Explore Travel Insurance

Italy sure does have a lot to offer travellers! You could stumble across a nice café nestled in a lovely town on the outskirts of Florence or take in the sunshine at the San Fruttuoso beach, barely budging an inch until you need to get back on the plane.

Then, travel north to Venice and be dazzled by the canal city’s architecture. Venture west from there to Lake Garda, an impossibly pretty region you may remember from the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. Make your way down to Rome or Pompeii to gaze upon thousands of years of history, and then head on over to the Amalfi Coast, where charming coastal communities await.

If you’re planning to pack all this and more into your Italian getaway, let us explain why considering purchasing travel insurance for your trip to Italy is a smart move.

Do I need travel insurance for Italy?

Whether you feel you need travel insurance depends on your individual circumstances, needs and budget. However, travel insurance can help provide a safety net in cases of stolen luggage, delayed flights, trip cancellations or medical emergencies. Any of these scenarios could potentially cost thousands of dollars, which would all come out of your own pocket if you didn’t have travel insurance.

Why not avoid these additional expenses and use that money instead for fine Italian food and wine?

Travel insurance policies provide varying levels of cover, so it’s important to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). When you compare with us, you can read the policies’ PDS online before you select a policy.

Italy travel insurance: What should be included?

When travelling anywhere around the world, it’s a good idea to have travel insurance to cover hospital and medical bills, medications and also emergency repatriations if needed. ). The level of cover you have these situations will depend on the insurance policy you take out, so if you plan to take on any risky adventures or have pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to check the exclusions, restrictions and sub-limits of your policy before purchasing. Other scenarios you should consider may include lost and stolen baggage, along with flight delays and cancellations.

Italian river canal

Common risks in Italy that travel insurance may cover

Travel delays and cancellations

You can’t control everything that happens on your trip. Maybe your plane from Milan to Bologna gets delayed by weather conditions and you miss your food tasting tour, incurring a cancellation fee. However, travel insurance cover may alleviate these kinds of costs, depending on the type of policy you have.

So even if a travel delay keeps you from using your Vatican tour tickets or taking a bike tour around Tuscany, you can still have peace of mind on your travels, knowing you will be able to make claims and limit any out of pocket expenses.

Car accidents

You’ll require an international driver’s permit (IDP) to drive on Italian roads, but it’s worth it – you’ll see some of the finest landscapes Italy has to offer while driving. Your insurance policy will insist you obey the law at all times, so, it’s important to be mindful to:

  • Drive on the right side of the road
  • Not drink and drive
  • Wear a helmet on motorbikes
  • Use headlights on main roads outside urban areas, even during the day.2

Travel insurance can also cover your rental vehicle excess if you crash your rental vehicle.


When touring Italy (particularly any famous tourist attractions such as the Colosseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa), keep an eye on your surroundings and your valuables close. Here are just a few ways you can be ‘relieved’ of your belongings in Italy:

  • Credit card skimming
  • Pickpocketing
  • Bag snatching
  • Fake tickets for attractions.

As a precaution, lock your doors as you drive, keep money and passports well concealed and don’t take any unnecessary risks. However, it’s comforting to know that travel insurance could help cover the cost of stolen goods. It also looks after lost luggage expenses, although exclusions apply if your belongings are left unattended or if you don’t take steps to protect your possessions.

Medical attention

Australia and Italy share a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA), which allows you to seek public medical treatment while in Italy and several other European nations.1 However, if you require medical evacuation or prescription medication, you may have to cover these costs yourself, as the RHCA only covers certain treatments.

For surprise expenses like these, a travel insurance plan can be useful. A comprehensive travel insurance policy can cover things like medical evacuations, repatriation back to Australian soil, medications, hospital treatment and other out-of-pocket private hospital expenses.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you may not be able to get medical coverage for these in some policies. Always disclose your medical conditions to your insurer, otherwise they may reject your claim if you incur medical expenses as a result of your condition while overseas. Check your policy’s PDS for the specifics of your coverage.

As for vaccinations, you probably won’t need any specific immunisations to enter Italy. Measles diagnoses have increased, though, so consider getting the vaccine or checking if you’re up to date on your current vaccinations.3 For up-to-date information or to get a second opinion on your own personal medical circumstances, consult your local GP before you depart.

Volcanoes/ash clouds

Italy is known for its volcanoes, and there are multiple active volcanoes, including:

  • Mount Vesuvius near Naples
  • Mount Etna in Sicily
  • Mount Stromboli and Mount Vulcano in the islands off the north coast of Sicily.

Erupting volcanoes and ash clouds can cause flight cancellations and other booking problems for travellers. Luckily for those with volcanic ash cloud cover, it’s possible to avoid expensive disruptions and receive a reimbursement for your holiday.

