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12 DAY GRAND MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE

Carnival Legend

Departure date: 07.07.2020
Sailing duration, days: 12
Cruise heading: EUROPE
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Day Date Port, Country Arrival Departure
1 day 07.07.2020 Tuesday 17:00
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BARCELONA

Ramble through a cosmopolitan city of Gothic spires and contemporary curves when you book a Carnival cruise to Barcelona. An architectural treasure trove—from the Modernist L’Eixample neighborhood to the Roman remains and medieval lanes of Barri Gòtic—is yours to explore on a Barcelona cruise. Fun beach bars overlooking the Mediterranean, sleek Spanish designer stores, and Gaudí’s surreal buildings make Barcelona, Spain a whimsical and unique port of call.

  • Cruise to Barcelona to photograph Gaudí’s otherworldly sculptures in Park Güell.
  • Ascend Montjuïc hill for stunning city views.
  • Enter the 14th-century Catedral’s vaulted galleries and listen for its 13 resident geese.

Central administration of the port Barcelona:
Edifici Portal de la Pau, Portal de la Pau, 6, Barcelona 08039, Spain
tel.: (+34-93) 306-88-00; fax: (+34-93) 306-88-11

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SPAIN

General information

Capital: Madrid
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 505,370 km2
water: 6,390 km2
land: 498,980 km2
Population: 47,725,002 (July 2011 est)
Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 100%, Catalan (also official in Catalonia, Comunitat Valenciana and Balearic Islands) 17%, Galician (also official in Galicia)7%, Basque (also official in Basque Country and Navarra) 2%
Religion: Roman Catholic 72%, none 20% other 8%
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: 34
Internet TLD: .es
Time Zone: UTC + 1

Spain (Spanish: España) is a diverse country sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the country with the second-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy, and the largest number of World Heritage Cities.

Spain is considered an exotic country in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities. Among many places worth visiting are Spain's thriving capital Madrid, the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona, the famous "Running of the Bulls" at Pamplona, major Andalusian cities with Islamic architecture, like Seville, Granada and Córdoba, the Way of St. James and the idyllic Balearic and Canary Islands.

With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, Spain is a surprise to those who only know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and deserts in the south east. While summer is the peak season because of the beaches, those who wish to avoid the crowds should consider visiting in the winter as attractions such as the Alhambra in Granada and La Gran Mezquita in Cordoba will not be overcrowded.

History

Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa (e.g. Equatorial Guinea or Western Sahara), and Asia (e.g. the Philippines), contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself.

Immigration

Spain holds a historical attachment to its neighbors within the Iberian Peninsula, Andorra and Portugal, to its former colonies, to former citizens and their descendants, and to a special category of former citizens, namely Sephardic Jews. Individuals from these categories may acquire Spanish citizenship in an accelerated fashion which may or may not require that the individuals reside in Spain, and residency requirements are as short as one to three years depending on the category. Citizens of countries in the European Union may acquire citizenship after living in Spain for five years. Citizens of any other country may acquire citizenship after residing in Spain for ten years.

The population of Spain is growing in large part due to migration from relatively poor or politically unstable areas that have a historical or linguistic attachment to Spain, such as Latin America [e.g. Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru ], Europe (mostly Eastern Europe), Africa and Asia.

Stay safe
Police

There are four kinds of police:

  • 'Policia Municipal' or 'Local' (metropolitan police), In Barcelona: Guardia Urbana. Uniforms change from town to town, but they use to wear black or blue clothes with pale blue shirt and a blue cap (or white helmet) with a checkered white-and-blue strip. This kind of police keeps order and rules the traffic inside cities, and they are the best people in case you are lost and need some directions. Although you can't officially report theft to them, they will escort you to 'Policia Nacional' headquarters if required, and they will escort the suspects to be arrested also, if needed.
  • 'Policia Nacional' wear dark blue clothes and blue cap (sometimes replaced by a baseball-like cap), unlike Policia Municipal, they do not have a checkered flag around their cap/helmet. Inside cities, all offenses/crimes should be reported to them, although the other police corps would help anyone who needs to report an offense.
  • 'Guardia Civil' keeps the order outside cities, in the country, and regulates traffic in the roads between cities. You would probably see them guarding official buildings, or patrolling the roads. They wear plain green military-like clothes; some of them wear a strange black helmet ('tricornio') resembling a toreador cap, but most of them use green caps or white motorcycle helmets.
  • Given that Spain has a high grade of political autonomy released to its regional governments, four of them have created regional law forces: the Policia Foral in Navarre, the Ertzaintza in the Basque Country or the Mossos d'Esquadra in Catalonia. These forces have the almost the same competences as the Policia Nacional in their respective territories.

All kinds of police also wear high-visibility clothing ("reflective" jackets) while directing traffic, or in the road.

Theft

Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions encouraged in the entire world:

  • Thieves prefer stealth to direct confrontation so it is unlikely that you will be hurt in the process, but exercise caution all the same.
  • There have been instances where thieves on motorbikes drive by women and grab their purses, so keep a tight hold on yours even if you don't see anyone around.
  • Try not to show the money you have in your wallet or purse.
  • Always watch your bag or purse in touristic places, buses, trains and meetings. A voice message reminding that is played in most of the bus/train stations and airports.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money with you, unless needed. Use your credit card (Spain is the first country in number of cash points and most shops/restaurants accept it). Of course, use it with caution.
  • Beware of pickpockets when visiting areas with large numbers of people, like crowded buses or the Puerta del Sol(in Madrid). If you report a thief, people are generally helpful.
  • Don't hesitate to report crimes to local police.
  • In general, you must bear in mind that those areas with a larger number of foreign visitors, like some crowded vacation resorts in the East Coast, are much more likely to attract thieves than places which are not so popular among tourists.
  • Avoid gypsy women offering rosemary, refuse it always; they will read your future, ask for some money, and your pocket will probably be picked. Some gypsy women will also approach you on the street repeating "Buena suerte" ("good luck") as a distraction for another gypsy woman to try to pickpocket you. Avoid them at all costs.
  • vA great tourist attraction is the Flea Market (el Rastro) in Madrid on the weekends. However, as it is nearly standing room only - it is also an attraction for pickpockets. They operate in groups... be extremely cautious in these tight market type environments as it is very common to be targeted... especially if you stand out as a tourist or someone with money. Try to blend in and not stand out and you will likely not be at as much risk.
  • Women who carry purses should always put the straps across their bodies. Always hold on to the purse itself and keep it in front of your body. Keep one hand on the bottom, as pickpockets can otherwise slit the bottom without you ever knowing.
  • Never place anything on the back of a chair or on the floor next to you, keep it on your person always.
  • If you must use an ATM, do not flash the money you have just picked up.

Scams

Some people could try to take advantage of your ignorance of local customs.

In Spanish cities, all taxis should have a visible fare table. Do not agree a fixed price to go from an airport to a city: in most cases, the taxi driver will be earning more money than without a preagreed tariff. Many taxi drivers will also demand a tip from foreign customers or even from national ones on the way to and from the airport. You might round up to the nearest euro when paying though.

In many places of Madrid, especially near Atocha station, and also in the Ramblas of Barcelona, there are people ('trileros') who play the "shell game". They will "fish" you if you play, and they will most likely pick your pocket if you stop to see other people play.

Before paying the bill in bars and restaurants, always check the bill and carefully scrutinize it. Some staff will often attempt to squeeze a few extra euros out of unsuspecting tourists by charging for things they did not eat or drink, or simply overcharging. This is true in both touristy and non-touristy areas. If you feel overcharged, bring it to their attention and/or ask to see a menu. It is also sometimes written (in English only) at the bottom of a bill that a tip is not included: remember that tipping is optional in Spain and Spanish people commonly leave loose change only and no more than a 5%-8% of the price of what they have consumed (not an American-style 15-20%), so avoid being fooled into leaving more than you have to.

Racism

Because of the many incidents in the football arenas, especially during the match between Spain and England in Madrid November 2004, the country has been labeled as racist by many people. During the match, England's black players were racially abused by the crowd and in league matches, other players of African heritage have been targeted by racist fans. But being dark-skinned and going to a football match is not dangerous at all and as with most matches in Europe, avoid sitting with or near the most hardcore ultras who can be violent. Besides, wearing a Real Madrid-shirt in Bilbao or Barcelona during the matches will make you more exposed to danger than the color of your skin.

In the streets racism does exist but as in most european countries. Racial abuse is not widespread even though a drunk person for example can make racist comments. But some spaniards will be ready to defend you and be ashamed of the situation. So before making a judgment on the spaniards, remember that there will always be some persons making your life difficult. And those who are prepared to help you, as in any country in Europe or in the rest of the world for that sake.

With the police the case can be different, especially in Madrid and Barcelona. There are some rumours that the police make an "ID-check", which in reality is to see whether a dark-skinned person is an illegal immigrant or not. This does occur and it can happen in any hour in the cities and especially in neighbourhoods where many immigrants live, like in Lavapies. Most of the checks are based on race, so be sure to carry a valid ID-card or a photocopy of your passport if the police approach you and ask for identification.

Younger people will oppose racism and xenophobia in general and may be more open to talk about the issue. Older people and especially nationalists will deny that racism exists in the country and point out the fact that many immigrants live in the country as "proof" that the country is open to people from other cultures.

Arab people or muslims in general might be called "moro", which is the spanish word for Moors. For people from Latin America the word "sudaca" can be used as a racial slur by people and the region itself is in a racist manner called "Sudaquia" or "Sudacalandia". Like in many european countries, gypsies are exposed to racism and discrimination from the spanish society in general despite having famous people with roma origin like flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes and football player Jose-Antonio Reyes.

Other things you should know

Spanish cities can be LOUD at night, especially on weekends.

All stores, hotels and restaurants should have an official complaint form, in case you need it.

The emergency telephone number (police, firefighters, ambulances) is 112. You may call it from any phone at no cost, in case you need to.

Drugs

In Spain possession and consumption of illegal drugs at private places is not prosecuted. Taking drugs in public and possession, for personal use, will be fined from €300 to €3000 depending of the drug and the quantity that you carry on, you will not get arrested unless you have large quantities destined for street sale.

Stay healthy

Pharmaceuticals are not sold at supermarkets, only at 'farmacias' (pharmacies), identified with a green cross or a Hygeia's cup. Nearly every city and town has at least one 24 hour pharmacy; for those that close at night, the law requires a poster with the address of the nearest pharmacy, possibly in one of the nearby streets or towns.

People from the European Union and a few more European countries can freely use the public health system, if they have the appropriate intereuropean sanitary card. That card does not work in private hospitals. Agreements are established to treat people from a few American countries; see the Tourspain link below for more info.

However, do not hesitate to go to any healthcare facility should you be injured or seriously ill, as it would be illegal for them not to treat you, even if you are uninsured.

Though most foreigners tend to think Spain is a warm place, it can be terribly cold in winter, especially in the Central Region and in the North, and in some places it is also rainy in summer. Remember to travel with adequate clothes.

In summer, avoid direct exposure to sunlight for long periods of time to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. Drink water, walk on the shady side of street and keep a container of sun cream (suntan lotion) handy.

Most cities have a good water supply, especially Madrid, but you may prefer bottled water to the alkaline taste of water in the east and south.

Smoking

On 21 December 2010, the Spanish Parliament approved a law prohibiting smoking in all indoor public and work places and near hospitals and in playgrounds, becoming effective on 2 January 2011. Smoking is now banned in all enclosed public spaces and places of work, in public transportation, and in outdoor public places near hospitals and in playgrounds. Smoking is also banned in outdoor sections of bars and restaurants. Smoking is banned in television broadcasts as well.

Respect
Culture and identity

Spaniards in general are very patriotic about both their country and the region in which they live. Avoid arguments about whether or not people from Catalonia, Galicia or the Basque Country are Spaniards. Safety is generally not a concern in case you engage in an argument, but you will be dragged in a long, pointless discussion.

Spaniards are generally very interested in maintaining their linguistic and cultural connections with Latin America. However, most Spaniards are also quick to point out they are Europeans and do not understand the common North American notion that "Hispanics," including Spaniards, are somehow all the same. People from other Spanish-speaking countries or backgrounds may encounter a variety of receptions from being embraced as cultural kin to rejection or apathy.

Spaniards are not as religious as the media sometimes presents them, but they are and always were a mostly Catholic country (73% officially, although just 10% admit practising and just a 20% admit being believers); respect this and avoid making any comments that could offend. In particular, religious festivals, Holy Week (Easter), and Christmas are very important to Spaniards. Tolerance to all religions should be observed, especially in large urban areas like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville or Malaga (where people and temples of all beliefs can be found) or different regions in southern Spain, which may have a sizeable Muslim population (which accounts for almost a 4% of the country's population).

Despite being a Catholic majority country, homosexuality widely accepted in Spain and public display of same-sex affection would not likely stir hostility. In fact, same-sex marriages are legal and recognized by the government and provide legal benefits to same-sex couples. However, a gay friendly country does not always necessarily mean that the Spaniards are friendly to gays: (people in places like Madrid or Barcelona, which are 2 of the largest urban areas in Europe, will obviously have a more open view than those from rural areas). As in any other place, elderly people do usually have far more conservative points of view. Still, violence against gays is rarely heard of and Spain should be safe for most gay and lesbian travelers.

Avoid talking about the former colonial past and especially about the "Black Legend." Regardless of what you may have heard Spain had several ministers and military leaders of mixed race serving in the military during the colonial era and even a Prime Minister born in the Philippines (Marcelo Azcarraga Palmero). Many Spaniards take pride in their history and former imperial glories. People from Spain's former colonies (Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, Western Sahara and Northern Morocco) make up a majority of foreign immigrants in Spain (a 58%) along with the Chinese, Africans and Eastern Europeans. Equally, Spain is one of the main investors and economic and humanitary aid donors to Latin America and Africa.

Bullfighting is seen by many Spaniards as a cultural heritage icon, but the disaffection with bullfighting is increasing in all big cities and obviously among animal activist groups within the country. Many urban Spaniards would consider bullfighting a show aimed at foreign tourists and elder people from the countryside, and some young Spaniards will feel offended if their country is associated with it. To illustrate how divided the country is, many Spaniards point to the royal family: King Juan Carlos and his daughter are avid fans, while his wife and the Heir Prince do not care for the sport. Bullfights and related events, such as the annual San Fermin Pamplona bull-runs, make up a multimillion-dollar industry and draw many tourists, both foreign and Spaniard. In addition, bullfighting was recently banned in the northeastern region of Catalonia and has also been outlawed in several towns and counties all over the country.

Avoid mentioning the past, such as the former fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975, and especially the Civil War of 1936-1939. Many symbols, pictures, statues and monuments affiliated with the Franco regime have been outlawed and possible fines and jail time could result if you violate these laws. This was a painful past as Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist, executing many Spaniards who violated the anti-democratic laws of the regime. Nonetheless, one of the best periods of economic growth in Spain was the one that took place during the last years of Franco's regime, so some older Spaniards may have supportive views of Franco's ultranationalist and anticommunist ideology, so talking against Franco in front of them may be considered offensive.

Socializing

It is customary to kiss friends, family, and acquaintances on both cheeks upon seeing each other and saying goodbye. Male-to-male kisses of this sort are limited to family members or to very close friends; otherwise a firm handshake is expected instead (same as in France or Italy). A happy medium is the traditional abrazo (hug) which is usually done to people that you haven't seen in a long time and/or are very glad to see, regardless of gender (male-to-male is somewhat more common). When somebody expects a hug he/she usually will throw his/her arms towards you: this is more common than you may think, but don't do it with complete strangers as it's probably a ruse to get your wallet.

Related to this, Spaniards are keen to maintain physical contact while talking, such as putting a hand on your shoulder, patting your back, etc. These should be taken as signs of friendship done among relatives, close friends and colleagues.

When in a car, the elderly and pregnant always ride in the passenger's seat, unless they request not to.

While Spaniards may not always be the most punctual people in the world, you should never arrive late to appointments; this will seem very bad to most people.

