Banks in Italy will not exchange cash unless you have an account with them. Commercial exchange booths and centers are happy to exchange your currency for euros, but they will charge very high (hidden) fees to do so.
The best way to get local currency in Italy and throughout Europe is at an ATM machine (Bancomat) with your personal credit or debit card.
Credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard provide an international PIN (personal identification number). Prior to coming to Italy, contact your credit card provider to make sure your card can be used in foreign countries and that you have a 4-digit PIN. With a debit card linked to an international Visa or MasterCard network, you will get the best exchange rate and will not be charged a local fee. (Check with your home bank to find out if they will charge a fee.)
Convert Euro to dollars with XE.com. Be aware that exchange rates fluctuate daily.
In emergency situations students can borrow up to €300 from the school. You must sign a promissory note stating that you agree to pay the loan back before you leave the program. Emergency money can be picked up Mon-Thurs. 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
You also have the option of getting money wired to Italy in about 1-2 business days through Western Union. Find Western Union locations.
Pick-pocketing is prevalent in Italy and throughout Europe in crowded public places (buses, trains, markets, stations). It is important to pay close attention to your belongings and documents. The use of a money belt for the bulk of your cash and important documents can eliminate the worry of being pick-pocketed when distracted. In train and bus stations, keep a constant hand and eye on your luggage .
If you are a victim of pick-pocketing in Italy, you will need to file a denuncia (police report) at the Questura (or Polizia di Stato) on Via Zara, n. 2. The report will be translated into English. In the event you need to cancel your credit card and are low on cash, follow the emergency procedures above.
File a police report (denuncia) as cited above. Contact the nearest consulate or embassy. You will need to take your denuncia (police report) with you. Copies of your passport were made during orientation, make sure you always have a copy.