Friday, June 29, 2012

Freebie Friday: Free Advice and Translation Line for Tourists in Italy

With Berlusconi gone, the Italian government can finally turn its attention from illegal wiretaps, tax fraud and orgies to something more practical. Like helping the thousands of non-Italian speaking tourists who vacation on "The Boot" each year.

Many thanks to Dream of Italy for posting a blog on the government's new helpline, Easy Italia. Created strictly for tourists, it will be staffed by  counselors who speak a number of languages, including English, and are willing and able to help on matters large and small. Need some advice for when the line at the Uffizi will be shorter? They should know. Can't understand a word the leather vendor is saying? One of the counselors will translate for you. They will also help out, most importantly, in emergency situations.

The service is free and available 7-days-a-week, from 9am to 6pm (up to 10pm in summer and in December). If you're using a cellphone, and need English-language help, call 039.039.039 (add the prefix 39 if calling from outside of Italy). For payphone and landline calls: 800.000.03 (this toll-free number only works in Italy).

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