If you are staying at a Spaniard's home, bring shoes to wear inside such as slippers. Walking around barefoot in the house is viewed as unsanitary and also an easy way to catch a cold.

In Spanish beaches it is okay for women to sunbathe topless. This practice is particularly common in tourist areas. Full nudity is practised in "clothing-optional" or nudist beaches.

Eating and drinking

During lunch or dinner, Spaniards do not begin eating until everyone is seated and ready to eat. Likewise, they do not leave the table until everyone is finished eating. Table manners are otherwise standard and informal, although this also depends on the place you are eating. When the bill comes, it is common to pay equally, regardless of the amount or price each has consumed.

When Spaniards receive a gift or are offered a drink or a meal, they usually refuse for a while, so as not to seem greedy. This sometimes sparks arguments among especially reluctant people, but it is seen as polite. Remember to offer more than once (on the third try, it must be fairly clear if they will accept it or not). On the other hand, if you are interested in the offer, politely smile and decline it, saying that you don't want to be a nuisance, etc., but relent and accept when they insist.

Spaniards rarely drink or eat in the street. Bars will rarely offer the option of food to take away but "tapas" are easily available. Especially unheard of until recently was the "doggy bag." However, in the last few years, taking leftovers home from a restaurant, although still not common, has become somewhat less of a stigma than it once was. One asks for "un taper" (derived from "Tupperware") or "una caja." Older Spaniards are still likely to frown on this.

Appearing drunk in public is generally frowned upon.

Emergency services

Rescue - 112
National Police - 091
Local (municipal) police - 092
Ambulance - 061
Cruz Roja (Spanish Red Cross) - 222-222
Fire - 085
2 day 08.07.2020 Wednesday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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3 day 09.07.2020 Thursday 7:00 19:00
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LIVORNO

The Province of Livorno runs along the coast of central Tuscany, from Piombino to Livorno, and extends for a brief stretch inland, an area alternating between plains and hills.

It also includes some islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, the best known of which is Elba, a very popular tourist destination, with varied attractions and enchanting landscapes. The other islands that are part of the province of Livorno are Capraia, Gorgona, Pianosa and the wild Montecristo, determined by the State as Integral Natural Reserve.

The coast, known as the “Etruscan Coast” for the abundance of traces left by this ancient civilization, seamlessly fuses natural and cultural aspects. Amidst the pinewoods, long beaches, and cliffs lie well-known touristic spots, such as Castiglioncello, Rosignano Marittimo, Marina di Cecina, Marina di Bibbona and the captivating Gulf of Baratti and Populonia, all rich in history and precious archaeological artifacts.

Of a distinct naturalistic character, Val di Cornia comprises a vast network of protected areas, including the Sterpaia Coastal Park (Parco Costiero), typical to coastal scenery of the Maremma; the Rimigliano Coastal Park, rich in Mediterranean vegetation; and further inland, the Parco Forestale di Poggio Neri, and the Montoni Montoni Natural Park with its magnificent oak forests.

The entire territory, from the coast to the inland areas, shows signs of the age-old presence of man and his work, from the Etruscan necropolises in the Gulf of Baratti to the evidence of ancient mineral extraction in the Colline Metallifere (lit. Metal-Bearing Hills). Not only, but the typical Medieval villages, such as Campiglia Marittima, Suvereto and Sassetta boast artistic treasures that greatly enhance the singularity of this terrain rich in colors, fragrances and flavors.

Cultural references to the area also abound, from the memoirs of the great poet Giosuè Carducci in the hamlet of Bolgheri, to those of Napoleon, who spent a brief period in exile on Elba, and painter Giovanni Fattori, originally from Livorno.

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ITALY

General information

Capital: Rome
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 301,340km²
water: 7,200km²
land: 294,140km²
Population: 59,433,744 (2011 census)
Language: Italian (official); minor German, French and Slovene-speaking communities
Religion: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Country code: +39
Internet TLD: .it
Time Zone: UTC+1
Emergencies: dial 112

Italy (Italian: Italia) is a country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.

It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country).

Italy is, for the most part, a peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. Italy, which is boot-shaped, is surrounded by the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas to the west, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to the South, and the Adriatic Sea to the East. Italian is the official language spoken by the majority of the population, but as you travel throughout the country you will find that there are several distinct Italian dialects depending on the region you're in. Italy has a very diverse landscape, but can be primarily described as mountainous, including the Alps and the Apennines mountain ranges that run through the vast majority of it. Two major islands are part of this country: Sardinia, which is an island off the west coast of Italy, and Sicily, at the southern tip (the "toe") of the boot.

Climate

The climate of Italy is highly diverse, and could be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate. Most of Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. Winters are cold and damp in the North, and milder in the South. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The Alps have a mountain climate, with cool summers and very cold winters.

Cope

Electricity. Italy uses 220V, 50Hz. Italy has its own electrical plug design. The standard "European" two-prong plugs will fit, but grounded (three-prong) plugs from other countries will not. German-type "Schuko" sockets can also be found quite often, especially in the north, and you'll find adapters for that system in virtually all supermarkets. Adapters for other systems (including US plugs) are not that ubiquitous but can be found at airports or in specialised shops.

If you're using American appliances that were designed for standard US household 110V, 60Hz current, make sure you get a voltage adaptor, not just a plug adaptor. The higher voltage will damage or destroy your appliance, and could injure or kill you as well.

Power surges and power failures are virtually unknown in Italy, even less so than in the States; the energy, water and gas systems are state-run and very well equipped and maintained since even before WW2; the electrical system is fully updated to the latest tech specs and every household is required to comply when renovating. That includes the remote villages in the South, too.

Stay safe

For emergencies, call 113 (Polizia di Stato - State Police), 112 (Carabinieri - Gendarmerie), 117 (Guardia di Finanza - Financial police force), 115 (Pompieri - Fire Department), 118 (Medical Rescue), 1515 (State Forestry Department), 1530 (Coast Guard), 1528 (Traffic reports).

In case of emergency or inconvenience, the Italian Ministry for Tourism has implemented a multilingual contact centre providing information and assistance to tourists. Easy Italia operates seven days a week, 09.00-22:00, and its telephone number (+39 39 039 039) can be dialled from anywhere in the world from either a landline or a mobile. If you're currently in Italy, you can also contact them by dialling the toll-free number 800 000 039 from landlines and payphones. The service is also available on Skype (easyitalia) and you can also ask information for free by filling in a web form

Italy is a safe country to travel in like most developed countries. There are few incidents of terrorism/serious violence and these episodes have been almost exclusively motivated by internal politics. Examples include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence by the Mafia. Almost every major incident is attributed to organized crime or anarchist movements and rarely, if ever, directed at travelers or foreigners.

Tourist Scams

Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams. Most of them occur regularly in bigger cities such as Rome, Milan, or Naples. A particular scam is when some plainclothes police will approach you, asking to look for "drug money," or ask to see your passport. This is a scam to take your money. You can scare them by asking for their ID. Guardia di Finanza (the grey uniformed ones) do customs work.

A recent scam involves men approaching you, asking where you are from, and begin to tie bracelets around your wrists. When they are done they will try to charge you upwards of €20 for each bracelet. If anyone makes any attempt to reach for your hand, retract quickly. If you get trapped, you can refuse to pay, but this may not be wise if there are not many people around. Carry small bills or just change, in your wallet, so if you find yourself in cornered to pay for the bracelet, you can convince them that €1 or €2 is all you have.

When taking a taxi, be sure to remember license number written on the card door. In seconds, people have had a taxi bill risen by €10 or even more. When giving money to taxi driver, be careful.

Around popular tourist sites, there are groups mostly of men trying to sell cheap souvenirs. They may also carry roses and say they are giving you a gift because they like you but the minute you take their 'gift' they demand money. They are often very insistent and often the only way to get rid of them is to be plain rude. Do the best you can to not take their "gifts" as they will follow you around asking for money. Simply saying "no" or "vai via" ("go away") will get them off your back until the next vendor comes up to you.

Yet another scam involves being approached by a man, asking you to help break a large bill - usually €20 or €50. Do not give him your money. The bill he is giving you is fake, but at first glance it might seem real.

The best advice to avoid scams is to get way from anyone that you have never seen before who starts talking to you.

Racism

Unfortunately racism is still present in Italy. The country only started having a significant non-white presence in the last 20-years and has since been very slow to learn to respect racial minorities.

Racially-motivated violence is rare but it does make the news a few times a year; it is generally perpetrated at the expense of immigrants.

Italians may assume a person with prominent 'foreign' features to be an immigrant and, regrettably, treat him\her with some measure of contempt or condescension. This expecially happens towards persons who may look like gypsies or Maghreb Arabs.

Tourists can generally expect not to be insulted to their face, but unfortunately casual racism and bigotry is not absent from conversation (especially bar talk, and especially if sports games featuring non-white players are on).

On the other hand, antisemitism is absent in Italian society and Italy never had a real history of antisemitism (except only for Fascist era)

Stay healthy

Italian hospitals are public and offer completely free high-standard treatments for EU travellers, although, as anywhere else, you may have a long wait to be served. Emergency assistance is granted even to non-EU travelers. For non-emergency assistance, non-EU citizens are required to pay out-of-pocket, there is no convention with US health insurances (although some insurance companies might later reimburse these expenses).

Water in southern Italy might come from desalination and sometimes may have a strange taste, due to extended droughts. If in doubt use bottled water. Elsewhere tap water is perfectly drinkable and very well maintained. Or else, a "NON POTABILE" warning is posted.

Respect

Italy has a reputation for being a welcoming country and Italians are friendly and courteous, as well as very used to interacting with foreigners. The Italian society is however slightly more formal than the Northern European or English-speaking ones, and it can be more sensitive to issues of respect or lack thereof, so it is wrong to assume everyone will be gregarious and laid-back. If you are polite and civil you should have no problems, but don't expect that the average Italian speaks or even understands English (except for young people).

Italians greet family and close friends with two light kisses on the cheek. Males do, too. To avoid ending up kissing on the lips note that you first move to the right (kiss the other person on their left cheek) and then to the left. In general, when joining or leaving a group, you will shake hands individually with (or kiss, depending on the level of familiarity) each member of the group. If it is a business related meeting you just shake hands.

To make friends, it's a good idea to pay some compliments. Most Italians still live in their town of origin and feel far more strongly about their local area than they do about Italy in general. Tell them how beautiful their town/lake/village/church is and possibly add how much you prefer it to Rome/Milan/other Italian towns. Residents can be fonts of knowledge regarding their local monuments and history, and a few questions will often produce interesting stories.

Clothing

Whole essays can be written about the Italians' relationships with clothes. Three of the most important observations:

  1. Most Italians (especially young ones from the upper and upper-middle social classes) can be very appearance-conscious.
  2. It's important, however, not to judge people by their choice of clothing. Styles do not necessarily carry the same connotations in Italy that they would in Britain or some other countries. Some youths lounge about in skin-tight tee-shirts and casually-knotted knitwear (and are very perplexed by the response they get when they take their sense of style and grooming to a less 'sophisticated' climate).
  3. Sometimes, clothing rules are written. To visit a church or religious site you will need to cover yourself up; no bare backs, chests, shoulders and sometimes no knees. Sometimes museums and other attractions can also be strict; no bathing costumes, for example. If you want to visit a church or religious site it's a good idea to take something to cover yourself up with; for example a jumper or large scarf. Some churches supply cover-ups, such as sarongs are loaned to men with shorts so that they can modestly conceal their legs. Even where there are no written rules, it's worth noting that bare chests and large expanses of sunburnt skin are unacceptable away from beaches or sunbathing areas, whatever the temperature is. It's considered unpolite for a man to wear a hat inside of any Catholic church.

Telephone

Both the fixed and mobile phone systems are available throughout Italy. Telephone numbers of the fixed system used to have separate prefixes (area codes) and a local number. In the 1990s the numbers were unified and nowadays, when calling Italian phones you should always dial the full number. For example you start numbers for Rome with 06 even if you are calling from Rome. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. If you don't know somebody's phone number you can dial a variety of recently-established phone services, the most used being 1240, 892424, 892892, but most of them have high fees.

To call abroad from Italy you have to dial 00 + country code + local part where the syntax of the local part depends on the country called.

To call Italy from abroad you have to dial international prefix + 39 + local part. Note that, unlike calls to most countries, you should not skip the starting zero of the local part if you are calling an Italian land line.

In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113, 115, 118 can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone (even if your credit is empty or if you are in an area covered by a different operator)

  • 112 - Carabinieri emergency number - general emergency
  • 113 - Police emergency number - general emergency
  • 114 - Blue Phone emergency number - children-related emergency (especially various forms of violence)
  • 115 - Fire Brigade emergency number
  • 117 - Guardia di Finanza - for customs, commercial and tax issues
  • 118 - Health emergency number - use this if you need an ambulance, otherwise ask for the local Guardia Medica number and they'll send you a doctor.
  • 1515 - State Forestry Department
  • 1518 - Traffic Information
  • 1530 - Coast Guard
  • 803116 - A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club)This provides assistance if your car breaks down (if you have a rented car then call the number they provide), This is a service provided to subscribers to ACI or to other Automobile Clubs associated to ARC Europe. If you're not associated to any of them you'll be asked to pay a fee (approx. €80).

Always carry with you a note about the address and the number of your embassy.

If you are in an emergency and do not know who to call dial 112 or 113 (out of major towns, better to call 113 for English-speaking operators).

Payphones are widely available, especially in stations and airports. However, the number of payphones has consistently been reduced after the introduction of mobile phones. Some payphones work with coins only, some with phone cards only and some with both coins and phone cards. Only a limited number of phones (just a few in main airports) directly accept credit cards.

Italians use mobile phones extensively, some might say excessively. The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Note that cellphones from North America will not work in Italy unless they are Tri-band. Nearly all of the country has GSM, GPRS and UMTS/HDSPA coverage. If you arrive from abroad and intend making a lot of calls, buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card (termed prepagato for "prepaid" and ricaricabile for "rechargeable") and put it in your current mobile (if compatible and if your mobile set is not locked). You need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a passport or other official identity, to be able to purchase the SIM card. Unless you already have one, you will also be required to obtain a Codice Fiscale (a tax number) - the vendor may generate one for you from your form of identification. Subscription-based mobile telephony accounts are subject to a government tax, to which prepaid SIM cards are not subject. Sometimes hotels have mobile phones for customer to borrow or rent.

Call costs vary greatly depending on when, where, from and where to. Each provider offers an array of complex tariffs and it is near impossible to make reliable cost estimates. The cost of calls differs considerably if you call a fixed-line phone or a mobile phone. Usually there is a difference in cost even for incoming calls from abroad. If you can choose, calling the other party's land line could be even 40% cheaper than mobile. Many companies are shifting their customer service numbers to fixed-rate number (prefix 199). These numbers are at the local rate, no matter where are you calling from.

According to national regulations, hotels cannot apply a surcharge on calls made from the hotel (as the switchboard service should be already included as a service paid in the room cost), but to be sure check it before you use.

Calls between landlines are charged at either the local rate or the national rate depending on the originating and destination area codes; if both are the same then the call will be local rate. Note that local calls are not free.

4 day 10.07.2020 Friday 7:00 20:00
X
ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA)

Promise to return to the Eternal City on your first Rome cruise. Italy’s vibrant capital mixes ancient Roman monuments with Renaissance beauty. Pastel-colored Vespa scooters dart past 1000-year-old temples and well-heeled Romans browse boutiques in Renaissance buildings. The espresso is strong, the gelato is cold, and life is sweet in Rome, Italy. Raise a toast to la dolce vita—the good life, Italian-style—on your cruise to Rome.

  • Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain.
  • Look up at Michelangelo’s frescos on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.
  • Climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica dome for panoramic views of Rome.
  • Have your picture taken on the flowery Spanish Steps.

