Electrical Converters/Adapters for Italy

We are planning a trip to Italy and would like to bring the right power converter/adapter set up. It seems that there are several different adapters to choose from. Any help in determining which adapter works for Italy would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Steve's 'continetal' probably won't work. A continental one probably will.

Posted by Devon
833 posts

Just a note that adapters will not always work for high energy consuming objects like hair dryers, flat irons, etc. In those cases, you are best off to buy an Italian hair dryer (while you're there or off ebay) and you can sell it once you get home.

Posted by suzanne
pukalani, HI, US
17 posts

In case you have an iPhone .... Just got home from Italy and found out that to use my iPhone I needed a special International Travel Kit available only from Apple. I had taken all kinds of adaptors and voltage converters .... all to no avail. The only thing that ever worked was the one for use in a car. Next trip, I will have the special kit. Happy Trails!
Suzanne, on Maui

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21491 posts

Mary, To begin with, it's important to determine whether you'll need only Plug Adapters, or Voltage Converters as well. It would help to know what type of electric / electronic devices you'll be travelling with. For travel in Italy, use this Plug Adapter: www.magellans.com/store/Adaptors___Converters___Plug_AdaptorsEA351D I'd suggest taking at least two Plug Adapters, in case one is lost or "misplaced". To determine whether you'll also need a Voltage Converter, you need to check the Input Voltage ratings on EACH device that you'll be travelling with. The ratings can be found on each appliance, or on the Charger for smaller devices. If they state "Input Voltage 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz" the devices are designed for world operation and you'll only need Plug Adapters. Happy travels!

Posted by Mathew
San Francisco, CA
166 posts

@suzanne, Not sure what special iPhone kit you are talking about, nor what problem you had. I frequently travel internationally with colleagues who have iPhones, and my wife has one, and in all cases a standard plug converter for the Apple wall charger works just fine. If you take a laptop (being a photographer, I do) you can also charge using the USB cable.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
6477 posts

We just finished two and a half weeks in Italy, staying in five different locations and I can tell you that there is no single adapter that will work in all outlets. There are actually at least three different types of outlets in Italy. (They also vary by the shape of the plug itself that you need. Some require a round shape to be able to the adapter deep enough to connect.) There are some for low-demand objects like small lamps, then there are heavier duty ones for objects like hairdryers and TVs. Some are three prong, some are two prong, and those prongs come in one of two thicknesses (or gauge) and they vary in their distance from each other. I had taken along one of the RS type adaptors and that worked in some outlets. I also bought an adaptor in Rome that I was told would work. But I still ended up having to borrow an adaptor from the B&B owner in Orvieto to be able to plug in my netbook. Sometimes I had to use the adaptors in conjunction with each other to get it to work. I suggest getting a couple of different ones and be prepared to buy another one once you get there, and don't forget you can always ask to borrow one from where you're staying.

Posted by Kate
8 posts

Just returned from Italy. I purchased two of these converters (see link at bottom) from amazon and they worked everywhere we went (Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice). They are a bit heavy for packing but well worth it. I recommend two if you can, as between a family of four we had a great deal of devices. These worked for charging our ipods, camera batteries, laptop, ipad. No adaptors needed. This worked in the three prong outlet as well, just plugged it in! I did not try it with a hairdryer, just bought one meant for Italy. Also purchased the hairdryer from Amazon, worked perfectly (although most of the hotels have hairdryers in the bathrooms as well). We did have some issues charging when we were out of the hotel rooms, as the power shuts off when you leave the room (they require you to have a room key in a special slot to power the room). So we utilized our overnights as best we could to charge up devices (another reason to have more than one convertor). Enjoy & safe travels :) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W9DJ1Q

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21491 posts

One note about the product that Kate mentioned in the previous reply. That product is a Transformer type Voltage Converter and with a capacity of 200-watts, it will be a bit on the "heavy" side. Those work great for electronic devices such as Laptops or Camera chargers, but are NOT suitable for Hairdryers or other high-wattage appliances. Having a Voltage Converter may not be necessary, depending on the devices you'll be using. Plug Adapters may still be needed for some devices. Cheers!

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
6477 posts

If I were to do it again, I would take a small power strip to plug all my stuff into. Then I would only need to worry about the right adapter for the strip. Plus, we often had rooms that were limited in outlets in convenient places.

Posted by Karl
Albany, United States
6 posts

Great suggestion on the power strip. Packed. Thanks Michael.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21491 posts

Karl, One important point to mention regarding use of North American Power Bars in Europe. DO NOT use a Power Bar that has built-in Surge Suppression or EMI / RFI filters! These are NOT designed for use on 220 VAC electrical systems.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11671 posts

These are NOT designed for use on 220 VAC electrical systems. ... and will make a really neat smoke and sparks light show. Only for a moment, though. Then they become another gift for the garbage truck. Neat show, though.