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eKno Communication Service

eKno global communication service provides low-cost international calls - for local calls you're better off with a local phone card. eKno also offers free messaging services, email, travel information and an online travel vault, where you can securely store all your important documents. You can join online at www.ekno.lonelyplant.com where you will find the local-access numbers for the 24-hour customer-service centre. Once you have joined, always check the eKno Web site for the latest access numbers for each country and updates on new features.

Call Centres

There are cut-price call centres all over Italy, especially in the major cities. These are run by various companies and the rates are significantly lower than Telecom payphones for international calls. It's usually a little less noisy than making a call from a payphone in a busy street and you don't need a phone card - you simply place your call from a private booth inside the centre and pay for it when you've finished.

Calling Italy from Abroad

The country code for Italy is 39. You must always include the initial 0 in area codes. For example to call the nu,ber 02 777 77 77 in Milan you need to dial the international access code followed by 39 39 02 777 77 77.

Fax

You can send faxes from post offices, and some tobacconists, copy centres and stationers plus some Telecom public phones. To send a fax within Italy, expect to pay 1.55 for the first page and  1 for each page thereafter, plus 0.05 a second for the actual call. International faxes can cost 3.10 for the first page and 2.05 per page thereafter, and 0.05 a second for the call.

Email & Internet Access

Italy was a little slower than some parts of Western Europe to march down the cyber highway but is fast catching up with the rest of the pack.

If you do intend to rely on cybercafes, you'll need to carry three pieces of information with you to enable your Internet mail account: your incoming (    POP or IMAP) mail server name, your account name and your password. Your ISP or network supervisor will be able to give you these. Armed with this information, you should be able to access your Internet mail account from any net-connected machine in the world, provided it runs some kind of email software (remember that Netscape and Internet Explorer both have mail modules). It pays to become familiar with the process  for doing this before you leave home.

If you are bringing your laptop wireless internet is becoming more popular and widespread and you can logon once you have the password provided bu who provides the service. Also make sure you've got the right AC adapter for your computer, which enables you to plug it anywhere without frying the innards. For more information on travelling with a portable computer, see www.teleadapt.com or www.warrior.com

Several Italian ISP's offer free Internet connections: check out Tiscalinet www.tiscali.it kataweb www.kataweb.it and www.kataweb.com and Libero www.libero.it

There are cybercafes throughout Italy; You may also find public Internet access in post offices. libraries, hostels, hotels, universities and so on.

DIGITAL RESOURCES

The World Wide Web is rich resource for your stay abroad. You can research your area. check on weather conditions or chat with locals and other foreigners about the best places to visit (or avoid)!

There is no better place to start your Web explorations than the Lonely Plant Web site www.lonelyplant.com Here you'll find succinct summaries on travelling to most places on earth, postcards form other travellers and the Thorn Tree bulletin board, where you can ask questions or dispense advice when you get back. You can also find travel news and updates to many popular guidebooks, and the subWWWay sections links you to the most useful travel resources elsewhere on the Web. Other useful sites include:

www.cts.it This is the Web site of Italy's leading student travel organisation, CTS.

www.beniculturali.it If you're planning a few museum visits and want to book tickets, then the culture ministry's website has information on museums and galleries throughout the country and an online reservation service.

www.itwg.com This tourist guide site has useful links for accommodation and transport.

www.fs-on-line.com Information on rail travel throughout Italy is available here.

www.mondoweb.it/eyp This site, the English Yellow Pages, is a useful directory of English-speaking professionals, commercial activities, organisations and services in Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, Genoa and Bologna. The Web site is a good first stop and has lots of useful links.

www.vatican.va The Vatican's official Web site is available in six European languages; among other things, you can have a virtual tour of the Vatican Museums.

www.wantedinrome.com The Web site of the Rome-based fortnightly English-language magazine wanted in Rome has listings and reviews of current exhibitions and cultural events as well as informative articles on aspects of Rome and the surrounding region. It also has classified advertisements on line which are helpful.

www.comune.roma.it This is the official Web site of Rome's municipal government. The section on tourism and culture provides a good overview of current and forthcoming events, with links to other sites.

BOOKS

Most books are published in different editions by different publishers in different countries. As a result, a book might be a hardcover rarity in one country while it is readily available in paperback in another.

Your local bookshop or library is best placed to advise you on availability of the following recommendations.

Lonely Planet

Europe on a shoestring, Mediterranean Europe and Western Europe include chapters on Italy and are recommended for those planning further travel in Europe. The Italian phrasebook lists all the words and phrases you're likely to need in Italy. Walking in Italy is a useful guide for experienced and not-so-experienced walkers who want to explore Italy's great outdoors. Look out for Lonely Planet's Rome, Rome Condensed, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, Sicily and Milan, Turin & Genoa, which provide in-depth, detailed coverage of these regions.

Lonely Planet's World Food Italy, by Australia's leading food writer Matthew Evans, is a full-colour book with information on the whole range of Italian food and drink. It includes a useful language section, with the definitive culinary dictionary and a handy quick-reference glossary.

 

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