Within the European Union, there are specifically 62 countries whose citizens are allowed to travel without a visa into the EU Schengen Zone. These country’s citizens can travel into the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days for travel, tourism or business purposes only while not being allowed to carry out study or work. In making this process more seamless as well as address certain security concerns that may arise from unauthorized entry into the EU, the European Commission came up with the ETIAS.
ETIAS – Meaning.
An acronym for European Travel Information and Authorization System, it is an electronic process that keeps track and records of visitors entering the Schengen Zone without visas. This system does not operate as a visa but as a visa waiver to make sure people entering the EU aren’t posing security risks. In many ways, it is like the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) being operated by the US for similar purposes.
Italy is one of the countries which make up the Schengen Zone and operates the ETIAS for travelers and tourists coming into the country.
Italy: A Travel Destination.
Records show that Italy is the world’s fifth most visited country with tourism numbers expected to rise even higher especially as the world slowly recovers from the devastating pandemic. It has been described as Europe’s most culturally relevant and artistic country being home to many historical masterpieces like The Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s David and the Venice Canals amongst so many others.
Some of its most popular cities include Venice, Rome, Milan and Florence which attract millions of tourists every year to view its spectacular centuries-long attractions.
It is advised to learn the basics of the language when traveling to Italy as, the majority of the time, your tourism experience is a do-it-yourself process.
What Travel Documents Do You Need?
It is required that your Schengen Visa be valid for not less than 3 months beyond the date you intend departing from the country. At least one blank page should be available on your passport for stamps purposes and where you intend staying in the country beyond 90 days, then a Travel Visa becomes necessary.
If you’re a citizen of one of the 62 countries approved for ETIAS, then beginning in 2021, it is mandatory to have an ETIAS to travel to Italy.
It is advised that you go on your trip with copies of all travel documents and also leave some copies with a friend or family member at home.
How you can apply for ETIAS registration.
Registration for ETIAS can be done online and you’ll be asked some security questions and will need to show proof of an ID Card, Credit Card, Passport, an email account and some other biographical information. Upon registration, ETIAS transfers your data to the databases of the different European countries operating the electronic system for checks and screening and to make sure the applicant is not linked to any terrorism-related or other illegal activities.
This entire process is typically concluded within minutes or at most, a few days, and approvals are valid for 3 years after issuance date.
Some Travels Tips for Italy:
Electrical Appliances and Adapters.
The majority of Italy operates on Type C, F & L plugs and, where your electrical product is of the US grid, you require the aid of an adapter. It is advised to check and make sure your product is labeled “dual voltage” before plugging it in to avoid burn out and damage. This is due to the difference in voltage between Italy and the US.
Staying Vigilant: Theft, Pickpockets.
Many transit systems within Europe have a pickpocket problem which is why you need to stay vigilant in target areas like city buses, trains, train stations, open air shopping areas and subways.
Italy, like most European countries, operates a universal health care system that caters to everyone including visiting foreigners. You may only be concerned about some out-of-pocket expenses, but you’ll be taken very good care of if you have some medical emergencies.