Chargers & Converters in Italy

Old Feb 28th, 2010, 08:05 AM
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Chargers & Converters in Italy

HI everyone! I was wondering if there are any specific type of converters we should buy for going to Italy. We're going to be using electronics like hairdryers, straighteners, recharging batteries for cameras, etc. The main three cities we're mainly going to is Florence, Rome, and Italy. We bought some from Walmart, but they didn't work at all. So, my main question is, what should we look for when buying converters?
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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To answer your question, for each appliance, you need to supply the specification written somewhere on your appliance that looks like this:

INPUT: AC 100-220V, 50-60HZ, 10W

Do the same for whatever "something" you bought that you have not told us from the Walmart.

I presume you are probably from the U.S. since you mentioned Walmart? (I know W is elsewhere, too.)

The first thing you need is an adapter plug. It looks like this:

It does not cost much.

Then the voltage part. Most electronics these days can operate both in the U.S. in Europe. To verify this, you need to look at the electrical spec I indicated above.

The power appliances such as hairdryers and straightners might be single voltage models or operate so so in Europe. What do you do?

First, most hotels have hairdryers in the room or at the front desk. They usually work well, so we always use them. By not taking hairdryers, we save space in our luggage.

If you have to have your own, buy them locally in Europe.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Just an addition to greg's helpful post...our new Acer notebook required an three-prong plug (a grounded plug) adapter to use in Italy, and you can order these online, as well. You do indeed need to look at the specs for whatever it is you are going to plug in.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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Doesn't tell me much so I have no idea what you bought. You absolutely need an adapter which changes a two, flat, bladed plug into an Europe style plug. That is all it does. Can get them nearly everywhere travel gear is sold including WalMart. As Greg described.

IF you have appliances like hair dryers that have a single voltage input, 120V, then you need a converter to converter the European 220 to US 120. BUT BIG PROBLEM. The converter MUST match the wattage requirement of the appliance. Generally two sizes of converters are available -- less than 50 watts and greater than 50 watts. A 50 watt converter is relatively small and not too expensive and useful with small electronic devices. An appliance with a heating element like a hair dryer may required 1500, 1800 watts or more. A big, heavy, expensive converter is required for those items. ---- And then the bad news ---- items requiring high wattage do not perform as well and still can be damaged over time by the converted current. Best advice is not to take anything requiring high wattage. Most hotels will provide high dryers. If other high wattage equipment is needed -- Buy it there, probably cheaper in the long run.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Can't help you with ideas about recharger for camera, but since I make a European trip every year, I bought an inexpensive German hair dryer and curling iron. My hair is fine and looks bad if I don't blow dry it and use a curling iron.

If I'm going to normal hotels, I may not bring the blow dryer, but sometimes I include a month at a Goethe Institute with a trip, and I need my own hairdryer then.

I once brought a travel dryer with me when I went to a Spanish language school in Spain, but the outlet at the residence was quirky, and I couldn't use it. After that I brought the European appliances and haven't had trouble since then. I do bring along adaptors for some countries so that the prongs fit.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Did your camera come with a converter? Mine did so I need only the plug adaptor. I plug my battery charger into the plug adaptor and then plug the adaptor into the outlet.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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You say I was wondering if there are any specific type of converters we should buy for going to Italy.

You must be much more specific about what you are bringing before anyone can give you specifc advice. Have a look at to get up to speed on voltage, watts, etc.
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