Reflections on the Kingdom - A Pilgrimage to Rome with Fr. Martin Connor, LC

 

Reflections on the Kingdom
A Pilgrimage to Rome with
Fr. Martin Connor, LC

General Information

Visa Requirements / Passport

Americans citizens only need a valid passport to visit Italy. No visa is required. Passport should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of your return to the United States as indicated on your airline ticket.

If you do not have a US passport it is your responsibility to check and acquire all the proper documentation to enter Italy.

Please make a copy of your passport and place it in a separate place. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. Keep a copy of your itinerary with you, showing flight numbers and hotel names and phone numbers.

 

Entering Italy

When you arrive in Rome you will go through immigration first. Have your passport, itinerary, and paperwork related to the trip with you. Afterwards, you will be able to pick up your baggage and go through customs. Your tour escort will meet you outside. 

 

Time Change

Italy is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

 

Electrical Appliances

The electric current in Italy conforms to the European standard of 220 Volts.  Sockets accommodate plugs with two or three round pins. Most hotels provide 110 Volts outlets for shavers only. The rest of electrical appliances require a converter and/or adaptor which you should purchase prior to your departure. 

 

Calling Home

To direct dial home from Italy, dial 00 1, followed by the area code and the rest of the number. If you’re calling from a cell phone, you can press the “+” sign on the keypad instead of 00. The international dialing code for Italy is 39 (from outside Italy). To direct-dial Italy from the US, dial 011 39 followed by the phone number (omit the "0" in the local Italian area code). 

Your personal cell phone may work in Italy. Contact your service provider to activate the “out of country” feature or international data plan.

 

Currency

The Italian currency is the Euro (€). The approximate rate is .79 € for $1 USD.

Foreign currency may be exchanged prior to departure, at the airport or, once in Italy, at an exchange center and in many hotels throughout Italy.

Linked with major American systems, ATMs are prevalent throughout Italy. Holders of Visa or MasterCard credit/debit cards may withdraw funds at the foreign currency counters of affiliated banks or at certain ATMs.

Major credit cards -American Express, Diners' Club, Visa, and MasterCard- are widely accepted throughout Italy at stores and restaurants. 

 

Weather

Average temperatures in Italy during the spring range between 75°F and 55°F. Mornings and evenings can be cool. It is advisable to check the weather in Rome (www.weather.com) prior to your departure to get an accurate forecast and pack accordingly. 

 

Water

Tap water is generally safe to drink. The inscription 'acqua non potabile' means the water is not drinkable. 

 

Health

No vaccines are required to travel to Italy. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travelers are covered for diphtheria, the measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella, polio and hepatitis B.

 

Safety

Italy is moderately safe but you should exercise extra caution in crowded areas to protect your belongings from pick-pocketing and purse snatching. 

Only take city-authorized cabs. They have the “SPQR” city coat of arms on them and a taxi sign on top. It is best to take radio taxis (they have clearly marked phone numbers on the outside doors) because they work with a radio cooperative, not independently, and therefore are less likely to risk ripping you off. The best way to take an official taxi is at a taxi stand. You can identify these by the orange “TAXI” signs throughout the city. 

 

Luggage

Most airlines will allow one checked piece of luggage and one carry-on bag without charge. Usually, there is a maximum weight limit of 50 lbs. per checked bag as well as a size restriction. Airlines may have different restrictions so it is always best to check with your airline to get their exact requirements. 

Always place items like cameras and prescription medicine in your carry-on bag. Be certain to have your personal information clearly written on luggage tags on both the outside and inside of all your bags and luggage. And make sure that you have what you need should your luggage not arrive at your destination on time.


Packing Guidelines

General packing guidelines

  • Pack comfortable clothing that can easily be layered. 
  • Most holy sites ask that all pilgrims dress modestly, so take this into consideration when packing. Avoid shorts, sleeveless blouses and low necklines; if you plan on wearing skirts, please make sure that they hit below the knee. 
  • Travel light: bring only one suitcase and one carry-on bag. 

 

What to pack

Besides packing enough changes of clothes for the duration of your pilgrimage, we suggest that you include the following items in your luggage:

  • Two pairs of comfortable, broken-in walking shoes (sneakers or good rubber sole walking shoes are the best options)
  • Light sweaters/pullovers for chilly mornings or the plane
  • Cap or visor and sunglasses to protect you from the sun
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Small collapsible umbrella and/or poncho
  • Antibacterial gel or hand wipes
  • Laundry soap in case you need to hand wash personal items
  • Small first aid kit: include a good supply of your prescription medication as well as aspirin, cough drops, allergy and stomach medicine, Kleenex, band aids, etc.
  • Electrical adaptor
  • Copies of your itinerary, passport, credit cards, insurance card (or travel insurance), and flight information
  • Small backpack or crossbody bag to carry your personal items during the pilgrimage 

 

 

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