffic officers are known as vigili (though their official name is polizia municipale)—they are responsible for, among other things, giving out parking tickets and clamping cars, so before you even consider parking the Italian way, make sure you are at least able to spot their white (in summer) or black uniforms (many are women). Should you find yourself involved in a minor car accident, you should contact the vigili. Call the countrywide toll-free number 113 if you need the police.

Most pharmacies are open Monday–Saturday 8:30–1 and 4–8; some are open all night. A schedule posted outside each pharmacy indicates the nearest pharmacy open during off-hours (afternoons, through the night, and Sunday). Farmacia Internazionale Capranica, Farmacia Internazionale Barberini (open 24 hours), and Farmacia Cola di Rienzo are pharmacies that have some English-speaking staff. The hospitals listed here have English-speaking doctors. Rome American Hospital is about 30 minutes by cab from the center of town.

For a full listing of doctors and dentists in Rome who speak English, consult the English Yellow Pages at www.englishyellowpages.it or pick up a copy at any English-language bookstore. Your embassy will also have a list of recommended medical professionals.

Doctors and Dentists

Aventino Medical Group (Via Sant'Alberto Magno 5, Aventino, Rome, 00153. 06/57288349 or 06/57288329. www.aventinomedicalgroup.com.)

Roma Medica (weekends, house calls) (338/6224832 24-hour service. www.romamedica.com.)

General Emergency Contacts

Emergencies (113.)

Polizia (Police) (113.)

Ambulance (118.)

Hospitals and Clinics

Rome American Hospital (Via Emilio Longoni 69, Tor Sapienza, Rome, 00155. 06/22551. www.rah.it.)

Salvator Mundi International Hospital (Viale delle Mura Gianicolensi 67, Monteverde, Rome, 00152. 06/588961; 800/402323 toll-free within Italy. www.salvatormundi.it.)


Highway Police (06/22101.)

Roadside Assistance (116.)

Women's Rights and Abuse Prevention (06/4882832 or 800/001122. www.azzurrorosa.it.)


Farmacia Cola di Rienzo (Via Cola di Rienzo 213/215, San Pietro, Rome, 00192. 06/3243130 or 06/3244476. www.farmaciacoladirienzo.com.)

Farmacia Internazionale Barberini (Piazza Barberini 49, Barberini, Rome, 00187. 06/4825456 or 06/4871195. www.farmint.it.)

Farmacia Internazionale Capranica (Piazza Capranica 96, Piazza Navona, Rome, 00186. 06/6794680.)

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