OK just trying to warn everyone and help you out. I am in Switzerland now and have found that most merchants do not accept either my credit or debit cards unless they are some major corporate outfit (exmple: Coop or Migros). I am devastated as I do not want to use "cash" from my bank accounts for everything. I wanted to charge most of the trip meals on some lower interest credit cards (Master Cards). Guess what? I have been embarassed twice now in restaurants and in twice now in stores where I had to excuse myself and dig into my money belt for cash that I really did NOT want to spend.
Traveling to Italy also...will let you know how it goes there. In the meantime, i have been told by my hotel and another tourist attraction that if you ask a merchant if they will only take a pin/chip then that is all they will tell you they take. What I think you may need to do is ask a more proactive question such as "Do you have the capability to swipe this card with the magnetic strip...no pin chip needed?"
If anyone has a suggestion for hoe to word this question I would appreciate it. I plan to start asking from now on but due to the language barrier, not sure how to ask.