No matter where you are in Italy, dial 112 for all emergencies. Key words to remember for emergency situations are aiuto for “help” (pronounced “aye-you-toh”) and pronto soccorso, which means “first aid.” When confronted with a health emergency, head straight for the Pronto Soccorso department of the nearest hospital or dial 118. To call a Red Cross ambulanza (ambulance), dial 06/5510. If you just need a doctor, ask for un medico. Ask the physician for una fattura (an invoice) to present to your insurance company for reimbursement.


Smoking is banned inside all public places, so sit indoors (where there's also often air-conditioning) if the smoke in outdoor seating areas bothers you.

It's always best to travel with your own trusted medications. Should you need prescription medication while in Italy, speak with a physician to ensure it's the proper kind. Aspirin (l'aspirina) can be purchased at any pharmacy, as can over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

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