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Health

Smoking has been banned in Italy in all public places. This includes trains, buses, offices, and waiting rooms, as well as restaurants, pubs, and discotheques (unless the latter have separate smoking rooms). If you're an unrepentant smoker, you would be advised to check with restaurants before making a booking, as very few can offer smokers' facilities. Fines for breaking the law are so stiff that they have succeeded (for the moment) in curbing the Italians' propensity to light up everywhere. Outside dining is exempt from the rule, so if smoking annoys you, you may find it better to eat indoors even in warm weather. Many restaurants are now equipped with air-conditioning. There are no smoking cars on any FS (Italian state railway) trains.

It's always best to travel with your own tried and true medicines. The regulations regarding what medicines require a prescription are not likely to be exactly the same in Italy and in your home country—all the more reason to bring what you need with you. Aspirin (l'aspirina) can be purchased at any pharmacy, as can over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and Aleve. Other over-the-counter remedies, including cough syrup, antiseptic creams, and headache pills, are only sold in pharmacies.

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