Сentral administration of the port Civitavecchia:
Molo Vespucci, Civitavecchia, RM 00053, Italy
tel.: (+39-766) 366-201; fax: (+39-766) 366-243

X
ITALY

General information

Capital: Rome
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 301,340km²
water: 7,200km²
land: 294,140km²
Population: 59,433,744 (2011 census)
Language: Italian (official); minor German, French and Slovene-speaking communities
Religion: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Country code: +39
Internet TLD: .it
Time Zone: UTC+1
Emergencies: dial 112

Italy (Italian: Italia) is a country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.

It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country).

Italy is, for the most part, a peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. Italy, which is boot-shaped, is surrounded by the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas to the west, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to the South, and the Adriatic Sea to the East. Italian is the official language spoken by the majority of the population, but as you travel throughout the country you will find that there are several distinct Italian dialects depending on the region you're in. Italy has a very diverse landscape, but can be primarily described as mountainous, including the Alps and the Apennines mountain ranges that run through the vast majority of it. Two major islands are part of this country: Sardinia, which is an island off the west coast of Italy, and Sicily, at the southern tip (the "toe") of the boot.

Climate

The climate of Italy is highly diverse, and could be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate. Most of Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. Winters are cold and damp in the North, and milder in the South. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The Alps have a mountain climate, with cool summers and very cold winters.

Cope

Electricity. Italy uses 220V, 50Hz. Italy has its own electrical plug design. The standard "European" two-prong plugs will fit, but grounded (three-prong) plugs from other countries will not. German-type "Schuko" sockets can also be found quite often, especially in the north, and you'll find adapters for that system in virtually all supermarkets. Adapters for other systems (including US plugs) are not that ubiquitous but can be found at airports or in specialised shops.

If you're using American appliances that were designed for standard US household 110V, 60Hz current, make sure you get a voltage adaptor, not just a plug adaptor. The higher voltage will damage or destroy your appliance, and could injure or kill you as well.

Power surges and power failures are virtually unknown in Italy, even less so than in the States; the energy, water and gas systems are state-run and very well equipped and maintained since even before WW2; the electrical system is fully updated to the latest tech specs and every household is required to comply when renovating. That includes the remote villages in the South, too.

Stay safe

For emergencies, call 113 (Polizia di Stato - State Police), 112 (Carabinieri - Gendarmerie), 117 (Guardia di Finanza - Financial police force), 115 (Pompieri - Fire Department), 118 (Medical Rescue), 1515 (State Forestry Department), 1530 (Coast Guard), 1528 (Traffic reports).

In case of emergency or inconvenience, the Italian Ministry for Tourism has implemented a multilingual contact centre providing information and assistance to tourists. Easy Italia operates seven days a week, 09.00-22:00, and its telephone number (+39 39 039 039) can be dialled from anywhere in the world from either a landline or a mobile. If you're currently in Italy, you can also contact them by dialling the toll-free number 800 000 039 from landlines and payphones. The service is also available on Skype (easyitalia) and you can also ask information for free by filling in a web form

Italy is a safe country to travel in like most developed countries. There are few incidents of terrorism/serious violence and these episodes have been almost exclusively motivated by internal politics. Examples include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence by the Mafia. Almost every major incident is attributed to organized crime or anarchist movements and rarely, if ever, directed at travelers or foreigners.

Tourist Scams

Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams. Most of them occur regularly in bigger cities such as Rome, Milan, or Naples. A particular scam is when some plainclothes police will approach you, asking to look for "drug money," or ask to see your passport. This is a scam to take your money. You can scare them by asking for their ID. Guardia di Finanza (the grey uniformed ones) do customs work.

A recent scam involves men approaching you, asking where you are from, and begin to tie bracelets around your wrists. When they are done they will try to charge you upwards of €20 for each bracelet. If anyone makes any attempt to reach for your hand, retract quickly. If you get trapped, you can refuse to pay, but this may not be wise if there are not many people around. Carry small bills or just change, in your wallet, so if you find yourself in cornered to pay for the bracelet, you can convince them that €1 or €2 is all you have.

When taking a taxi, be sure to remember license number written on the card door. In seconds, people have had a taxi bill risen by €10 or even more. When giving money to taxi driver, be careful.

Around popular tourist sites, there are groups mostly of men trying to sell cheap souvenirs. They may also carry roses and say they are giving you a gift because they like you but the minute you take their 'gift' they demand money. They are often very insistent and often the only way to get rid of them is to be plain rude. Do the best you can to not take their "gifts" as they will follow you around asking for money. Simply saying "no" or "vai via" ("go away") will get them off your back until the next vendor comes up to you.

Yet another scam involves being approached by a man, asking you to help break a large bill - usually €20 or €50. Do not give him your money. The bill he is giving you is fake, but at first glance it might seem real.

The best advice to avoid scams is to get way from anyone that you have never seen before who starts talking to you.

Racism

Unfortunately racism is still present in Italy. The country only started having a significant non-white presence in the last 20-years and has since been very slow to learn to respect racial minorities.

Racially-motivated violence is rare but it does make the news a few times a year; it is generally perpetrated at the expense of immigrants.

Italians may assume a person with prominent 'foreign' features to be an immigrant and, regrettably, treat him\her with some measure of contempt or condescension. This expecially happens towards persons who may look like gypsies or Maghreb Arabs.

Tourists can generally expect not to be insulted to their face, but unfortunately casual racism and bigotry is not absent from conversation (especially bar talk, and especially if sports games featuring non-white players are on).

On the other hand, antisemitism is absent in Italian society and Italy never had a real history of antisemitism (except only for Fascist era)

Stay healthy

Italian hospitals are public and offer completely free high-standard treatments for EU travellers, although, as anywhere else, you may have a long wait to be served. Emergency assistance is granted even to non-EU travelers. For non-emergency assistance, non-EU citizens are required to pay out-of-pocket, there is no convention with US health insurances (although some insurance companies might later reimburse these expenses).

Water in southern Italy might come from desalination and sometimes may have a strange taste, due to extended droughts. If in doubt use bottled water. Elsewhere tap water is perfectly drinkable and very well maintained. Or else, a "NON POTABILE" warning is posted.

Respect

Italy has a reputation for being a welcoming country and Italians are friendly and courteous, as well as very used to interacting with foreigners. The Italian society is however slightly more formal than the Northern European or English-speaking ones, and it can be more sensitive to issues of respect or lack thereof, so it is wrong to assume everyone will be gregarious and laid-back. If you are polite and civil you should have no problems, but don't expect that the average Italian speaks or even understands English (except for young people).

Italians greet family and close friends with two light kisses on the cheek. Males do, too. To avoid ending up kissing on the lips note that you first move to the right (kiss the other person on their left cheek) and then to the left. In general, when joining or leaving a group, you will shake hands individually with (or kiss, depending on the level of familiarity) each member of the group. If it is a business related meeting you just shake hands.

To make friends, it's a good idea to pay some compliments. Most Italians still live in their town of origin and feel far more strongly about their local area than they do about Italy in general. Tell them how beautiful their town/lake/village/church is and possibly add how much you prefer it to Rome/Milan/other Italian towns. Residents can be fonts of knowledge regarding their local monuments and history, and a few questions will often produce interesting stories.

Clothing

Whole essays can be written about the Italians' relationships with clothes. Three of the most important observations:

  1. Most Italians (especially young ones from the upper and upper-middle social classes) can be very appearance-conscious.
  2. It's important, however, not to judge people by their choice of clothing. Styles do not necessarily carry the same connotations in Italy that they would in Britain or some other countries. Some youths lounge about in skin-tight tee-shirts and casually-knotted knitwear (and are very perplexed by the response they get when they take their sense of style and grooming to a less 'sophisticated' climate).
  3. Sometimes, clothing rules are written. To visit a church or religious site you will need to cover yourself up; no bare backs, chests, shoulders and sometimes no knees. Sometimes museums and other attractions can also be strict; no bathing costumes, for example. If you want to visit a church or religious site it's a good idea to take something to cover yourself up with; for example a jumper or large scarf. Some churches supply cover-ups, such as sarongs are loaned to men with shorts so that they can modestly conceal their legs. Even where there are no written rules, it's worth noting that bare chests and large expanses of sunburnt skin are unacceptable away from beaches or sunbathing areas, whatever the temperature is. It's considered unpolite for a man to wear a hat inside of any Catholic church.

Telephone

Both the fixed and mobile phone systems are available throughout Italy. Telephone numbers of the fixed system used to have separate prefixes (area codes) and a local number. In the 1990s the numbers were unified and nowadays, when calling Italian phones you should always dial the full number. For example you start numbers for Rome with 06 even if you are calling from Rome. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. If you don't know somebody's phone number you can dial a variety of recently-established phone services, the most used being 1240, 892424, 892892, but most of them have high fees.

To call abroad from Italy you have to dial 00 + country code + local part where the syntax of the local part depends on the country called.

To call Italy from abroad you have to dial international prefix + 39 + local part. Note that, unlike calls to most countries, you should not skip the starting zero of the local part if you are calling an Italian land line.

In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113, 115, 118 can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone (even if your credit is empty or if you are in an area covered by a different operator)

  • 112 - Carabinieri emergency number - general emergency
  • 113 - Police emergency number - general emergency
  • 114 - Blue Phone emergency number - children-related emergency (especially various forms of violence)
  • 115 - Fire Brigade emergency number
  • 117 - Guardia di Finanza - for customs, commercial and tax issues
  • 118 - Health emergency number - use this if you need an ambulance, otherwise ask for the local Guardia Medica number and they'll send you a doctor.
  • 1515 - State Forestry Department
  • 1518 - Traffic Information
  • 1530 - Coast Guard
  • 803116 - A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club)This provides assistance if your car breaks down (if you have a rented car then call the number they provide), This is a service provided to subscribers to ACI or to other Automobile Clubs associated to ARC Europe. If you're not associated to any of them you'll be asked to pay a fee (approx. €80).

Always carry with you a note about the address and the number of your embassy.

If you are in an emergency and do not know who to call dial 112 or 113 (out of major towns, better to call 113 for English-speaking operators).

Payphones are widely available, especially in stations and airports. However, the number of payphones has consistently been reduced after the introduction of mobile phones. Some payphones work with coins only, some with phone cards only and some with both coins and phone cards. Only a limited number of phones (just a few in main airports) directly accept credit cards.

Italians use mobile phones extensively, some might say excessively. The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Note that cellphones from North America will not work in Italy unless they are Tri-band. Nearly all of the country has GSM, GPRS and UMTS/HDSPA coverage. If you arrive from abroad and intend making a lot of calls, buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card (termed prepagato for "prepaid" and ricaricabile for "rechargeable") and put it in your current mobile (if compatible and if your mobile set is not locked). You need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a passport or other official identity, to be able to purchase the SIM card. Unless you already have one, you will also be required to obtain a Codice Fiscale (a tax number) - the vendor may generate one for you from your form of identification. Subscription-based mobile telephony accounts are subject to a government tax, to which prepaid SIM cards are not subject. Sometimes hotels have mobile phones for customer to borrow or rent.

Call costs vary greatly depending on when, where, from and where to. Each provider offers an array of complex tariffs and it is near impossible to make reliable cost estimates. The cost of calls differs considerably if you call a fixed-line phone or a mobile phone. Usually there is a difference in cost even for incoming calls from abroad. If you can choose, calling the other party's land line could be even 40% cheaper than mobile. Many companies are shifting their customer service numbers to fixed-rate number (prefix 199). These numbers are at the local rate, no matter where are you calling from.

According to national regulations, hotels cannot apply a surcharge on calls made from the hotel (as the switchboard service should be already included as a service paid in the room cost), but to be sure check it before you use.

Calls between landlines are charged at either the local rate or the national rate depending on the originating and destination area codes; if both are the same then the call will be local rate. Note that local calls are not free.

5 day 11.07.2020 Saturday 7:00 19:00
X
NAPLES

Mt. Vesuvius volcano is the dramatic backdrop for your Carnival cruise to Naples, a charismatic city in southern Italy. Gilded treasures fill the city’s cathedrals and priceless artifacts shine in the museums, while no-frills pizzerias churn out the world’s greatest pizzas. It’s a short trip to the volcano-buried town of Pompeii, the beautiful seaside town of Sorrento, and the Mediterranean resort on Capri Island from cruises to Naples, Italy.

  • See treasures adorning the Duomo’s chapel, including silver statues of San Gennaro.
  • Step back to Roman times in Pompeii.
  • Peek inside Queen Maria Amalia’s boudoir at the Museo Nazionale de Capodimonte.

Central administration of the port Naples:
Piazzale Pisacane, 80133 Napoli
tel.: (+39) 081-228-3111; fax: (+39) 081-206-888

X
ITALY

General information

Capital: Rome
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 301,340km²
water: 7,200km²
land: 294,140km²
Population: 59,433,744 (2011 census)
Language: Italian (official); minor German, French and Slovene-speaking communities
Religion: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Country code: +39
Internet TLD: .it
Time Zone: UTC+1
Emergencies: dial 112

Italy (Italian: Italia) is a country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.

It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country).

Italy is, for the most part, a peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. Italy, which is boot-shaped, is surrounded by the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas to the west, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to the South, and the Adriatic Sea to the East. Italian is the official language spoken by the majority of the population, but as you travel throughout the country you will find that there are several distinct Italian dialects depending on the region you're in. Italy has a very diverse landscape, but can be primarily described as mountainous, including the Alps and the Apennines mountain ranges that run through the vast majority of it. Two major islands are part of this country: Sardinia, which is an island off the west coast of Italy, and Sicily, at the southern tip (the "toe") of the boot.

Climate

The climate of Italy is highly diverse, and could be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate. Most of Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. Winters are cold and damp in the North, and milder in the South. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The Alps have a mountain climate, with cool summers and very cold winters.

Cope

Electricity. Italy uses 220V, 50Hz. Italy has its own electrical plug design. The standard "European" two-prong plugs will fit, but grounded (three-prong) plugs from other countries will not. German-type "Schuko" sockets can also be found quite often, especially in the north, and you'll find adapters for that system in virtually all supermarkets. Adapters for other systems (including US plugs) are not that ubiquitous but can be found at airports or in specialised shops.

If you're using American appliances that were designed for standard US household 110V, 60Hz current, make sure you get a voltage adaptor, not just a plug adaptor. The higher voltage will damage or destroy your appliance, and could injure or kill you as well.

Power surges and power failures are virtually unknown in Italy, even less so than in the States; the energy, water and gas systems are state-run and very well equipped and maintained since even before WW2; the electrical system is fully updated to the latest tech specs and every household is required to comply when renovating. That includes the remote villages in the South, too.

Stay safe

For emergencies, call 113 (Polizia di Stato - State Police), 112 (Carabinieri - Gendarmerie), 117 (Guardia di Finanza - Financial police force), 115 (Pompieri - Fire Department), 118 (Medical Rescue), 1515 (State Forestry Department), 1530 (Coast Guard), 1528 (Traffic reports).

In case of emergency or inconvenience, the Italian Ministry for Tourism has implemented a multilingual contact centre providing information and assistance to tourists. Easy Italia operates seven days a week, 09.00-22:00, and its telephone number (+39 39 039 039) can be dialled from anywhere in the world from either a landline or a mobile. If you're currently in Italy, you can also contact them by dialling the toll-free number 800 000 039 from landlines and payphones. The service is also available on Skype (easyitalia) and you can also ask information for free by filling in a web form

Italy is a safe country to travel in like most developed countries. There are few incidents of terrorism/serious violence and these episodes have been almost exclusively motivated by internal politics. Examples include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence by the Mafia. Almost every major incident is attributed to organized crime or anarchist movements and rarely, if ever, directed at travelers or foreigners.

Tourist Scams

Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams. Most of them occur regularly in bigger cities such as Rome, Milan, or Naples. A particular scam is when some plainclothes police will approach you, asking to look for "drug money," or ask to see your passport. This is a scam to take your money. You can scare them by asking for their ID. Guardia di Finanza (the grey uniformed ones) do customs work.

