PURCHASE AND CARRYING MONEY

Where may I leave my money for safekeeping?
If the hotel provides room safes, use them. However, conduct a trial codes change BEFORE placing valuables in the safe.  
If no room safes are available, you can leave your money at the hotel desk safe where you will be provided a receipt with amount deposited. Speak to your Group Leader, who may choose  to collect all the money and deposit with the hotel front desk as one sum, and one receipt.
 
Do all stores accept credit and debit cards, including for small purchase amounts?
Normally, all clothing stores, supermarkets and others: bookstores, sports supplies,  gift stores, will accept debit and credit cards. However,  magazine and newstands, tabaccherie (for purchase of postage stamps) do not usually accept cards.
Suggestion: prior to making a purchase, ask the clerk what forms of payment are accepted. If the store does not accept cards, you will need to find a bancomat (debit card withdrawal  machine) and withdraw the needed cash.
IMPORTANT: be sure to obtain a receipt for ANY and ALL purchases, for any forms of payment used.
 
Will bancomat machines allow withdrawal with American debit or credit cards?
American debit and credit cards can be used at all bancomat windows 24/7.  When using the machines, be sure to keep your transaction private and do not give anyone access either to your card or your private numbers. NEVER use the machine by yourself.  
You will require permission of your Group Leader and be escorted by other classmates. We recommend you do not make machine transactions at night – a safety precaution.
 
Where can I exchange currency?
We discourage exchanging currency at exchanges on the local street.  If you need  a currency exchange, speak to the Tour Leader and he/she will advise a reputable bank that charges minimal exchange fees.  Be sure you check the day’s exchaneg rate, and have your Group Leader accompany you for the transaction.
 
Can we make purchases from street vendors?
Absolutely NOT. These vendors are usually selling without a license and you will have no recourse should you encounter a problem. You can purchase from any stalls in the llocal markets.
 
Where can I purchase postcards and stamps?
Postcards are generally sold at newstands.  You may akso find them in tabaccherie, which also sell stamps.  Stamps can also be purchased in post offices, which can be identified by the blue and yellows post office sign.
 
What postage is required to mail a card to the US?
Postage for the US is  1.60euro.  When purchasing stamps, ask for a stamp for 1.60 euro.
 
Where can I purchase a newspaper from my home?
Foreign papers are normally found in train station newstands or in city center stands.  
 
How can I know which stores are luxury item stores and which are more moderately priced?
You will need to consult your Tour Leader for this information, and may even sollicit his/her help so that you can make a good choice and obtain an appropriate price.
 
How can I verify that items I am purchasing are manufactured in Italy?
Italian law requires that items produced in the country carry a “Made in Italy” label. Again, ask your Group Leader or Tour Leader, particularly if making large purchases.
 
Is tipping required? Whom do we tip? What amount?
Tipping is not mandatory, however, if you feel you have received good service, tipping is a form of gratitude.
We suggest tipping bus drivers. They are not required to handle baggage, but always offer assitance in loading and unloading, and therefore, should be compensated. Your tour leader will remind you prior to your journey’s end and will recommend a collection from all participants.
 
If I skip a dinner, will I be refunded the meal price?
No refunds will be made. All meals are pre-paid.
 
Is it more cost effective to call from the US or from Italy?
Calls from the US are less expensive, but a minimal roaming charge is still applied to the incoming call on your cell.
 
Can I make calls from my cell phone to my friends’ cell phones while in Italy?
It is possible if provided by your service provider. Check with your service provider as this may require additional fees. You may want to limit these calls to emergeny calls only.