The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Italy is an advanced economy classified as high income. Located in southern Europe along the Mediterranean Sea (south of Switzerland and east of France), the climate is classified as dry summer in the south and along the western coast and humid temperate (no dry season) in the northeast.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or tick-borne encephalitis. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)No statement given.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Minimal risk (comparable to that in other industrialized countries) exists throughout the country. Community sanitation is generally good, and health concerns related to food and beverages are minimal.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout Europe. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Low risk of violent crime (armed robbery and sexual assault) exists throughout the country, mainly near train stations, in bars, and in city centers.
Moderate risk of petty crime exists throughout the country (particularly from May to September), especially in cities and areas frequented by tourists, including on or near public transportation and at airports. Theft of valuables from unattended rental vehicles is common.
Scams involving ATMs, credit cards, and the use of distraction techniques to commit robbery have been reported.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted (including on trains). Highest threat areas include areas surrounding train stations (including Roma Termini) and popular attractions in Rome (including the Colosseum, Campo de' Fiori, and Piazza Navona).
Protests, demonstrations, and strikes frequently occur throughout the country, especially in cities, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Low risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is less than 7 per 100,000 population, the lowest risk category.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
Severe rain storms occur in the fall and winter, especially in Veneto and Calabria regions and in Sicily Autonomous Region. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seasonal flooding frequently occurs in Venice.
Forest fires occur from June through September.
Seismic and volcanic activity frequently occurs, especially in Sicily Autonomous Region.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Italy
- United States: [+39] 06-46741; it.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+39] 06-85444-1; italy.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+39] 06-4220-0001; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-rome
- Australia: [+39] 06-8527-21; www.italy.embassy.gov.au
Italy's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it/ambasciata_washington
- In Canada: www.ambottawa.esteri.it/ambasciata_ottawa
- In the U.K.: www.amblondra.esteri.it/Ambasciata_Londra
- In Australia: www.ambcanberra.esteri.it/Ambasciata_Canberra
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.