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"How Much Money Do I Need To Take With Me?"
It is recommended to bring small denominations of Euros with you for use immediately upon arrival. It is difficult to cash traveler's checks, particularly in Rome.
Currency & Banking:
It is not recommended that you bring the entire amount of money you expect to spend in cash. You will not need a large amount of money with you when you arrive in Rome or Cortona if you have an ATM or credit card. If you want to bring the entire amount of money you will need for the semester, bring it in the form of traveler's checks. Be sure to keep a list of your traveler's check numbers in a secure place separate from the checks themselves in case they are lost or stolen.
We recommend that you take a small amount of US cash with you when you travel to Italy and exchange it in the airport or train station as soon as you arrive. After you arrive in Rome or Cortona, we suggest you cash travelers checks as needed weekly at the local bank or use your ATM to obtain cash from automated tellers.
Credit cards (American Express, Visa and Mastercard) are honored in most places throughout Europe. They are not a substitute for cash, but using them gives you the advantage of the best exchange rate when you are billed by the credit card company. It is highly recommended that you bring a credit card in your name, signed on the back to be used in case of emergencies.
Exchange rates at banks are generally better than exchange rates at a cambio. Also, a cambio in a train or airport will usually have a lower rate than one in a more business-oriented district. Frequently hotels will exchange money or traveler's checks, but the rate is much less favorable than at a bank.
When cashing traveler's checks it is required to have your passport. The exchange procedure can take up to half an hour, so it is a good idea to cash enough traveler's checks to last you for about a week at a time.
The Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze has an agency in Cortona on the Piazza Signorelli. This bank, whose main office is in Florence, is a corresponding bank with the following US banks:
The Banca Popolare di Cortona is the other bank we encourage UGA students to utilize. To have money sent to you through this bank have it addressed as follows:
Allow 2 to 4 weeks for possible delays or mistakes in delivery. If your parents need to send you money by mail, have them send a money order (not a personal check or cash) by Registered mail (or better, private overnight companies).