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Holy Year of Mercy - Italy travel advice

Travel advice for all those planning to visit Rome for the Holy Year of Mercy (8 December 2015 – 20 November 2016).

Arrangements for the Holy Year of Mercy

Full details of the programme of events for the Holy Year of Mercy can be found on the dedicated Jubilee website.

For those wishing to visit the Tomb of the Apostle Peter and to enter through the Holy Door of St Peter’s Basilica, you must register in advance of your visit on the Jubilee website detailed above. The British Embassy to the Holy See has written an article with further details.

Passports and Visas

You don’t need a visa to travel to Italy but you must hold a passport. For stays of up to 3 months your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. However, it’s always sensible to have a short period of extra validity on your passport in case of unforeseen delays to your departure.

Remember your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - it could save you a lot of money if you get into difficulties.

In Italy it’s obligatory to carry ID with you at all times.

Personal Security

As in any other city beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers at airports, railway stations, around the town centre and when using public transport. Only carry what you need, leave spare cash and valuables in hotel safety deposits. Carry a photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport and keep it in a safe place separate from your passport.

Stolen passports

If your passport is stolen report the loss to the local police as soon as possible and obtain a copy of the police report. Please be aware that you can’t travel back to the UK without a valid travel document. You will therefore need to apply to the Consular Section of the British Embassy, Rome during opening hours for an Emergency Travel Document.

The Emergency Travel Document is a temporary one-way travel document which will allow you to return to the UK or back to your country of residence. You will need to produce the following:

  • a copy of the police report reporting the passport stolen

  • an acceptable form of identification, if possible (e.g. driving license and/or photocopy of your lost passport)

  • one passport-size photograph. We are able to provide a photo at the Embassy for a cost of €5 paid only in cash

  • a fee of £95 (payable in cash or by credit card except American Express)

  • details of your return travel arrangements

  • authorisation from both parents if you are under 16

Lost wallets

If you lose your wallet please try to cancel your credit cards as soon as possible. British consular officials can’t give you money to help you return home. You can transfer money from relatives or friends in the UK using many of the reputable commercial money transfer agencies in Rome including Western Union and Moneygram and Consular staff can assist you in this. You can also use most major credit cards (and debit cards carrying the Maestro and EC logos) to obtain money from Italian cash machines if you have your PIN. Consular staff can provide you with telephone and internet facilities during opening hours.

If you are arrested

British consular officials can visit you in prison (if you request it) and can put you in touch with local lawyers, if you need one. But they can’t get you out of prison, represent you in court or pay your bills. If you wish to see a consular official please make this request clear to the local police authorities.

Consular Assistance

The Consular Section of the British Embassy in Rome is open to the public from 9am – 12pm and 2pm – 3pm Monday to Fridays. The contact number for those requiring consular assistance including emergencies during your visit to Rome is 0039 06 4220 0001. The address for the British Embassy Rome is Via XX Settembre 80/a, 00187 Rome, Italy.

Local Emergency Services:

  • (+39) 118 medical services
  • (+39) 113 police
  • (+39) 112 Carabinieri
  • (+39) 115 fire services

Visitors to Italy should check the latest Travel Advice for Italy. We hope you enjoy your pilgrimage to Rome and the Vatican!