A recent scam involves men approaching you, asking where you are from, and begin to tie bracelets around your wrists. When they are done they will try to charge you upwards of €20 for each bracelet. If anyone makes any attempt to reach for your hand, retract quickly. If you get trapped, you can refuse to pay, but this may not be wise if there are not many people around. Carry small bills or just change, in your wallet, so if you find yourself in cornered to pay for the bracelet, you can convince them that €1 or €2 is all you have.

When taking a taxi, be sure to remember license number written on the card door. In seconds, people have had a taxi bill risen by €10 or even more. When giving money to taxi driver, be careful.

Around popular tourist sites, there are groups mostly of men trying to sell cheap souvenirs. They may also carry roses and say they are giving you a gift because they like you but the minute you take their 'gift' they demand money. They are often very insistent and often the only way to get rid of them is to be plain rude. Do the best you can to not take their "gifts" as they will follow you around asking for money. Simply saying "no" or "vai via" ("go away") will get them off your back until the next vendor comes up to you.

Yet another scam involves being approached by a man, asking you to help break a large bill - usually €20 or €50. Do not give him your money. The bill he is giving you is fake, but at first glance it might seem real.

The best advice to avoid scams is to get way from anyone that you have never seen before who starts talking to you.

Racism

Unfortunately racism is still present in Italy. The country only started having a significant non-white presence in the last 20-years and has since been very slow to learn to respect racial minorities.

Racially-motivated violence is rare but it does make the news a few times a year; it is generally perpetrated at the expense of immigrants.

Italians may assume a person with prominent 'foreign' features to be an immigrant and, regrettably, treat him\her with some measure of contempt or condescension. This expecially happens towards persons who may look like gypsies or Maghreb Arabs.

Tourists can generally expect not to be insulted to their face, but unfortunately casual racism and bigotry is not absent from conversation (especially bar talk, and especially if sports games featuring non-white players are on).

On the other hand, antisemitism is absent in Italian society and Italy never had a real history of antisemitism (except only for Fascist era)

Stay healthy

Italian hospitals are public and offer completely free high-standard treatments for EU travellers, although, as anywhere else, you may have a long wait to be served. Emergency assistance is granted even to non-EU travelers. For non-emergency assistance, non-EU citizens are required to pay out-of-pocket, there is no convention with US health insurances (although some insurance companies might later reimburse these expenses).

Water in southern Italy might come from desalination and sometimes may have a strange taste, due to extended droughts. If in doubt use bottled water. Elsewhere tap water is perfectly drinkable and very well maintained. Or else, a "NON POTABILE" warning is posted.

Respect

Italy has a reputation for being a welcoming country and Italians are friendly and courteous, as well as very used to interacting with foreigners. The Italian society is however slightly more formal than the Northern European or English-speaking ones, and it can be more sensitive to issues of respect or lack thereof, so it is wrong to assume everyone will be gregarious and laid-back. If you are polite and civil you should have no problems, but don't expect that the average Italian speaks or even understands English (except for young people).

Italians greet family and close friends with two light kisses on the cheek. Males do, too. To avoid ending up kissing on the lips note that you first move to the right (kiss the other person on their left cheek) and then to the left. In general, when joining or leaving a group, you will shake hands individually with (or kiss, depending on the level of familiarity) each member of the group. If it is a business related meeting you just shake hands.

To make friends, it's a good idea to pay some compliments. Most Italians still live in their town of origin and feel far more strongly about their local area than they do about Italy in general. Tell them how beautiful their town/lake/village/church is and possibly add how much you prefer it to Rome/Milan/other Italian towns. Residents can be fonts of knowledge regarding their local monuments and history, and a few questions will often produce interesting stories.

Clothing

Whole essays can be written about the Italians' relationships with clothes. Three of the most important observations:

  1. Most Italians (especially young ones from the upper and upper-middle social classes) can be very appearance-conscious.
  2. It's important, however, not to judge people by their choice of clothing. Styles do not necessarily carry the same connotations in Italy that they would in Britain or some other countries. Some youths lounge about in skin-tight tee-shirts and casually-knotted knitwear (and are very perplexed by the response they get when they take their sense of style and grooming to a less 'sophisticated' climate).
  3. Sometimes, clothing rules are written. To visit a church or religious site you will need to cover yourself up; no bare backs, chests, shoulders and sometimes no knees. Sometimes museums and other attractions can also be strict; no bathing costumes, for example. If you want to visit a church or religious site it's a good idea to take something to cover yourself up with; for example a jumper or large scarf. Some churches supply cover-ups, such as sarongs are loaned to men with shorts so that they can modestly conceal their legs. Even where there are no written rules, it's worth noting that bare chests and large expanses of sunburnt skin are unacceptable away from beaches or sunbathing areas, whatever the temperature is. It's considered unpolite for a man to wear a hat inside of any Catholic church.

Telephone

Both the fixed and mobile phone systems are available throughout Italy. Telephone numbers of the fixed system used to have separate prefixes (area codes) and a local number. In the 1990s the numbers were unified and nowadays, when calling Italian phones you should always dial the full number. For example you start numbers for Rome with 06 even if you are calling from Rome. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. If you don't know somebody's phone number you can dial a variety of recently-established phone services, the most used being 1240, 892424, 892892, but most of them have high fees.

To call abroad from Italy you have to dial 00 + country code + local part where the syntax of the local part depends on the country called.

To call Italy from abroad you have to dial international prefix + 39 + local part. Note that, unlike calls to most countries, you should not skip the starting zero of the local part if you are calling an Italian land line.

In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113, 115, 118 can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone (even if your credit is empty or if you are in an area covered by a different operator)

  • 112 - Carabinieri emergency number - general emergency
  • 113 - Police emergency number - general emergency
  • 114 - Blue Phone emergency number - children-related emergency (especially various forms of violence)
  • 115 - Fire Brigade emergency number
  • 117 - Guardia di Finanza - for customs, commercial and tax issues
  • 118 - Health emergency number - use this if you need an ambulance, otherwise ask for the local Guardia Medica number and they'll send you a doctor.
  • 1515 - State Forestry Department
  • 1518 - Traffic Information
  • 1530 - Coast Guard
  • 803116 - A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club)This provides assistance if your car breaks down (if you have a rented car then call the number they provide), This is a service provided to subscribers to ACI or to other Automobile Clubs associated to ARC Europe. If you're not associated to any of them you'll be asked to pay a fee (approx. €80).

Always carry with you a note about the address and the number of your embassy.

If you are in an emergency and do not know who to call dial 112 or 113 (out of major towns, better to call 113 for English-speaking operators).

Payphones are widely available, especially in stations and airports. However, the number of payphones has consistently been reduced after the introduction of mobile phones. Some payphones work with coins only, some with phone cards only and some with both coins and phone cards. Only a limited number of phones (just a few in main airports) directly accept credit cards.

Italians use mobile phones extensively, some might say excessively. The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Note that cellphones from North America will not work in Italy unless they are Tri-band. Nearly all of the country has GSM, GPRS and UMTS/HDSPA coverage. If you arrive from abroad and intend making a lot of calls, buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card (termed prepagato for "prepaid" and ricaricabile for "rechargeable") and put it in your current mobile (if compatible and if your mobile set is not locked). You need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a passport or other official identity, to be able to purchase the SIM card. Unless you already have one, you will also be required to obtain a Codice Fiscale (a tax number) - the vendor may generate one for you from your form of identification. Subscription-based mobile telephony accounts are subject to a government tax, to which prepaid SIM cards are not subject. Sometimes hotels have mobile phones for customer to borrow or rent.

Call costs vary greatly depending on when, where, from and where to. Each provider offers an array of complex tariffs and it is near impossible to make reliable cost estimates. The cost of calls differs considerably if you call a fixed-line phone or a mobile phone. Usually there is a difference in cost even for incoming calls from abroad. If you can choose, calling the other party's land line could be even 40% cheaper than mobile. Many companies are shifting their customer service numbers to fixed-rate number (prefix 199). These numbers are at the local rate, no matter where are you calling from.

According to national regulations, hotels cannot apply a surcharge on calls made from the hotel (as the switchboard service should be already included as a service paid in the room cost), but to be sure check it before you use.

Calls between landlines are charged at either the local rate or the national rate depending on the originating and destination area codes; if both are the same then the call will be local rate. Note that local calls are not free.

6 day 12.07.2020 Sunday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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7 day 13.07.2020 Monday 8:00 18:00
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DUBROVNIK

Discover centuries of history on your Carnival cruise to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Sturdy medieval walls encircle this UNESCO-listed Old Town, home to baroque monuments and tranquil monasteries, red roofed houses and sidewalk cafés. Dubrovnik cruises dock in the postcard-picture-perfect city at the historic heart of Croatia, making it one of Europe’s most popular ports of call.

  • Walk along the sturdy ramparts of the old walls, dating back to the 13th century.
  • Buy therapeutic herbs from the Franciscan Monastery’s 14th-century apothecary.
  • Find holy relics and the remains of St. Blaise inside Dubrovnik Cathedral.

Central administration of the port Dubrovnik:
Obala Pape Ivana Pavla II. 1, Dubrovnik 20000, Croatia
tel.: (+385-20) 313-333; fax: (+385-20) 418-551

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CROATIA

General information

Capital: Zagreb
Dialing code: +385
Currency: Croatian kuna (HRK)
Official language: Croatian language
Government: Parliamentary republic, Parliamentary system
Area:  56,542 sq km
Population:  4,493,312 (July 2007 est.)
Language: Croatian 96%, other 4% (including Serbian, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German)
Religion:  Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other Christian 0.4%, others and unknown 6.1%
Electricity:  230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code:  +385
Time Zone: UTC +1

Croatia (Croatian: Hrvatska) is a country situated in Southeast Europe. It is to the east side of the Adriatic Sea, to the east of Italy. It is bordered by Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the north, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, Serbia in the east, and Montenegro to the south.

Climate

Northern Croatia has a temperate continental climate whereas the central and upland regions have a mountainous climate. The entire Adriatic coast has a pleasant Mediterranean climate. Spring and autumn are mild along the coast, while winter is cold and snowy in central and northern regions. The average temperature inland in January ranges from -10 to 5°C, August 19 to 39°C. The average temperature at the seaside is higher: January 6 to 11°C, August 21 to 39°C.

Terrain

Geographically diverse; flat agricultural plains along the Hungarian border (Central European area), low mountains and highlands near the Adriatic coastline and islands. There are 1,246 islands; the largest ones are Krk and Cres. The highest point is Dinara, at 1,830 m.

Talk

Many Croatians speak English as their second language, but German and Italian are very popular too (largely because of the large annual influx of German and Italian tourists, and because parts of the country belonged to Italy before 1947). People in the tourist industry most often speak English quite well, as do the younger generation, especially in the tourist areas of Istria, along the coast down to Dubrovnik, and in the capital, Zagreb. Elder people will rarely speak English, but you shouldn't have any problems if you switch to German or Italian. If you know Polish or Czech, you can try it as well, as Polish, Czech and Croatian are partially mutually intelligible (but some words are very different) and in many places, Croatian people are used to large number of Polish and Czech tourists. Croatian is not an easy language to learn, but the people like when foreign travelers use it for basic things such as greeting and thanking.

Telephone

Croatia uses the GSM 900 (T-Mo, Vip) /1800 (Tele2) system for mobile phones. There are three providers, T-Mobile (also operates the Bonbon and MultiPlus Mobile prepaid brand), Vip (also operates the Tomato prepaid brand) and Tele2. Over 98% of the country's area is covered. 3G (UMTS 2100) has been available since 2006, while 4G (LTE 1900MHz) has become available in 2012. However, 4G is supported in larger cities only. If you have an unlocked phone, you can buy a Tele2 prepaid SIM card for 25 kn. GSM phones (Nokia 1200, Nokia 2610, Motorola F3, LG KG130 or Samsung C170) bundled with T-Mobile or Vip prepaid SIM cards can be found in post offices, grocery stores and kiosks at prices between 50 and 200 kn.

An alternative to using mobile phones are Calling Cards which can be bought in postal offices and kiosks. There are two providers - Dencall and Hitme. The cheapest cards' price is 25kn.

Area Codes: When calling between cities you must dial specific city area codes: (area code)+(phone number) Zagreb (01) Split (021) Rijeka (051) Dubrovnik (020) Sibenik/Knin (022) Zadar (023) Osijek (031) Vukovar (032) Varazdin (042) Bjelovar (043) Sisak (044) Karlovac (047) Koprivnica (048) Krapina (049) Istria (052) Lika/Senj (053)

Emergency services

Police - 92
Ambulance - 94 or 4600-911 (Zagreb)
Fire service - 93
Road Emergency Service - 987
Information service - 988
Country's general information service - 989
Taxi service - 970
8 day 14.07.2020 Tuesday 7:00 17:00
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KOTOR
Kotor is a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast.
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MONTENEGRO
9 day 15.07.2020 Wednesday 7:00 16:00
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CORFU

Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the northwesternmost part of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality (pop. 32,095) is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.

The island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology. Its Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water symbols: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope, and abducted her. Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which gradually evolved to Kerkyra (Doric). Together, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named Phaiakes, in Latin Phaeaciani. Corfu's nickname is The island of the Phaeacians.

The island's history is full of battles and conquests. Castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of these struggles. Two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis ("castle city") by the Greek government. From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe. The fortifications of the island were used by the Venetians to defend against Ottoman intrusion into the Adriatic. Corfu repulsed several Ottoman sieges, before falling under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was eventually ceded by the British Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, and unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London

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GREECE

General information

Capital: Athens
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 131,957 km2
water: 1,310 km2
land: 130,647 km2
Population: 10,688,058 (July 2006 est.)
Language: Greek 99% (official)
Religion: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: +30
Internet TLD: .gr
Time Zone: UTC +2

Greece (Greek: Ελλ?δα, Elláda) is a country in Southern Europe, on the southernmost tip of the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria, and Turkey. It has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. Furthermore it's a geographically appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches.

Greece is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world's top 20 countries. According to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the nation received about 17 million visitors from January to mid August 2007, a large number for a small country of 11 million. Visitors are drawn to the country's beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty.

Over 90% of visitors who come to Greece come from other European countries, although in recent years there have been growing numbers of tourists from other world regions. The vast majority of visitors arrive during the tourist season, which is April through October. Peak season is July through August, and most of the tourists and tourism industry are concentrated in Crete, the Dodecanese, Cyclades, and Western Greek Islands, and to a lesser extent the Peloponnese and the Halkidiki peninsula in Macedonia. There are still many rewarding areas in the country free of large-scale tourism.

Many first-time visitors arrive in Greece with specific images in mind and are surprised to discover a country with such regional and architectural diversity. The famous whitewashed homes and charming blue-domed churches only characterize a specific region of the country (the Cyclades Islands). Architecture varies greatly from one region to the next depending on the local history. Visitors will find Neoclassical architecture in the cities of Ermoupolis and Nafplion, Ottoman-influenced buildings in Grevená and Kozáni, whitewashed Cycladic homes on the island of Paros, and pastel-colored baroque homes and churches on Corfu. The nation's terrain is just as varied as its architectural heritage: idyllic beaches, towering mountain ranges, wine-producing valleys, vast stretches of olive orchards in the south, and lush forests in the north. Greece's historical sights are just as varied; the country is littered with just as many medieval churches and castles as classical ruins and temples.

Climate

Despite its small size, Greece has a varied climate.

Most of the country, including all coastal areas, enjoys a so-called Mediterranean climate, almost identical to much of California. Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of near-constant sunshine generally from April until November. The remainder of the year is characterized by a relatively cold, rainy period which generally starts sometime in November and lasts until late March or early April. Sporadic rains do occur during the dry season, but they tend to be rare, quick showers. The country’s Ionian Coast and Ionian Islands tend to receive more annual precipitation than the rest of the country. The islands in the southern Aegean and parts of the southeastern mainland are the driest areas of the country.

