2 or 3 prong adapters in Italy

Nov 30th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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2 or 3 prong adapters in Italy

I have been researching what I will need for my trip to Italy. In looking at some of the web sites regarding electical concerns most say the two prong adapters, but on some sites I am also finding a three prong shown. Do I need to plan for both or is the two prong more prevailant. Thank you.
dlrogue is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 05:53 AM
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I would plan for both. I don't know if one type is more prevelent, but I know we encountered both. On a side note, the supermarket we went to sold many different sizes of two and three pronged adapters, for just a few Euros.
mebe is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 06:03 AM
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I assume when you say "three prong" you are speaking of adaptors allowing for a grounding prong.

Italy uses the so-called round pin "Continental plug."

I have never seen any electrical outlet in Italian hotels in which the standard two-pin plug/adaptor wouldn't work even in the outlets that will also accept a three-pin plug.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Hi dl,

Usually you will find that the outlets have to round holes.

Sometimes you will find outlets with two roud holes and a round pin sticking out from between them.

These plugs need an adaptor that has two round prongs and a hole between them. This type works for all outlets.

I have not seen any outlets in europe that require a three prong plug outside the UK.

ira is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 06:48 AM
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The 2 pin-prong is for italy. The 3 flat triangular shaped adapters are for UK.
Lisa1271 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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I saw on a couple of websites three pins in a row in addition to the two in a row listed for europe. I saw that Tumi has a neat adapter that will adjust to any plug you encounter. That may be the way to go as to prevent any problems. thanks
dlrogue is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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Our apartment rental in Tuscany only had three pronged outlets, so we had to buy another adapter to use with our two pronged adapter. What a sight that was!
Perhaps our accomodation was outdated?
mebe is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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Since my daughter will be in Italy for next semester, staying with a family, I am wondering where to purchase hair appliances that will work there without an adaptor. Anyone know an internet source for European appliances? We have the adaptors and convertor, but an appliance runs at such low power with them, it would be a pain for a long stay. Thanks for any referrals!
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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Maureen; for a longer stay, just buy a hair dryer locally. They are not that expensive. Buy a small one, so you can use it on other trips to Europe too.

I must say I have never seen plugs with three pins in Italy. Just two pins, with a whole for the pin that's in the wall outlet.
Tulips is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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Hi folks, I live in Italy and have restored a house and gone crazy with plugs, adapators etc. All Italian sockets (or at east within the last 20 years) use a 3 pin plug, which is 3 round pins in a row, the middle being an earth. However there are two different sizes, small and large, but you can buy multi-socket adaptors in any hardware store or outdoor market, which will fit both small and large. Now a two pin plug (with small pins, not fat ones) will fit into the small socket, no earth of course, and a simple US flat-pin to round pin adaptor which comes in most travel adaptor kits, will fit quite nicely. If your hair accessory is dual voltage (check on the safety label) it wil work fine in Italy, otherwise buy one here, they are not too expensive in the electric stores, BUT it seems all new appliances sold in Italy come with the round plug, which has two pins and an earth clip on the side, which needless to say wont fit into an Italian socket! However round pin to Italian plug adaptors are commonly available, I suggest buying two, one in ech socket size. Confused? don't worry, you will survive!
Sampaguita is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 11:55 AM
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>which has two pins and an earth clip on the side,
I have always been fascinated with Italian plugs and electrical wirings. It'seems they never have standardized anything and suddenly switched to "schuko". It's crazy how, without any regard for the dangers involved they use of Schuko-->2 prong adapters now, even in the bathroom. It's a very different approach compared to Germany where everyting has been designed according to DIN norms with Schukos everywhere for more than half a century, but in Italy, nobody seems to care about all this ;-)

Since I've been on holiday in Italy for the first time in the early 70ties, it seems things havn't changed at all.
logos999 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 01:45 AM
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Thats right the round plugs are called Schukos, I hate them, they always come with a cord moulded in, so you can't just change the plug, you need to cut the cord. I always think that the reason for no pan-European (or world-wide) standard is to protect these little industries making all these different plugs, adaptors etc. There is a page with pictures of all these funny plug types at www.escapeartist.com/global/photos.html.
Sampaguita is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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I've encountered 3 & 2 pin sockets in Italy - both with round pins, in a straight line. As someone says, the same adaptor will work with both. And an appliance with a 2 pin plug will work in a 3 pin socket. However if, like me, you buy an Italian iron & the plug has 3 pins, you'll need a continental 3 pin to 2 pin adaptor if you then encounter 2 pin sockets. (I've borrowed one from hotels in the past.)
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 02:59 AM
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This website has, amongst other useful trivia, illustrations of the types of plugs and sockets used all over the world -

Xenos is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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>you'll need a continental 3 pin to 2 pin adaptor if you then encounter 2 pin sockets.
Thats basically the problem. These things are hazardous and highly illegal, yet they're sold in Italy (not in Germany).If these things cause problems (a fire...), no insurance will cover you. But yet they're freely available in Italy.
logos999 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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I carry all kinds of adapters and converters when I got to Italy - it seems things are different from town to town, hotel to hotel and wall to wall. In two hotels, it hardly mattered, because I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not to plug anything in anyway. Naturally, I ignored that because I wanted to use my laptop. I scouted around, found a plug under the bureau and tried to unplug a lamp. As the drywall crumbled out and on to the floor, I chose to head to the bar instead of getting any work done. So, bring all those adapters but you might never need any.
celticdreams is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 04:40 PM
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pictures of plugs....
ljc4creb is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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I would agree to buy a cheap hairdryer in Europe for all your trips so you won't have to deal with bad dryers,converters,etc. Anything with heat is always a hassle overseas to use with converters.
However, I do have one thing that I would recommend to the ladies that is great. Its the travel size electric rollers(5 big and 5 small in a travel case) made by Remington(can get at Target for about $18) that has dual voltage that actually works! You just put the adapter on and put it in the socket and the rollers heat up in 90 seconds. I have used these all over the world and they are wonderful-no fried sockets or hair.
dutyfree is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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I have no idea why this thread was revived. But Sampaguita is correct. Italy uses the three pins in a row type plug (Type L). I hardly ever see a Schuko plug there (Type F).
rkkwan is offline  

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