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Questions on floods and credit cards in Italy

Questions on floods and credit cards in Italy

Old Nov 9th, 2000, 09:19 AM
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Questions on floods and credit cards in Italy

I'm leaving for Italy in a couple days. We fly into Milan and plan to drive north and east through Bolzano and Cortina before dropping down to Venice. Does anyone know if the flooding problems have affected that area? Also, I've been told that credit cards are not as widely accepted in Italy as in the rest of Europe and I should plan on bringing extra cash/travelers checks - can anyone confirm that? Thanks.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 09:57 AM
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As for the flooding, I've only heard second-hand that there has been some flooding in Venice, but you may want to check some Internet weather sites.
Credit cards: We used Visa ((and I do mean "used") throughout Italy and never had a problem. One note: Everyone said to use a MAC card if you need cash, but we found that a debit card (which takes the money right out of your account) was more widely accepted at ATMs. Again, everyone in Italy takes credit cards, and there are tons of ATMs, so I wouldn't bother with travelers checks. Just go to your bank before you leave for Italy and have them exchange about $100 into lire for you so you'll have a little cash and tip money when you arrive.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 10:01 AM
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I had no problem using credit cards and atm machines in Florence, Venice and Siena, from what I've read others also have not had many problems. Certainly no need to bring cash, which is dangerous to carry anywhere in the world. Take a credit card or two, an atm card, and perhaps just one or two travelers checks as an emergency back up.
As of yesterday the flooding in Venice was fairly significant, but nothing that a pair of low boots couldn't cope with.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 10:04 AM
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We used our Visa check card for purchases and cash absolutely everywhere and rec'd and incredible exchange rate. There are ATMs (Bancomats) around every corner. We only carried about $200.00 in traveler's checks, just in case but came home with $100.00 of it.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 10:05 AM
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I don't know what your source is for that credit-card information, but it's not true. Big city or small town, we never had a problem.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 10:29 AM
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I have to weigh in on Credit Cards, never had a problem in Italy. Restaurants, hotels, cash machines. You should be fine.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 10:45 AM
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Thanks to all for the quick replies on the credit card thing - it didn't sound right to me and I really didn't want to bother with travelers checks if it wasn't necessary.

With regard to the floods, I guess my question could/should have been worded a bit better - I wasn't thinking particularly of Venice but rather the river flooding that had been reported recently in the northwest part of the country. I was wondering if it had affected any areas east of Lake Como or thereabouts. Thanks again.
Old Nov 9th, 2000, 02:39 PM
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Just got back from Italy earlier this week. Used my ATM card to get cash from bank machines in La Spezia, Venice & Milan --- no problem. In fact just called my bank to check the exact amounts as they translated into US dollars; my transaction fee was just $1.25 and by using the ATM you get a better exchange rate. For example my last withdrawal on 11/6 was 100,000 lire which came out to $45 USD.

The use of credit cards is fairly widespread, however you may benefit from using cash to pay your hotel bill, particularly if it's a smaller establishment. I stayed at the London Hotel in Milan for my last night there - I'd reserved the room using a credit card, which was 150,000 lire. When I paid the bill, I asked if they gave a discount for cash & by doing so, the price was then 135,000 lire.

Likewise when shopping, you may also be able to negotiate a few dollars less by paying in cash --- and again, this applies in smaller shops and certainly, when purchasing from the 'street vendors'.

Buon Viaggio!
Old Nov 10th, 2000, 06:15 AM
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It rained heavily last Monday, specially in Liguria, and some problems were indeed reported (e.g., the train travel was interruptded near Ventimiglia). People were also wondering if the Po river would flood once again.

The last couple of days, though, I found no reference on flooding problems in Italian online news. If there are some problems, they should therefore be minor. You should do fine from Milan to the Dolomites.

As for Venice, Piazza San Marco should flood mildly for a couple of hours (4-6 in) in the morning, both tomorrow and Sunday.


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