The most pleasant weather occurs in May-June and September-October. The warmest time of the year starts in mid-July and generally lasts until mid-August, when the annual meltémi winds from the north cool the country. Mid-July to mid-August is the height of summer, and the midday sun tends to get very strong; during this time, most Greeks avoid heavy physical activity outdoors between 1PM and 5PM. It is best advised to get in tune with the local way of life by waking up early, doing all sightseeing and errands in the cool morning hours, and then spending the afternoon in the relaxing shade or at the beach. In fact, the bulk of tourists arrive in Greece during the height of summer, to do just that! For visitors from more northerly climates, the off season from November through February can be a rewarding time to see Greece. It will not be beach weather, but temperatures are mild. The much added bonus is that there will be very few other tourists and reduced prices. Summer evenings tend to be very rewarding. As strong as the sun may get on a summer afternoon, the low levels of atmospheric humidity in most areas of the country prevent the air from trapping much heat, and temperatures tend to dip to very pleasant levels in the evenings. But even during midday, high temperatures actually tend to be quite comfortable as long as the time is not spent doing a lot of walking or other physical activity. (Athens, however, can still be uncomfortably warm during summer afternoons due to the predominance of concrete in the city, an effect similar to New York City.) Coastal areas near open waters (away from tightly-closed bays and gulfs), especially on many of the islands, tend to be quite breezy, and can be quite cold at night.

While the Mediterranean climate characterizes most of the country, two other climate systems are present. One is the cool Alpine climate which is found on mountainous areas of the country's interior, including many high-altitude valleys. Another system is the Continental climate found on the interiors of north-central and northeastern Greece, and gives those areas very cold winters and warm, relatively humid summers.

Cultural heritage

World famous are the iconic Parthenon in the bustling capital Athens and the splendid site of Delphi, where the mighty emperors sought the prophecies of the most prominent oracle in the ancient Greek world. There's the temple of Apollo at Bassae and the gorgeous old city of Rhodes, once overlooked by the Colossus of Rhodes. The archaeological site of Olympia is the birthplace of our modern Olympic Games and the place from where the Olympic flame is sent across the world. The many Eastern Orthodox monasteries of Meteora are just stunning to look at, built high on natural sandstone rock pillars. At the small town of Vergina the ancient site of Agai was found, and many valuable artifacts were discovered in several untouched tombs, one of them being the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. Proudly situated on Mt. Taygetos is the ancient town of Mystras, close to (and often mistaken for) ancient Sparta. Another great site is the island of Delos, not far from the popular holiday destination Mykonos. According to myths, this is were Apollo and Artemis were born. The island used to be the main Panhellenic sanctuary and is now dotted with archaeological remains.

Some major sights are nicely located on one of the beautiful Greek islands, allowing for a delightful combination of sightseeing and relaxing on one of the many fine beaches. Patmos is a lovely example, boasting the historic centre Chora, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, but also some pleasant sea side restaurants with pretty views. Corfu has the same characteristics, being a popular holiday destination with good beaches and an impressive historic town centre. The beach towns of Samos, just a stone's throw away from the Turkish mainland, are a good place to try the islands local wines (famous in the ancient world!). On the island are also the World Heritage Temple of Hera, the remains of the fortified port of Pythagoreion and the famous Tunnel of Eupalinos, a 1 km long subterranean aqueduct built in the 6th century BC. Although not an island, the ancient Mount Athos is located in the north of Greece, on the peninsula of Chalkidiki. It's one of the country's most popular tourist regions with excellent beaches, numerous other ancient sites and many charming villages.

If you still want more of the historic stuff, admire the massive Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus or the Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns. The Monasteries of Daphni (Athens), Hosios Loukas (Beotia) and Nea Moni (on the island of Chios) complete the World Hertiage listings for Greece.

Islands

When it comes to Greece's famously gorgeous islands, it's hard to take your pick out of the 6000 options you have, 227 of them being inhabited. Their rocky coast lines, sandy beaches, charming villages, sheltered bays and many yacht harbours make them extremely popular among all kinds of travellers. The large island of Crete is a highly popular tourist destination, with landscapes varying from great sandy palm beaches to snow-covered high peaks and stunning river gorges and a good deal of night life in its main tourist towns. If you're looking to party at night, lovely Mykonos or Ios are good options too. The volcanic island of Santorini is one of the most romantic picks and offers some spectacular views. Its whitewashed capital of Fira is dramatically situated on the edge of a 400m high cliff, overlooking a beautiful blue lagoon. Other popular ones are Lesbos, Paros, Lefkada and Kos. The National Marine Park on Zakynthos is the primary nesting ground for loggerhead sea turtles in the Mediterranean. The rugged, green hills and valleys of Kefalonia boast a number of vineyards, and the island's cliffs and beautiful beaches make it a tourist hotspot. For a slightly more authentic and less touristy experience, try Syros, Amorgos or any of the other small and less developed islands.

Stay safe

Greece is a very safe destination for the traveler: the vast majority of people you interact with will be honest and helpful. The detailed information below is intended to forewarn travelers of risks which they have a small, though not zero, chance of encountering.

Crime and theft

Violent crime and theft rates are very low; public disorder is rare, and public drunkenness is generally frowned upon. Visitors should rest assured that this is an extremely safe and friendly destination, but it is always advisable for foreign tourists to exercise basic precautionary measures just as they would at home. There has recently been a spike in theft (at least a perceived one), which some locals will not hesitate to blame on the influx of immigrants. Organized criminal activity exists in Greek metropolitan cities as well as in Crete but poses no risk to tourists.

The places where the visitor is most likely to encounter crime and theft are probably the handful of overcrowded, and overheated, tourist resorts thronged with younger foreigners attracted by cheap flights, cheap rooms, and cheap booze. The more notorious of such places include Faliraki in Rhodes (calmed down since a new tough mayor was elected), Kavos in Corfu, Malia (currently the "hottest" such destination) on Crete, and Ios (though this last is said to have quieted down a bit recently.) Most visitors to these places return home unmolested, but there have been increasing reports from them of theft, public indecency, sexual assault, and alcohol-fueled violence; both the perpetrators and victims are usually young foreigners, though sometimes locals are involved. Authorities have stepped up police presence in such areas to crack down on these activities. Still, visitors to these places would do well to avoid anything that looks like trouble, especially late at night, and to remember that their own overindulgence in alcohol increases their chance of attracting trouble themselves.

Scams

The most commonly reported major scam against travelers is the Greek version of the old clip joint routine. This is reported primarily from central Athens, but also occasionally from other cities and even the larger island towns. A single male traveler will be approached, usually at night in a neighborhood where there are a lot of bars, by a friendly Greek who will strike up a conversation leading to an invitation to go to "this really cool bar I know" for a drink. Once at the bar, they are joined by a couple of winsome ladies who immediately begin ordering drinks, often champagne, until, at the end of the evening, the mark is presented with an astronomical bill, payment of which is enforced by the sudden appearance of a pair of glowering thugs. The reason this scam works is because most Greeks have a tradition of being friendly to visitors, and almost all Greeks who strike up a conversation with you will have no ulterior motives. But if you're a single male traveler approached by a Greek in the circumstances described above, it's safest to politely but firmly decline any invitations.

Photography restrictions

It is strictly forbidden to take photos of military installations or other strategic locations. Authorities will take violations quite seriously. Obey signs prohibiting photography. In fact, it would be best not to take photographs of anything of military significance, including Greek navy ships, or of airports or any aircraft, even civilian ones: Greek authorities can be very sensitive about such things. Many museums prohibit photography without a permit; some prohibit only flash or tripod photography, and many ask visitors not to take photos of objects (statues, etc.) which include people standing by them, as this is considered disrespectful. Officials at museums will rush over to yell at you if they see a camera or even a cell phone in your hand.

Antiquities

Greece also has very strict laws concerning the export of antiquities, which can include not only ancient objects but also coins, icons, folk art, and random pieces of stone from archeological sites. Before buying anything which could conceivably be considered an antiquity, you should become familiar with the current laws regarding what can be taken out of the country. Briefly, all objects made before 1830 are considered antiquities and are protected by the Ministry. Do not ever think to export or buy any piece of archeological value because it will be either be a fake or you will be arrested promptly at the airport for trafficking of goods of archeological value.

Drugs

Greece has some of the strictest, and most strictly enforced, drug laws in Europe, and tourists are not exempt. No matter what anyone tells you, it is most definitely not cool to do drugs in Greece, including marijuana. Furthermore, such a behavior is strongly rejected by locals and will almost certainly cause someone call the Police and have you arrested. Note that even a very small quantity is enough to get you in serious trouble as Greek law makes almost no distinction between use, possession, and trafficking. Don't even think of offering even the smallest amount of drug to someone else. Undercover cops abound and once caught you are certain to being prosecuted with charges of drug dealing, leading to several years of imprisonment!

Traffic

The greatest danger to travelers in Greece is probably in the simple process of crossing the street: traffic can be bad even in smaller towns and horrendous in Athens and other Greek cities, and accident rates are high. Caution should be exercised by pedestrians, even when crossing with a walk light. Likewise, 1400 people are killed on Greek roads each year - a statistic that is one of the highest in the European Union. Most of this is attributed to aggressive driving habits. Drivers often weave between lane to lane of traffic to waste less time.

Health care

Despite a loud call for health care reform from both the voters and the political establishment, the nation's health care system has received very high marks from the World Health Organization (WHO), a branch of the UN. However, many citizens prefer private health care for longer-term hospital stays. Depending on the age and nature of a particular hospital or clinic, services range from adequate to excellent. Health care is free and universal for all citizens, as well as for all EU nationals upon presentation of an EHIC card (Formerly the E111 form). For non-EU nationals, only emergency care is provided for free.

A network of helicopter ambulances serves the islands, transporting patients who need immediate attention to the nearest island or city with a major hospital.

The country's pharmacies and medications are of top quality, and pharmacists are highly trained experts in their field. Many medications that can only be acquired by prescription in the US and UK can be purchased without a prescription in Greece. When sick with a simple, common illness, a visit to the pharmacist will provide you with the medication you need. If you are looking for a specific medication, be sure to know its generic name, as brand names might be different. Most pharmacies close on Sundays, but a sign will be posted on the door indicating the nearest pharmacies that are open.

Healthcare provision is different to Anglosphere nations in that many specialists are in the community. GPs are replaced by community pathologists. Hotels and tourist agencies can provide advice on where to go if you are ill.

Natural Dangers

Sun and heat pose risks that summer visitors should take precautions for. Take a good, light sun hat and sun glasses, and drink plenty of water.

In late spring and summer, the government runs public service announcements on television reminding Greeks to wear their sunblock at the beach. The Mediterranean sun tends to get quite strong, and can burn skin that has not been exposed to the sun for a long time. Any excessive daily sun exposure can also cause long-term damage to skin. Sunblock and sunscreen are widely available throughout Greece at supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and special stores selling beach-related items, though they tend to be expensive, and the higher SPF factor blocks can be hard to find.

During the hottest months, while visiting archaeological sites, wear tank tops, carry umbrellas, and carry water. Daily high temperatures stay at about 95-100°F (35-38°C). The sun is merciless. In recent years Athens has been subject to periodic summer heat waves where the temperature can reach above 100°F (38°C), posing a risk of respiratory problems and heat stroke for some people. Be aware that many islands, especially in the Cyclades, have very little shade to ameliorate the summer heat; if hiking around such islands, including going by foot to distant beaches, it's especially important in hot weather to wear a hat and sunscreen, to take water, and to avoid being caught walking during the hottest part of the day.

Jellyfish periodically infest some beaches and their stings can be severe. The red ones are particularly dangerous. Sea urchins are common along the Greek coast, usually clinging to underwater flat surfaces such as smooth rocks and sea walls. They usually inhabit shallow water so they're easy to see. Care should be taken not to step on them, since their spines can be painful.

It's inadvisable to go hiking cross country in Greece alone: even in popular places, the countryside can be surprisingly deserted, and if you get in trouble while you're out of sight of any houses or roads, it could be a long time before anyone notices you.

Lifeguards are rare at Greek beaches, though most of them where people congregate to swim are locally considered safe. Some beaches have shallow water a long way from the shore; others suddenly shelve steeply. If in doubt about safe swimming conditions, ask locally.

There are no required inoculations for Greece and the water is almost everywhere safe (see above under Drink.) Look for 'Blue Flags' at beaches for the highest quality water (which tend to also have good sand and facilities)

Respect

Greeks rate politeness with a person's behavior and not their words. Furthermore, there is an air of informality; everybody is treated like a cousin. They use their hands to gesture a lot. Have fun with this. Sometimes over-emphasizing politeness in spoken language will only make the person dealing with you think you are pretentious. It's nice to learn basic words like "thank you" (Ευχαριστ?: ef-khah-rees-TOH) or "please" (Παρακαλ?: pah-rah-kah-LOH).

Greeks generally consider it proper etiquette to let the stranger make the first move. You may find that on entering a cafe or passing a group on the street you feel that you're being ignored, but if you take the initiative by saying hello first, you're likely to find that people suddenly turn friendly.

Greeks take leisure very seriously; it is a work-to-live culture, not live-to-work. Don't take perceived laziness or rudeness harshly. They do it to everyone, locals and tourists alike. Rather than fight it, just go along with it and laugh at the situation. It can be very frustrating at times but also appreciate their "enjoy life" attitude. They do take politics and soccer very seriously.

Dress codes for churches include covered shoulders for women and knees covered for both sexes. This tends to be lightly enforced during the height of the summer tourist season, simply due to sheer volume! In any case, appropriate clothing is usually available at the entrance of churches and monasteries, especially the ones receiving most tourist traffic. Just pick it up going in and drop it off on the way out.

Telephone

The cheapest way to call someone abroad – and this is really cheap – is to use a pre-paid calling card and call from a land line anywhere (also from your hotel room). Pre-paid calling cards are sold in many shops and kiosks. The calling card is not much more than a phone number and a pin code, which you dial prior to dialing the usual phone number. If you want to call internationally , ask for an international calling card. For one euro you can call for about 45 minutes, so buy a card in the cheapest value (which is about 3 euros). Calling someone for half an hour is cheaper than sending one email from an internet cafe. Cards expire usually 90 days after first use. You can also use this pre-paid calling card at public phone boxes, which are widely available.

Emergency services

Reference: 131
Firefighters: 199
Police: 100
Port Police: 108
Tourist Police: 171
Emergency medical services: 106
Technical assistance on the road: 104, 154
10 day 16.07.2020 Thursday 8:00 18:00
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MESSINA (SICILY)

With an extremely ancient history, it experienced a succession of different rulers, culminating in the splendor of the Norman and Swabian era.

Imposing in its majesty, Etna is the symbol of Sicily and, in many people’s eyes, the uncontested lord of the island. The city of Taormina is rich in Greek, Roman and medieval remains, set in a landscape of surpassing beauty. The tour includes a visit to the Archaeological Museum.

General administration of the port Messina: Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 27, 98100 Messina tel.: (+39) 090-679-991; fax: (+39) 090-710-120

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ITALY

General information

Capital: Rome
Government: Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 301,340km²
water: 7,200km²
land: 294,140km²
Population: 59,433,744 (2011 census)
Language: Italian (official); minor German, French and Slovene-speaking communities
Religion: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz (European or Italian plug)
Country code: +39
Internet TLD: .it
Time Zone: UTC+1
Emergencies: dial 112

Italy (Italian: Italia) is a country in Southern Europe. Together with Greece, it is acknowledged as the birthplace of Western culture. Not surprisingly, it is also home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. High art and monuments are to be found everywhere around the country.

It is also famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). No wonder it is often nicknamed the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country).

Italy is, for the most part, a peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the north. Italy, which is boot-shaped, is surrounded by the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Seas to the west, the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas to the South, and the Adriatic Sea to the East. Italian is the official language spoken by the majority of the population, but as you travel throughout the country you will find that there are several distinct Italian dialects depending on the region you're in. Italy has a very diverse landscape, but can be primarily described as mountainous, including the Alps and the Apennines mountain ranges that run through the vast majority of it. Two major islands are part of this country: Sardinia, which is an island off the west coast of Italy, and Sicily, at the southern tip (the "toe") of the boot.

