Customs - Italy

Aug 22nd, 2000, 12:33 PM
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Customs - Italy

Can anyone help me concerning alcoholic beverages (vodka, wine, etc) and entering Italy. I'v looked at a couple sites and am still confused, i.e. one says "22 degrees" (what is degrees) and another says "must be open". HELP!! Thanks
Aug 22nd, 2000, 01:06 PM
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I can't help you, Jean, but your question got me wondering about something. Has anyone ever been stopped at Italian customs for any reason, ever? I have entered Italy many times, and I don't think anyone has ever so much as looked at my passport, let alone my luggage. Is it just me, or is this usual?
Aug 22nd, 2000, 01:14 PM
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I don't know either, Jean. On my one visit to Italy I practically had to wake up the agent to show him my passport, there was no paperwork to fill out or show, they seemed like they couldn't care less. Getting back into the States is a different matter!

Aug 22nd, 2000, 01:54 PM
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I know this is of no help to Jean, but to continue to digress on the passport issue....I pulled mine out and the man didn't seem to care. But I wanted to get my passport stamped and because I didn't *need* a stamp he wouldn't do it! And it's wasn't as if there was a whole line of people he had to process - just me.
Aug 22nd, 2000, 07:36 PM
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Well when I flew into naples the place was teeming with security guards. The sniffer dog came running at me and I almost started running It was going to the man next to me and he got hauled into a small room that didnt look too pleasant, so the moral of the story is that there ARE checks in Italian airports.

Mind you on the way back out I think a stray cat could have boarded our plane

Aug 22nd, 2000, 09:27 PM
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Degrees probably means %, as in "proof"; so you can bring in one litre of hard liquor, one litre of beer and one bottle of wine (similar to most other countries' customs). As for being open, I don't think they mean the bottle has to be uncorked; more than likely, it means it can't be wrapped in gift paper or in any other way obscuring the label.

Italy has a vast assortment of alcoholic beverages, so there's no need to import your own. Why not contact the Italian consulate and get the particulars?
Aug 23rd, 2000, 12:35 PM
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Elvira is correct in her assumption that degrees= proof/alcohol content.
The book, TIME OUT,ROME says that one is allowed to bring into the country, and out of the country;
"One liter of spirits(over 22 percent alcohol)
or,2 liters of fortified wine (under 22 percent alcohol)"
Aug 23rd, 2000, 05:13 PM
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Thanks, Elvira and Nancy. (and everyone else.)
Aug 24th, 2000, 08:03 AM
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I don't know what "degree" was supposed to refer to in the original post but this is where it comes from-
In the days before lab anaysis the best way for a buyer to test a spirit was to light it!
Naturally this led to spirits beind diluted to the point where they just lit & no more.This strength was called "proof spirit" as it could be "proved" by lighting.
Sometimes it was called "100 degrees of proof".More dilute forms could then be called, eg, 70 degrees of proof"
After proper analysis started the UK decided to make things easier to work out by defining pure alcohol as exactly 175 degrees proof.This left it near the old figure, but an integer.
Then the USA decided to make things easier still by defining pure alcohol as
200 degrees proof.
Hence 175 proof (UK) = 200 proof (USA) =100 percent alcohol.
"Degrees" is not used anywhere in Europe any more, although there are still those who think it means the same as percentage and use them interchangeably.
They are misled.Any numbers you see are in percent alcohol.
Aug 26th, 2000, 07:42 PM
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Was in Rome in March and our passports were THOROUGHLY checked, both entering and departing. My wife almost had a real problem when leaving because the renewal date was not on the page where it was supposed to be.

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