Travel insurance may also cover natural disasters. If you purchase travel insurance before the natural disaster becomes a known event, your insurer could cover your expenses.
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Activities to get cover for

  • Touring France and Italy on bicycles is the dream of any cyclist. However, accidents are common, since Italian roads can be precarious due to their age and are usually teeming with other drivers.
  • Mountain hiking. Italy is bordered by Switzerland and Austria, which means it’s heaven for mountaineers, hikers, explorers and skiers.
  • Water activities. Italy sits across from such natural beauties as Montenegro and Croatia. In between is the Adriatic Sea, perfect for all manner of water activities, depending on where you are along the coast. Whether it’s water skiing, sailing or simply floating, make sure you take the proper precautions.

Trekking, climbing, water sports and other adventurous activities may be excluded from some travel insurance policies, or only covered as optional extras that will cost more to include in your travel insurance. Also, be sure medical cover is included when you buy travel insurance if you plan on undertaking potentially risky adventures.

Travel insurance for Italy: Exclusions to watch out for.

Generally speaking, travel insurance won’t cover you in instances where:

  • You’ve acted carelessly or unlawfully.
  • Luggage is stolen when unattended.
  • The claim is based on a pre-existing condition that is not covered by your policy.
  • Your injury happened while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • You weren’t wearing a helmet while on a scooter or motorcycle.

For a more detailed list of travel insurance exclusions, visit our travel insurance FAQs. To make sure you have cover for what’s important to you, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

What you should know before arriving in Italy

  • The official language of Italy is Italian. However, English is widely spoken.
  • The two busiest airports in Italy are Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino and Milan’s Malpensa. Depending on your stopovers, it takes roughly 18-22 hours to arrive from Sydney.
  • Italy is a great travel destination year-round. However, the summers (June-August) can get hot, expensive and busy. What’s more, the Italian weather is quite extreme; they experience hot summers and bracing winters.
  • The currency in Italy is the euro. Cards payments are widely accepted, although cash is preferred.
  • The north and south of Italy are considerably different. The north is industrialised, while the south has a more laid-back Mediterranean
  • Dining isn’t rushed in Italy; it’s an experience to be savoured, which makes sense when you’re the inventors of pizza, pasta and gelato! And don’t be put off by an empty restaurant. Italians eat late, usually around 8pm.

How to ensure your trip goes smoothly

Plan your trip

The peak tourism season in Italy is generally between June and August (summer). So, if you’re looking to visit around this time, plan everything well in advance, as bookings for certain activities and events may be in high demand. Otherwise, it might be worth heading over during a shoulder season like spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November), when the crowds may not be as large.

Acknowledge local customs and courtesies

Take part in the common courtesies when in Italy, such as dressing appropriately in church areas (particularly the Vatican), not calling people between midday and 3pm (that’s ‘riposo’, or rest time) and following polite dining etiquette.

Check your visa requirements

Italy lies in the Schengen Area, meaning it has very open borders and few visa restrictions for Australians. That said, you should always check government websites like Smartraveller to ensure there aren’t any additional conditions for your entry into the country. You won’t need a visa if you’re just visiting Italy; however, if you’re looking to have a working holiday, you will need a Working Holiday Visa.

Know who to contact in an emergency

In the event of an emergency, call 112 for ambulance, police or fire brigade anywhere in the EU. You may also like to contact the 24/7 Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 for some serious emergencies and issues.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Top Italy travel insurance tips from our expert, Stephen Zeller

  • Consider the cover you need for medical expenses, cancellation fees, luggage and rental vehicle excess, as well as any additional cover you may need for cruise or ski holidays. This will help you find a policy that suits your holiday needs.
  • Consider a higher excess to reduce your premium. But remember that your excess is what you pay out of pocket if you need to make a claim, so always choose a manageable excess amount.
  • Always declare any pre-existing medical conditions as part of your travel insurance application to look for cover that matches your needs. Taking out a policy that covers your pre-existing medical conditions may cost more but can help prevent any unpleasant surprises if your condition impacts you while travelling and you need to claim.
  • Make copies of all your important documents (e.g., passport, ID cards) and leave them with someone at home in case you lose them overseas.
  • If you plan to travel more than once throughout the year, you may find greater value in purchasing an annual travel insurance policy that covers your trips for a full year up to the maximum journey length.

Compare travel insurance for Europe

Heading off to Italy soon? Why not see what we have to offer through our free travel insurance quote comparison service? Through us, you can receive quotes from several providers on one page in just minutes.

If you’re travelling through more of Europe than just Italy, you should check that your insurance policy covers multiple regions. This can be quite handy, given Italy borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, and is just a ferry ride away from Croatia and Greece. Visit our complete list of destinations and purchase cover appropriate for your travel plans.


1 Department of Human Services. Medical care when you travel to another country. Last updated December 2021. Accessed May 2022.

2 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government. Smartraveller. Italy. Accessed May 2020.

3 Ibid.

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