Climate

The climate of Italy is highly diverse, and could be far from the stereotypical Mediterranean climate. Most of Italy has hot, dry summers, with July being the hottest month of the year. Winters are cold and damp in the North, and milder in the South. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The Alps have a mountain climate, with cool summers and very cold winters.

Cope

Electricity. Italy uses 220V, 50Hz. Italy has its own electrical plug design. The standard "European" two-prong plugs will fit, but grounded (three-prong) plugs from other countries will not. German-type "Schuko" sockets can also be found quite often, especially in the north, and you'll find adapters for that system in virtually all supermarkets. Adapters for other systems (including US plugs) are not that ubiquitous but can be found at airports or in specialised shops.

If you're using American appliances that were designed for standard US household 110V, 60Hz current, make sure you get a voltage adaptor, not just a plug adaptor. The higher voltage will damage or destroy your appliance, and could injure or kill you as well.

Power surges and power failures are virtually unknown in Italy, even less so than in the States; the energy, water and gas systems are state-run and very well equipped and maintained since even before WW2; the electrical system is fully updated to the latest tech specs and every household is required to comply when renovating. That includes the remote villages in the South, too.

Stay safe

For emergencies, call 113 (Polizia di Stato - State Police), 112 (Carabinieri - Gendarmerie), 117 (Guardia di Finanza - Financial police force), 115 (Pompieri - Fire Department), 118 (Medical Rescue), 1515 (State Forestry Department), 1530 (Coast Guard), 1528 (Traffic reports).

In case of emergency or inconvenience, the Italian Ministry for Tourism has implemented a multilingual contact centre providing information and assistance to tourists. Easy Italia operates seven days a week, 09.00-22:00, and its telephone number (+39 39 039 039) can be dialled from anywhere in the world from either a landline or a mobile. If you're currently in Italy, you can also contact them by dialling the toll-free number 800 000 039 from landlines and payphones. The service is also available on Skype (easyitalia) and you can also ask information for free by filling in a web form

Italy is a safe country to travel in like most developed countries. There are few incidents of terrorism/serious violence and these episodes have been almost exclusively motivated by internal politics. Examples include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence by the Mafia. Almost every major incident is attributed to organized crime or anarchist movements and rarely, if ever, directed at travelers or foreigners.

Tourist Scams

Read up on the legends concerning tourist scams. Most of them occur regularly in bigger cities such as Rome, Milan, or Naples. A particular scam is when some plainclothes police will approach you, asking to look for "drug money," or ask to see your passport. This is a scam to take your money. You can scare them by asking for their ID. Guardia di Finanza (the grey uniformed ones) do customs work.

A recent scam involves men approaching you, asking where you are from, and begin to tie bracelets around your wrists. When they are done they will try to charge you upwards of €20 for each bracelet. If anyone makes any attempt to reach for your hand, retract quickly. If you get trapped, you can refuse to pay, but this may not be wise if there are not many people around. Carry small bills or just change, in your wallet, so if you find yourself in cornered to pay for the bracelet, you can convince them that €1 or €2 is all you have.

When taking a taxi, be sure to remember license number written on the card door. In seconds, people have had a taxi bill risen by €10 or even more. When giving money to taxi driver, be careful.

Around popular tourist sites, there are groups mostly of men trying to sell cheap souvenirs. They may also carry roses and say they are giving you a gift because they like you but the minute you take their 'gift' they demand money. They are often very insistent and often the only way to get rid of them is to be plain rude. Do the best you can to not take their "gifts" as they will follow you around asking for money. Simply saying "no" or "vai via" ("go away") will get them off your back until the next vendor comes up to you.

Yet another scam involves being approached by a man, asking you to help break a large bill - usually €20 or €50. Do not give him your money. The bill he is giving you is fake, but at first glance it might seem real.

The best advice to avoid scams is to get way from anyone that you have never seen before who starts talking to you.

Racism

Unfortunately racism is still present in Italy. The country only started having a significant non-white presence in the last 20-years and has since been very slow to learn to respect racial minorities.

Racially-motivated violence is rare but it does make the news a few times a year; it is generally perpetrated at the expense of immigrants.

Italians may assume a person with prominent 'foreign' features to be an immigrant and, regrettably, treat him\her with some measure of contempt or condescension. This expecially happens towards persons who may look like gypsies or Maghreb Arabs.

Tourists can generally expect not to be insulted to their face, but unfortunately casual racism and bigotry is not absent from conversation (especially bar talk, and especially if sports games featuring non-white players are on).

On the other hand, antisemitism is absent in Italian society and Italy never had a real history of antisemitism (except only for Fascist era)

Stay healthy

Italian hospitals are public and offer completely free high-standard treatments for EU travellers, although, as anywhere else, you may have a long wait to be served. Emergency assistance is granted even to non-EU travelers. For non-emergency assistance, non-EU citizens are required to pay out-of-pocket, there is no convention with US health insurances (although some insurance companies might later reimburse these expenses).

Water in southern Italy might come from desalination and sometimes may have a strange taste, due to extended droughts. If in doubt use bottled water. Elsewhere tap water is perfectly drinkable and very well maintained. Or else, a "NON POTABILE" warning is posted.

Respect

Italy has a reputation for being a welcoming country and Italians are friendly and courteous, as well as very used to interacting with foreigners. The Italian society is however slightly more formal than the Northern European or English-speaking ones, and it can be more sensitive to issues of respect or lack thereof, so it is wrong to assume everyone will be gregarious and laid-back. If you are polite and civil you should have no problems, but don't expect that the average Italian speaks or even understands English (except for young people).

Italians greet family and close friends with two light kisses on the cheek. Males do, too. To avoid ending up kissing on the lips note that you first move to the right (kiss the other person on their left cheek) and then to the left. In general, when joining or leaving a group, you will shake hands individually with (or kiss, depending on the level of familiarity) each member of the group. If it is a business related meeting you just shake hands.

To make friends, it's a good idea to pay some compliments. Most Italians still live in their town of origin and feel far more strongly about their local area than they do about Italy in general. Tell them how beautiful their town/lake/village/church is and possibly add how much you prefer it to Rome/Milan/other Italian towns. Residents can be fonts of knowledge regarding their local monuments and history, and a few questions will often produce interesting stories.

Clothing

Whole essays can be written about the Italians' relationships with clothes. Three of the most important observations:

  1. Most Italians (especially young ones from the upper and upper-middle social classes) can be very appearance-conscious.
  2. It's important, however, not to judge people by their choice of clothing. Styles do not necessarily carry the same connotations in Italy that they would in Britain or some other countries. Some youths lounge about in skin-tight tee-shirts and casually-knotted knitwear (and are very perplexed by the response they get when they take their sense of style and grooming to a less 'sophisticated' climate).
  3. Sometimes, clothing rules are written. To visit a church or religious site you will need to cover yourself up; no bare backs, chests, shoulders and sometimes no knees. Sometimes museums and other attractions can also be strict; no bathing costumes, for example. If you want to visit a church or religious site it's a good idea to take something to cover yourself up with; for example a jumper or large scarf. Some churches supply cover-ups, such as sarongs are loaned to men with shorts so that they can modestly conceal their legs. Even where there are no written rules, it's worth noting that bare chests and large expanses of sunburnt skin are unacceptable away from beaches or sunbathing areas, whatever the temperature is. It's considered unpolite for a man to wear a hat inside of any Catholic church.

Telephone

Both the fixed and mobile phone systems are available throughout Italy. Telephone numbers of the fixed system used to have separate prefixes (area codes) and a local number. In the 1990s the numbers were unified and nowadays, when calling Italian phones you should always dial the full number. For example you start numbers for Rome with 06 even if you are calling from Rome. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. If you don't know somebody's phone number you can dial a variety of recently-established phone services, the most used being 1240, 892424, 892892, but most of them have high fees.

To call abroad from Italy you have to dial 00 + country code + local part where the syntax of the local part depends on the country called.

To call Italy from abroad you have to dial international prefix + 39 + local part. Note that, unlike calls to most countries, you should not skip the starting zero of the local part if you are calling an Italian land line.

In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113, 115, 118 can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone (even if your credit is empty or if you are in an area covered by a different operator)

  • 112 - Carabinieri emergency number - general emergency
  • 113 - Police emergency number - general emergency
  • 114 - Blue Phone emergency number - children-related emergency (especially various forms of violence)
  • 115 - Fire Brigade emergency number
  • 117 - Guardia di Finanza - for customs, commercial and tax issues
  • 118 - Health emergency number - use this if you need an ambulance, otherwise ask for the local Guardia Medica number and they'll send you a doctor.
  • 1515 - State Forestry Department
  • 1518 - Traffic Information
  • 1530 - Coast Guard
  • 803116 - A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club)This provides assistance if your car breaks down (if you have a rented car then call the number they provide), This is a service provided to subscribers to ACI or to other Automobile Clubs associated to ARC Europe. If you're not associated to any of them you'll be asked to pay a fee (approx. €80).

Always carry with you a note about the address and the number of your embassy.

If you are in an emergency and do not know who to call dial 112 or 113 (out of major towns, better to call 113 for English-speaking operators).

Payphones are widely available, especially in stations and airports. However, the number of payphones has consistently been reduced after the introduction of mobile phones. Some payphones work with coins only, some with phone cards only and some with both coins and phone cards. Only a limited number of phones (just a few in main airports) directly accept credit cards.

Italians use mobile phones extensively, some might say excessively. The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Note that cellphones from North America will not work in Italy unless they are Tri-band. Nearly all of the country has GSM, GPRS and UMTS/HDSPA coverage. If you arrive from abroad and intend making a lot of calls, buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card (termed prepagato for "prepaid" and ricaricabile for "rechargeable") and put it in your current mobile (if compatible and if your mobile set is not locked). You need to provide a valid form of identification, such as a passport or other official identity, to be able to purchase the SIM card. Unless you already have one, you will also be required to obtain a Codice Fiscale (a tax number) - the vendor may generate one for you from your form of identification. Subscription-based mobile telephony accounts are subject to a government tax, to which prepaid SIM cards are not subject. Sometimes hotels have mobile phones for customer to borrow or rent.

Call costs vary greatly depending on when, where, from and where to. Each provider offers an array of complex tariffs and it is near impossible to make reliable cost estimates. The cost of calls differs considerably if you call a fixed-line phone or a mobile phone. Usually there is a difference in cost even for incoming calls from abroad. If you can choose, calling the other party's land line could be even 40% cheaper than mobile. Many companies are shifting their customer service numbers to fixed-rate number (prefix 199). These numbers are at the local rate, no matter where are you calling from.

According to national regulations, hotels cannot apply a surcharge on calls made from the hotel (as the switchboard service should be already included as a service paid in the room cost), but to be sure check it before you use.

Calls between landlines are charged at either the local rate or the national rate depending on the originating and destination area codes; if both are the same then the call will be local rate. Note that local calls are not free.

11 day 17.07.2020 Friday
FUN DAY AT SEA
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12 day 18.07.2020 Saturday 8:00 17:00
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MARSEILLES (PROVENCE)

Step into the historic streets of an ancient Mediterranean port on your Carnival cruise to Marseille. Ringed by seafood restaurants and majestic forts, the Vieux Port has been the heart of Marseilles, France, since the Greeks founded the original trading port in the 6th century B.C. When you arrive at Marseilles on your cruise to France, you’ll discover a bustling and multi-cultural city of African-style markets, classic French churches, and delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

  • Climb to Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde for a panoramic vista of the city and sea.
  • Visit Château D’If, a legendary prison on its own tiny island.
  • Admire the striped marble façade of the Cathédrale de la Major.

Central administration of the port of Marseilles:
23 place de la Joliette, BP 81965, Marseille, Cedex 2 13226, France
tel.: (+33-4) 913-940-00; fax: (+33-4) 913-957-00

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FRANCE

General information

Capital: Paris
Government: Republic
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 643,801 km²
water: 3,374 km²
land: 640,427km²
Population: 64,667,374 (January 2009) in non-overseas France
Language: French, some regional languages and dialects
Religion: Christianity 45 %
Atheism: 35 % Not stated 10 % Other religions 6 %(Judaism 1 %) Islam 3 % Buddhism 1 %
Electricity: 220..230V, 50Hz. Outlets: CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin), accepting CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs
Country code: 33
Internet TLD: .fr
Time Zone: UTC +1

France is a country located in Western Europe. Clockwise from the north, France borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland to the east, Italy to the south-east and Spain to the south-west, across the Pyrenees mountain range (the small country of Andorra lies in between the two countries). The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France, with the Principality of Monaco forming a small enclave. To the west, France has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline, while to the north lies the English Channel, across which lies the last of France's neighbours, England (part of the United Kingdom).

France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years (81.9 million in 2007) and it's geographically one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.

Climate

A lot of variety, but temperate winters and mild summers on most of the territory, and especially in Paris. Mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean and in the southwest (the latter has lots of rain in winter). Mild winters (with lots of rain) and cool summers in the northwest (Brittany). Cool to cold winters and hot summer along the German border (Alsace). Along the Rhône Valley, occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as the mistral. Cold winters with lots of the snow in the Mountainous regions: Alps, Pyrenees, Auvergne.

Terrain

Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south west, Vosges , Jura and Alps in east, Massif Central in the mid south.

When to travel

If possible, try to avoid French school holidays and Easter, hotels are very likely to be overbooked and road traffic awful.

Holidays: search internet for [french school holidays], as they vary from region to region. Mostly, the winter holidays are 10 Feb-10 Mar. The spring holidays are often 10 Apr-10 May.

Winter gets very cold, sometimes freezing. Make sure to bring appropriate clothing to keep you warm while visiting.

Hotels are very likely to be overbooked and road traffic awful during the 1 May, 8 May, 11 Nov, Easter Weekend, Ascension weekend too.

Electricity

Electricity is supplied at 220 to 230V 50Hz. Outlets are CEE7/5 (protruding male earth pin) and accept either CEE 7/5 (Grounded), CEE 7/7 (Grounded) or CEE 7/16 (non-grounded) plugs. Older German-type CEE 7/4 plugs are not compatible as they do not accommodate the earth pin found on this type of outlet. However, most modern European appliances are fitted with the hybrid CEE 7/7 plug which fits both CEE 7/5 (Belgium & France) and CEE 7/4 (Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and most of Europe) outlets.

Plugs Travellers from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and other countries using 230V 50Hz which use different plugs simply require a plug adaptor to use their appliances in France. Plug adaptors for plugs from the US and UK are available from electrical and "do-it-yourself" stores such as Bricorama.

Voltage: Travellers from the US, Canada, Japan and other countries using 110V 60Hz may need a voltage converter. However, some laptops, mobile phone chargers and other devices can accept either 110V or 230V so only require a simple plug adaptor. Check the voltage rating plates on your appliances before connecting them.

Stay safe
Crimes

Crime-related emergencies can be reported to the toll-free number 17. Law enforcement forces are the National Police (Police Nationale) in urban area and the Gendarmerie in rural area, though for limited issues such as parking and traffic offenses some towns and villages also have a municipal police.

France is a very low-crime area, and is one of the safest countries in the world, but large cities are plagued with the usual woes. Violent crime against tourists or strangers is very rare, but there is pickpocketing and purse-snatching.

The inner city areas and a few select suburbs are usually safe at all hours. In large cities, especially Paris, there are a few areas which are better to avoid. Parts of the suburban are sometimes grounds for youth gang violent activities and drug dealing; however these are almost always far from touristic points and you should have no reason to visit them. Common sense applies: it is very easy to spot derelict areas.

The subject of crime in the poorer suburbs is very touchy as it may easily have racist overtones, since many people associate it with working-class youth of North African origin. You should probably not express any opinion on the issue.

Usual caution apply for tourists flocking around sights as they may become targets for pickpockets. A usual trick is to ask tourists to sign fake petitions and give some money, which is a way to put pressure on the victim. Stay away from people requesting money without any organization badge.

While it is not compulsory for French citizens to carry identification, they usually do so. Foreigners should carry some kind of official identity document. Although random checks are not the norm you may be asked for an ID in some kinds of situations, for example if you cannot show a valid ticket when using public transportation; not having one in such cases will result in you being taken to a police station for further checks. Even if you feel that law enforcement officers have no right to check your identity (they can do so only in certain circumstances), it is a bad idea to enter a legal discussion with them; it is better to put up with it and show ID. Again, the subject is touchy as the police have often been accused of targeting people according to criteria of ethnicity (e.g. delit de sale gueule = literally "crime of a dirty face" but perhaps equivalent to the American "driving while black.")

Due to the terrorist factor, police, with the help of military units, are patrolling monuments, the Paris subway, train stations and airports. Depending on the status of the "Vigipirate" plan (anti terrorist units) it is not uncommon to see armed patrols in those areas. The presence of police is of help for tourists, as it also deters pickpockets and the like. However, suspicious behaviour, public disturbances etc., may result in policemen asking to see an ID.

In France, failing to offer assistance to 'a person in danger' is illegal. This means that if you fail to stop upon witnessing a motor accident, fail to report such an accident to emergency services, or ignore appeals for help or urgent assistance, you may be charged. Penalties include suspended prison sentence and fines. The law does not apply in situations where to answer an appeal for help might endanger your life or the lives of others.

Controlled substances

Carrying or using narcotic substances, from marijuana to hard drugs, is illegal whatever the quantity. The penalty can be severe especially if you are suspected of dealing. Trains and cars coming from countries which have a more lenient attitude (like the Netherlands) are especially targeted. Police have often been known to stop entire coaches and search every passenger and their bags thouroughly just because they're coming from Amsterdam.

France has a liberal policy with respect to alcohol; there are usually no ID checks for purchasing alcohol (unless you look much younger than 18). However, causing problems due to public drunkenness is a misdemeanor and may result in a night in a police station. Drunk driving is a severe offense and may result in heavy fines and jail sentences.

A little etiquette note: while it is common to drink beer straight from the bottle at informal meetings, doing the same with wine is normally only done by tramps (clochards).

Stay healthy
Tap water

Tap water (Eau du robinet) is drinkable, except in rare cases such as rural rest areas and sinks in train bathrooms, in which case it will be clearly signposted as Eau non potable. Eau potable is potable water. (You may, however, not like the taste which may be chlorinated, botteled water is common.)

Medical help

The health care in France is of a very high standard.

Pharmacies in France are denoted by a green cross, usually in neon. They sell medicines, contraceptives, and often beauty and related products (though these can be very expensive). Medicines must be ordered from the counter, even non-prescription medicines. The pharmacist is able to help you about various medicines and propose you generic drugs.

Since drug brand names vary across countries even though the effective ingredients stay the same, it is better to carry prescriptions using the international nomenclature in addition to the commercial brand name. Prescription drugs, including oral contraceptives (aka "the pill"), will only be delivered if a doctor's prescription is shown.

In addition, supermarkets sell condoms (preservatifs) and also often personal lubricant, bandages, disinfectant and other minor medical item. Condom machines are often found in bar toilets, etc.

Medical treatment can be obtained from self-employed physicians, clinics and hospitals. Most general practitioners, specialists (e.g. gynecologists), and dentists are self-employed; look for signs saying Docteur (medecine generale is general practitioner). The normal price for a consultation with a general practitioner is €23, though some physicians charge more (this is the full price and not a co-payment). Physicians may also do home calls, but these are more expensive.

Residents of the European Union are covered by the French social security system, which will reimburse or directly pay for 70% of health expenses (30% co-payment) in general, though many physicians and surgeons apply surcharges. Other travellers are not covered and will be billed the full price, even if at a public hospital; non-EU travellers should have travel insurance covering medical costs.

Emergencies

Hospitals will have an emergency room signposted Urgences.

The following numbers are toll-free:

15 Medical emergencies
17 Law enforcement emergencies (for e.g. reporting a crime)
18 Firefighters
112 European standard emergency numbers.

Operators at these numbers can transfer requests to other services if needed (e.g. some medical emergencies may be answered by firefighter groups).

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited by law in all enclosed spaces accessible to the public (this includes train and subway cars, train and subway station enclosures, workplaces, restaurants and cafes) unless in areas specifically designated for smoking, and there are few of these. There was an exception for restaurants and cafes, but since the 1st January 2008, the smoking ban law is also enforced there. You may face a fine of €68 if you are found smoking in these places.

Smoking is banned in metro and trains, as well as enclosed stations. Subway and train conductors do enforce the law and will fine you for smoking in non-designated places; if you encounter problems with a smoker in train, you may go find the conductor.

As hotels are not considered as public places, some offer smoking vs non-smoking rooms.

Only people over the age 18 may purchase tobacco products. Shopkeepers may request a photo ID.

Respect
On the Metro

The Metro subway system is a great way to get around Paris (or Lyon, Marseille, et al.), which is readily apparent in the throngs of people that use it to go to work, school, and the like. If you do not ride the train at home, or if you come from a place that doesn't have a subway system, there are certain points of etiquette that you may not be aware of. When boarding at the station, let those exiting the train step off onto the platform before boarding, and once aboard move to the centre of the car. If you have luggage, move it as far out of the path of others as possible (on the RER B to Charles de Gaulle airport, use the luggage racks above the seats instead). Certain stations have moving sidewalks to cover the distances between platforms - walk on the left and stand on the right! Finally, do note that the doors on French subway cars don't generally open automatically once the train has stopped at the station; rather, most cars have a small button or lever on the doors that opens them. If you should happen to be standing near the door in a crowded car you might hear someone behind you say "la porte, s'il vous plait," which means that person would like to get off the train and is asking you to open the door for him/her. Pop the door open and step aside (or down onto the platform) while that person exits the train - the driver will wait for you to get back on.

Loudness

It is considered very rude to be loud in a crowded place, such as a subway car or restaurant. Keep in mind that, though you may be enjoying your holiday, most people around you in the metro or other places are probably going to or back from work and may be tired and thus will react very coldly to tourists babbling at the top of their lungs. If you listen to the locals talk, you will notice that they talk rather softly.

Shopping Etiquette

In many shops/stores in France, you should ask the shopkeeper to take items from the shelf; as opposed to picking it up yourself. This applies in liquor or wine stores, clothing stores, etc. Failure to respect this policy might result in confused and/or angered reactions from the shopkeeper.

Dress code

Dress codes are fast disappearing, but if you want to avoid looking like a tourist, then avoid white sneakers, baseball caps, tracksuit pants, shorts and flip-flops (except at the beach). Generally speaking, business casual dress code is sufficient in cities and in all but the most formal occasions.

Usual courtesy applies when entering churches, and although you may not be asked to leave, it is better to avoid short pants and halter tops.

Some restaurants will frown if you come in dressed for trekking but very few will insist upon a jacket and tie. You may be surprised by the number of French twenty-somethings who show up at a grungy bar in jacket and tie, even if obviously from a thrift-shop.

Beaches and swimming pools (in hotels) are used for getting a tan. Taking off your bra will not usually create a stir if you don't mind a bevy of oglers. Taking off the bottom part is reserved to designated nude beaches. People on beaches are usually not offended by a young boy or girl undressed. Most resort cities insist on your wearing a shirt when leaving the beach area. Many pools will not allow baggy or "board" swim trunks, insisting on snug fitting speedo type trunks.

Breastfeeding in public is very rare but nobody will mind if you do.

Talking to people

The French language has two different forms of the pronoun "you" that are used when addressing someone in the second person. "Tu" is the second-person singular and "Vous" is nominally the second-person plural. However, in some situations, French speakers will use "Vous" for the second-person singular. While one will use "Vous" to address a group of people no matter what the circumstances, non-native speakers will invariably have some difficulty when trying to determine whether to address a person with the informal and friendly "tu" or the formal and respectful "vous." The language even has two special verbs reflecting this difference: "tutoyer" (to address a person using "tu"), and "vouvoyer" (to address a person using "vous"), each of them carrying their own connotations and implications. Unfortunately, the rules as to when to use which form can sometimes seem maddeningly opaque to the non-native French speaker.

Generally speaking, one will only use the "tu" form to address someone in an informal situation where there is familiarity or intimacy between the two parties. For example, "tu" is used when addressing a close friend or spouse, or when an adult child is addressing a parent. "Tu" is also used in situations where the other party is very young, such as a parent speaking to a child or a schoolteacher to a student. In contrast, "vous" is used in situations where the parties are not familiar, or where it is appropriate to convey respect and/or deference. For example, an office worker might use "tu" to address co-workers that he works closely with, but he would probably use "vous" when speaking to the receptionist he rarely talks to. He certainly wouldn't use "tu" when speaking with his boss. In that same vein, police officers and other authorities should always be addressed with "vous."

If that's confusing (or not confusing enough) the key thing to remember is that it's all about distance. For example, a bartender is vous up until the moment that he or she gives you a complementary drink, at which point tu becomes more appropriate, and the use of vous would be a bit ungrateful and off-putting.

For foreigners, the best way to deal with the "tu" and "vous" problem is to address people using "vous" until invited to say "tu", or until addressed by the first name. Doing so will look perhaps a shade old fashioned, but always respectful. In most cases, if French is not your native language most French people will overlook any such overly formal and polite language without thinking much about it anyway. Doing the opposite can be pretty rude and embarrassing in some situations, so it's probably best to err on the side of caution.

Simplified: Use vous unless:
the person is genuinely your friend;
the person is under 16; or
you've been explicitly told to use "tu"

Sensitive topics

As a general rule, debates, discussions, and friendly arguments are something that the French enjoy, but there are certain topics that should be treated more delicately or indirectly than others:

Politics: French people have a wide variety of opinions about many subjects. Unless you really follow French news closely, you should probably steer clear of discussing internal French politics, especially sensitive issues such as immigration - you may come across as judgmental and uninformed. Reading French newspapers to get a feel for the wide spectrum of political opinions in France – from the revolutionary left to the nationalistic right – may help. That said, don't be discouraged from engaging in political discussions with French people, just be aware of the position that being a foreigner puts you in. Also, it is considered to be quite rude to ask a person point-blank about which candidate he/she voted for in the last election (or will vote for in the next); instead, talk about the issues and take it from there.

Religion: The French seldom advertise their religious feelings, however, and expect you to avoid doing so as well. Doing so might make people feel uneasy. It is also generally considered impolite to inquire about religious or other personal issues. While France has barred religious symbols from public places including Sikh turban, Islamic hijab and Jewish kippah on grounds of secularism, this controversial topic is best avoided in polite conversations. People practicing those faiths need to be aware of the unfriendly attitudes that some in France hold to expression of religion in public places.

Money: You should also avoid presenting yourself through what you own (house, car, etc.). It is also considered to be quite crass to discuss your salary, or to ask someone else directly about theirs. Instead express your enthusiasm about how great are the responsibilities, or how lucky you were to get there, etc.

City/Rural Differences: While it is true that roughly 1/6th of the country's population lives in the Paris region, don't make the mistake of reducing France to Paris or assuming that all French people act like Parisians. Life in Paris can be closer to life in London or New York City than in the rest of France; just as New Yorkers or Londoners might act and feel differently than people from, say, Oklahoma or Herefordshire, so might Parisian customs and opinions differ from those found "en province."

13 day 19.07.2020 Sunday 6:00
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BARCELONA

Ramble through a cosmopolitan city of Gothic spires and contemporary curves when you book a Carnival cruise to Barcelona. An architectural treasure trove—from the Modernist L’Eixample neighborhood to the Roman remains and medieval lanes of Barri Gòtic—is yours to explore on a Barcelona cruise. Fun beach bars overlooking the Mediterranean, sleek Spanish designer stores, and Gaudí’s surreal buildings make Barcelona, Spain a whimsical and unique port of call.

  • Cruise to Barcelona to photograph Gaudí’s otherworldly sculptures in Park Güell.
  • Ascend Montjuïc hill for stunning city views.
  • Enter the 14th-century Catedral’s vaulted galleries and listen for its 13 resident geese.

Central administration of the port Barcelona:
Edifici Portal de la Pau, Portal de la Pau, 6, Barcelona 08039, Spain
tel.: (+34-93) 306-88-00; fax: (+34-93) 306-88-11

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SPAIN

General information

Capital: Madrid
Government: Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency: Euro (€)
Area total: 505,370 km2
water: 6,390 km2
land: 498,980 km2
Population: 47,725,002 (July 2011 est)
Language: Castilian Spanish (official) 100%, Catalan (also official in Catalonia, Comunitat Valenciana and Balearic Islands) 17%, Galician (also official in Galicia)7%, Basque (also official in Basque Country and Navarra) 2%
Religion: Roman Catholic 72%, none 20% other 8%
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug)
Country code: 34
Internet TLD: .es
Time Zone: UTC + 1

Spain (Spanish: España) is a diverse country sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the country with the second-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy, and the largest number of World Heritage Cities.

Spain is considered an exotic country in Europe due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivities. Among many places worth visiting are Spain's thriving capital Madrid, the vibrant coastal city of Barcelona, the famous "Running of the Bulls" at Pamplona, major Andalusian cities with Islamic architecture, like Seville, Granada and Córdoba, the Way of St. James and the idyllic Balearic and Canary Islands.

With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, Spain is a surprise to those who only know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and deserts in the south east. While summer is the peak season because of the beaches, those who wish to avoid the crowds should consider visiting in the winter as attractions such as the Alhambra in Granada and La Gran Mezquita in Cordoba will not be overcrowded.

History

Once the center of a global empire with territories in North, Central and South America, Africa (e.g. Equatorial Guinea or Western Sahara), and Asia (e.g. the Philippines), contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centered in itself.

Immigration

Spain holds a historical attachment to its neighbors within the Iberian Peninsula, Andorra and Portugal, to its former colonies, to former citizens and their descendants, and to a special category of former citizens, namely Sephardic Jews. Individuals from these categories may acquire Spanish citizenship in an accelerated fashion which may or may not require that the individuals reside in Spain, and residency requirements are as short as one to three years depending on the category. Citizens of countries in the European Union may acquire citizenship after living in Spain for five years. Citizens of any other country may acquire citizenship after residing in Spain for ten years.

The population of Spain is growing in large part due to migration from relatively poor or politically unstable areas that have a historical or linguistic attachment to Spain, such as Latin America [e.g. Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru ], Europe (mostly Eastern Europe), Africa and Asia.

Stay safe
Police

There are four kinds of police:

  • 'Policia Municipal' or 'Local' (metropolitan police), In Barcelona: Guardia Urbana. Uniforms change from town to town, but they use to wear black or blue clothes with pale blue shirt and a blue cap (or white helmet) with a checkered white-and-blue strip. This kind of police keeps order and rules the traffic inside cities, and they are the best people in case you are lost and need some directions. Although you can't officially report theft to them, they will escort you to 'Policia Nacional' headquarters if required, and they will escort the suspects to be arrested also, if needed.
  • 'Policia Nacional' wear dark blue clothes and blue cap (sometimes replaced by a baseball-like cap), unlike Policia Municipal, they do not have a checkered flag around their cap/helmet. Inside cities, all offenses/crimes should be reported to them, although the other police corps would help anyone who needs to report an offense.
  • 'Guardia Civil' keeps the order outside cities, in the country, and regulates traffic in the roads between cities. You would probably see them guarding official buildings, or patrolling the roads. They wear plain green military-like clothes; some of them wear a strange black helmet ('tricornio') resembling a toreador cap, but most of them use green caps or white motorcycle helmets.
  • Given that Spain has a high grade of political autonomy released to its regional governments, four of them have created regional law forces: the Policia Foral in Navarre, the Ertzaintza in the Basque Country or the Mossos d'Esquadra in Catalonia. These forces have the almost the same competences as the Policia Nacional in their respective territories.

All kinds of police also wear high-visibility clothing ("reflective" jackets) while directing traffic, or in the road.

Theft

Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions encouraged in the entire world:

  • Thieves prefer stealth to direct confrontation so it is unlikely that you will be hurt in the process, but exercise caution all the same.
  • There have been instances where thieves on motorbikes drive by women and grab their purses, so keep a tight hold on yours even if you don't see anyone around.
  • Try not to show the money you have in your wallet or purse.
  • Always watch your bag or purse in touristic places, buses, trains and meetings. A voice message reminding that is played in most of the bus/train stations and airports.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money with you, unless needed. Use your credit card (Spain is the first country in number of cash points and most shops/restaurants accept it). Of course, use it with caution.
  • Beware of pickpockets when visiting areas with large numbers of people, like crowded buses or the Puerta del Sol(in Madrid). If you report a thief, people are generally helpful.
  • Don't hesitate to report crimes to local police.
  • In general, you must bear in mind that those areas with a larger number of foreign visitors, like some crowded vacation resorts in the East Coast, are much more likely to attract thieves than places which are not so popular among tourists.
  • Avoid gypsy women offering rosemary, refuse it always; they will read your future, ask for some money, and your pocket will probably be picked. Some gypsy women will also approach you on the street repeating "Buena suerte" ("good luck") as a distraction for another gypsy woman to try to pickpocket you. Avoid them at all costs.
  • vA great tourist attraction is the Flea Market (el Rastro) in Madrid on the weekends. However, as it is nearly standing room only - it is also an attraction for pickpockets. They operate in groups... be extremely cautious in these tight market type environments as it is very common to be targeted... especially if you stand out as a tourist or someone with money. Try to blend in and not stand out and you will likely not be at as much risk.
  • Women who carry purses should always put the straps across their bodies. Always hold on to the purse itself and keep it in front of your body. Keep one hand on the bottom, as pickpockets can otherwise slit the bottom without you ever knowing.
  • Never place anything on the back of a chair or on the floor next to you, keep it on your person always.
  • If you must use an ATM, do not flash the money you have just picked up.

Scams

Some people could try to take advantage of your ignorance of local customs.

In Spanish cities, all taxis should have a visible fare table. Do not agree a fixed price to go from an airport to a city: in most cases, the taxi driver will be earning more money than without a preagreed tariff. Many taxi drivers will also demand a tip from foreign customers or even from national ones on the way to and from the airport. You might round up to the nearest euro when paying though.

In many places of Madrid, especially near Atocha station, and also in the Ramblas of Barcelona, there are people ('trileros') who play the "shell game". They will "fish" you if you play, and they will most likely pick your pocket if you stop to see other people play.

Before paying the bill in bars and restaurants, always check the bill and carefully scrutinize it. Some staff will often attempt to squeeze a few extra euros out of unsuspecting tourists by charging for things they did not eat or drink, or simply overcharging. This is true in both touristy and non-touristy areas. If you feel overcharged, bring it to their attention and/or ask to see a menu. It is also sometimes written (in English only) at the bottom of a bill that a tip is not included: remember that tipping is optional in Spain and Spanish people commonly leave loose change only and no more than a 5%-8% of the price of what they have consumed (not an American-style 15-20%), so avoid being fooled into leaving more than you have to.

Racism

Because of the many incidents in the football arenas, especially during the match between Spain and England in Madrid November 2004, the country has been labeled as racist by many people. During the match, England's black players were racially abused by the crowd and in league matches, other players of African heritage have been targeted by racist fans. But being dark-skinned and going to a football match is not dangerous at all and as with most matches in Europe, avoid sitting with or near the most hardcore ultras who can be violent. Besides, wearing a Real Madrid-shirt in Bilbao or Barcelona during the matches will make you more exposed to danger than the color of your skin.

In the streets racism does exist but as in most european countries. Racial abuse is not widespread even though a drunk person for example can make racist comments. But some spaniards will be ready to defend you and be ashamed of the situation. So before making a judgment on the spaniards, remember that there will always be some persons making your life difficult. And those who are prepared to help you, as in any country in Europe or in the rest of the world for that sake.

With the police the case can be different, especially in Madrid and Barcelona. There are some rumours that the police make an "ID-check", which in reality is to see whether a dark-skinned person is an illegal immigrant or not. This does occur and it can happen in any hour in the cities and especially in neighbourhoods where many immigrants live, like in Lavapies. Most of the checks are based on race, so be sure to carry a valid ID-card or a photocopy of your passport if the police approach you and ask for identification.

Younger people will oppose racism and xenophobia in general and may be more open to talk about the issue. Older people and especially nationalists will deny that racism exists in the country and point out the fact that many immigrants live in the country as "proof" that the country is open to people from other cultures.

Arab people or muslims in general might be called "moro", which is the spanish word for Moors. For people from Latin America the word "sudaca" can be used as a racial slur by people and the region itself is in a racist manner called "Sudaquia" or "Sudacalandia". Like in many european countries, gypsies are exposed to racism and discrimination from the spanish society in general despite having famous people with roma origin like flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes and football player Jose-Antonio Reyes.

Other things you should know

Spanish cities can be LOUD at night, especially on weekends.

All stores, hotels and restaurants should have an official complaint form, in case you need it.

The emergency telephone number (police, firefighters, ambulances) is 112. You may call it from any phone at no cost, in case you need to.

Drugs

In Spain possession and consumption of illegal drugs at private places is not prosecuted. Taking drugs in public and possession, for personal use, will be fined from €300 to €3000 depending of the drug and the quantity that you carry on, you will not get arrested unless you have large quantities destined for street sale.

Stay healthy

Pharmaceuticals are not sold at supermarkets, only at 'farmacias' (pharmacies), identified with a green cross or a Hygeia's cup. Nearly every city and town has at least one 24 hour pharmacy; for those that close at night, the law requires a poster with the address of the nearest pharmacy, possibly in one of the nearby streets or towns.

People from the European Union and a few more European countries can freely use the public health system, if they have the appropriate intereuropean sanitary card. That card does not work in private hospitals. Agreements are established to treat people from a few American countries; see the Tourspain link below for more info.

However, do not hesitate to go to any healthcare facility should you be injured or seriously ill, as it would be illegal for them not to treat you, even if you are uninsured.

Though most foreigners tend to think Spain is a warm place, it can be terribly cold in winter, especially in the Central Region and in the North, and in some places it is also rainy in summer. Remember to travel with adequate clothes.

In summer, avoid direct exposure to sunlight for long periods of time to prevent sunburn and heatstroke. Drink water, walk on the shady side of street and keep a container of sun cream (suntan lotion) handy.

Most cities have a good water supply, especially Madrid, but you may prefer bottled water to the alkaline taste of water in the east and south.

Smoking

On 21 December 2010, the Spanish Parliament approved a law prohibiting smoking in all indoor public and work places and near hospitals and in playgrounds, becoming effective on 2 January 2011. Smoking is now banned in all enclosed public spaces and places of work, in public transportation, and in outdoor public places near hospitals and in playgrounds. Smoking is also banned in outdoor sections of bars and restaurants. Smoking is banned in television broadcasts as well.

Respect
Culture and identity

Spaniards in general are very patriotic about both their country and the region in which they live. Avoid arguments about whether or not people from Catalonia, Galicia or the Basque Country are Spaniards. Safety is generally not a concern in case you engage in an argument, but you will be dragged in a long, pointless discussion.

Spaniards are generally very interested in maintaining their linguistic and cultural connections with Latin America. However, most Spaniards are also quick to point out they are Europeans and do not understand the common North American notion that "Hispanics," including Spaniards, are somehow all the same. People from other Spanish-speaking countries or backgrounds may encounter a variety of receptions from being embraced as cultural kin to rejection or apathy.

Spaniards are not as religious as the media sometimes presents them, but they are and always were a mostly Catholic country (73% officially, although just 10% admit practising and just a 20% admit being believers); respect this and avoid making any comments that could offend. In particular, religious festivals, Holy Week (Easter), and Christmas are very important to Spaniards. Tolerance to all religions should be observed, especially in large urban areas like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville or Malaga (where people and temples of all beliefs can be found) or different regions in southern Spain, which may have a sizeable Muslim population (which accounts for almost a 4% of the country's population).

Despite being a Catholic majority country, homosexuality widely accepted in Spain and public display of same-sex affection would not likely stir hostility. In fact, same-sex marriages are legal and recognized by the government and provide legal benefits to same-sex couples. However, a gay friendly country does not always necessarily mean that the Spaniards are friendly to gays: (people in places like Madrid or Barcelona, which are 2 of the largest urban areas in Europe, will obviously have a more open view than those from rural areas). As in any other place, elderly people do usually have far more conservative points of view. Still, violence against gays is rarely heard of and Spain should be safe for most gay and lesbian travelers.

Avoid talking about the former colonial past and especially about the "Black Legend." Regardless of what you may have heard Spain had several ministers and military leaders of mixed race serving in the military during the colonial era and even a Prime Minister born in the Philippines (Marcelo Azcarraga Palmero). Many Spaniards take pride in their history and former imperial glories. People from Spain's former colonies (Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, Western Sahara and Northern Morocco) make up a majority of foreign immigrants in Spain (a 58%) along with the Chinese, Africans and Eastern Europeans. Equally, Spain is one of the main investors and economic and humanitary aid donors to Latin America and Africa.

Bullfighting is seen by many Spaniards as a cultural heritage icon, but the disaffection with bullfighting is increasing in all big cities and obviously among animal activist groups within the country. Many urban Spaniards would consider bullfighting a show aimed at foreign tourists and elder people from the countryside, and some young Spaniards will feel offended if their country is associated with it. To illustrate how divided the country is, many Spaniards point to the royal family: King Juan Carlos and his daughter are avid fans, while his wife and the Heir Prince do not care for the sport. Bullfights and related events, such as the annual San Fermin Pamplona bull-runs, make up a multimillion-dollar industry and draw many tourists, both foreign and Spaniard. In addition, bullfighting was recently banned in the northeastern region of Catalonia and has also been outlawed in several towns and counties all over the country.

Avoid mentioning the past, such as the former fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975, and especially the Civil War of 1936-1939. Many symbols, pictures, statues and monuments affiliated with the Franco regime have been outlawed and possible fines and jail time could result if you violate these laws. This was a painful past as Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist, executing many Spaniards who violated the anti-democratic laws of the regime. Nonetheless, one of the best periods of economic growth in Spain was the one that took place during the last years of Franco's regime, so some older Spaniards may have supportive views of Franco's ultranationalist and anticommunist ideology, so talking against Franco in front of them may be considered offensive.

Socializing

It is customary to kiss friends, family, and acquaintances on both cheeks upon seeing each other and saying goodbye. Male-to-male kisses of this sort are limited to family members or to very close friends; otherwise a firm handshake is expected instead (same as in France or Italy). A happy medium is the traditional abrazo (hug) which is usually done to people that you haven't seen in a long time and/or are very glad to see, regardless of gender (male-to-male is somewhat more common). When somebody expects a hug he/she usually will throw his/her arms towards you: this is more common than you may think, but don't do it with complete strangers as it's probably a ruse to get your wallet.

Related to this, Spaniards are keen to maintain physical contact while talking, such as putting a hand on your shoulder, patting your back, etc. These should be taken as signs of friendship done among relatives, close friends and colleagues.

When in a car, the elderly and pregnant always ride in the passenger's seat, unless they request not to.

While Spaniards may not always be the most punctual people in the world, you should never arrive late to appointments; this will seem very bad to most people.

If you are staying at a Spaniard's home, bring shoes to wear inside such as slippers. Walking around barefoot in the house is viewed as unsanitary and also an easy way to catch a cold.

In Spanish beaches it is okay for women to sunbathe topless. This practice is particularly common in tourist areas. Full nudity is practised in "clothing-optional" or nudist beaches.

Eating and drinking

During lunch or dinner, Spaniards do not begin eating until everyone is seated and ready to eat. Likewise, they do not leave the table until everyone is finished eating. Table manners are otherwise standard and informal, although this also depends on the place you are eating. When the bill comes, it is common to pay equally, regardless of the amount or price each has consumed.

When Spaniards receive a gift or are offered a drink or a meal, they usually refuse for a while, so as not to seem greedy. This sometimes sparks arguments among especially reluctant people, but it is seen as polite. Remember to offer more than once (on the third try, it must be fairly clear if they will accept it or not). On the other hand, if you are interested in the offer, politely smile and decline it, saying that you don't want to be a nuisance, etc., but relent and accept when they insist.

Spaniards rarely drink or eat in the street. Bars will rarely offer the option of food to take away but "tapas" are easily available. Especially unheard of until recently was the "doggy bag." However, in the last few years, taking leftovers home from a restaurant, although still not common, has become somewhat less of a stigma than it once was. One asks for "un taper" (derived from "Tupperware") or "una caja." Older Spaniards are still likely to frown on this.

Appearing drunk in public is generally frowned upon.

Emergency services

Rescue - 112
National Police - 091
Local (municipal) police - 092
Ambulance - 061
Cruz Roja (Spanish Red Cross) - 222-222
Fire - 085
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Cabine
Cost
The price per passenger based on double occupancy in a cabin for each category cabins.
Interior cabin
from $1,279.00
Interior cabin
from $1,289.00
Interior cabin
from $1,294.00
Interior cabin
from $1,299.00
OV - Ocean view (Guaranteed)
from $1,419.00
Balcony (obstructed views)
from $1,719.00
Balcony cabin
from $1,779.00
Balcony cabin
from $1,784.00
Balcony cabin
from $1,789.00
Balcony cabin
from $1,794.00
Balcony cabin
from $1,799.00
Balcony cabin
from $1,804.00
Extended Balcony
from $1,809.00
Premium Balcony (Obstructed View)
from $1,914.00
Carnival Legend
Year of built: 2002
Year of reconstruction: 2011
Length: 292.6 meters
Width: 32.2 meters
Cruising speed: 22 knots
Displacement: 88,500 tons
Passenger capacity: 2,124 (double occupancy)
Onboard crew: 930
Number of cabins: 1,062
Number of passenger decks: 12

* Dear visitors! All descriptions, cabin photographs and ship infrastructure are showed for informational purposes only and may differ from the actual.

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Deck: PROMENADE
Description: Sushi Bar brings more to the table than just sushi, and brings it well. Enjoy good times and great eats in a unique, festive atmosphere.
Deck: PROMENADE
Description: The Private Club Restaurant on the Carnival Legend board is known for its glamor and luxury. This aristocratic and elegant restaurant can always surprise you with a wide selection of incredible and original dishes prepared by masters.
Deck: PROMENADE
Description: Choose Early (6 p.m.), Late (8:15 p.m.) or Your Time (5:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) dining in the Carnival Legend main dining room and feast on culinary pleasures to your heart's delight.
Deck: LIDO
Description: Stroll around the buffet and explore our many international cuisines and made-to-order options at the Carnival Legend Lido restaurant.
Deck: SUN
Description: The intimate ambiance and mouth-watering favorites at the Carnival Legend's Golden Fleece Steakhouse will make this a truly memorable meal.
Description: Hungry, but don’t feel like leaving your stateroom? Relax. Our complimentary room service is available 24 hours a day.
Interior cabin
Interior
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior cabin
Interior with Window (Obstructed View)
Ocean View
Balcony (obstructed views)
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Balcony cabin
Extended Balcony
Extended Balcony
Aft-View Extended Balcony
Aft-View Extended Balcony
Premium Balcony (Obstructed View)
Premium Balcony
Ocean suite
Junior Suite
Vista suite
Grand suite

Cabins

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Interior cabin
Ocean View

Infrastructure

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Firebird Lounge
When it comes to relaxation from the inside out, nothing beats a trip to the spa. From the minute you step inside, the soothing ambiance begins to work its magic. Renew yourself with premium beauty and wellness therapies, like hot stone massages, aromatherapy or full-body wraps. This is your time to be spoiled, indulged and beautified. Lay back, close your eyes, and feel the stress sail away as your body and mind experience total tranquility. (Oh yeah, and this feel-good stuff isn’t just for the ladies — there are plenty of treatments on our menu for men too.)
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