Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Its the time for destination wedding invitations!

You are making a list and checking it twice maybe not to see who is naughty or nice but to decide who is on the first list of invitees and who is on the second list....

 Unlike a wedding at home, destination weddings take a little bit more notice. Your friends and family may have to book time off work or wish to extend your wedding weekend in to a holiday. 

While you are looking at invitations and thinking about wording, it is always a very good idea to put together information packs for your guests, making the process of booking their flights easier right through to ideas of what to do in the area. 

Things to remember:

  • Most airlines publish their summer fares in January. This is when you will get the best rates. So book early! 
  • Include a list of airlines website links and phone numbers who fly to the region. For example if you are having guests fly in from Ireland and Australia: 

From Ireland

The cheapest way to get to Italy from Ireland is to first make your way to London and then fly from there to Rome, Pisa or Florence using one of the above airlines.

To book through the following companies in Ireland dial:

British Airways
Tel: 800 626 747

Aer Lingus
Tel: 0818 365 000

Aer Lingus flies direct from Dublin to both Rome and Milan about 5 days a week. 

Tel: 01 677 5171

Alitalia puts you on a British Midland flight to get you to London, where you change to an Alitalia plane for the trip to Rome.

Tel: 0818 303 030

From Australia & New Zealand

Tel: 02-9922-1555

Alitalia flies from Sydney to Rome every Thursday and Saturday.

Tel: 13 13 13 in Australia or 0649 357 8900 in Auckland and NZ

Quantas flies three times daily to Rome via Bangkok, leaving Australia from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or Cairns. Qantas will also book you through one of these Australian cities from Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch in New Zealand. You can also look into flying first into London and taking an onward budget flight from there. Most budget airlines can be booked online and the general rule is the earlier you book the less you pay. 

  • Add a list of car rental companies if you are not supplying transport from the airport. 
  • Include some helpful driving rules:

Speed Limits
Car and Motorcycles ( over 150cc)

Built-up areas 50 kph (31 mph)
Secondary Roads 90 kph (56 mph)
Main Roads 110 kph (68 mph)
Motorways 130 kph (81 mph)

Seat Belts

The use of seat belts, both front and rear, is compulsory and fines can be applied if you or your passengers are not wearing seat belts. Child safety harnesses are compulsory for 3 to 12 year olds. Visit the child car travel information site for help on safe travel with children.

Driving Licence

Minimum Driving age 18
Mopeds - 14 years
Motorcycles up to 125cc - 16 years
Motorcycles up to 350cc - 20 years

An International Driving Permit is required unless you have the new Photocard licence from a European nation.

Motoring offences attract a fine and visitors must pay 25% on-the-spot. An official receipt should be issued with the name of the offence you have committed.

Drinking and Driving

The legal blood alcohol level for driving in Italy is 0.08%. This limit is strictly adhered to and random breath tests are common throughout the country.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Police 113 
Fire Service 115 
Ambulance 118


Unleaded Super 95/98 - Senza Piombo 
Diesel - Gasolio 

The Import or Export of spare fuel is prohibited. 
The carrying of spare fuel cans is illegal. 
Credit cards are not widely accepted for buying fuel. 
Many petrol stations (except motorway) are closed on Sundays but many are self service. 
The main petrol stations include Agip, Shell, Tamoil, Beyfin and Total.

General driving rules

Drive on the right, overtake on the left. 
Use dipped headlights at all times on motorways and dual carriageways. Driving without headlights attracts a hefty fine.
Use dipped headlights in reduced visibility and in all tunnels. 
Don't use the horn in built up areas except for emergencies. 
Trams and Trains have right of way. 
When a car flashes their headlights, it usually means that they want you to get out the way, instead of letting you go first. 

What is the conversion for kph to mph?
1 mile = 1.6 km
1km = 0.6 miles 

What documents do I need to carry when driving in Italy?

You need to carry your driving licence, your insurance certificate (Green Card) vehicle registration/ownership papers. If you are renting a car you will need to carry insurance certificates and all the appropriate documentation given to you by the hire company. For any motoring offences, the Italian police are empowered to revoke your licence and to collect fines on the spot. For foreign-registered vehicles and hire cars, police can collect 25% of the maximum fine on the spot. If you contest your fine, you must give a deposit of half the maximum amount in cash to be claimed back in the case that you win your appeal. 

Useful phrases for driving in Italy 

Rallentare - slow down
Senso unico - one way
Strada a doppie corsie - dual carriageway 
Strada panoramica - scenic route 
Centro Paese - Town center
Entrata - Entrance 
Incrocio - Crossroads
Lavori in corso - Roadworks ahead 
Parcheggio - Parking ramp 
Passaggio a livello - Train crossing 
Rallentare - Slow 
Senso Vietato - No entry
Sosta Autorizzata - Parking allowed during times shown 
Sosta Vietata - No parking
Stazione Di Polizia - Police station 
Svolta - Bend 
Tutte le Direzion - All directions 
Uscita - Exit 
Vietato Ingresso Veicoli - No entry for vehicles
Vietato Transito Autocarri - Closed to heavy vehicles  

What to do in the event of an accident?

 Depending on the severity of the accident you will need to call one of the following, Police, tel. 113; Fire, tel. 115; Ambulance, tel. 118. If there is any damage to the car or to your passengers, or those in another car then calling the police is obligatory. You will need to take contact details and the registration number of all witnesses to the accident. If you have a camera make sure you take photographs from all angles before any vehicle is moved. If you do not have any pan-European breakdown cover the best company to call is The Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI), FIA and AIT member, operates a breakdown service on all roads, tel. 116. This service offers free tows to visitors driving in Italy with foreign licence plates. If you are in a hire car you must show your plane tickets and the rental contract if you want to get the service free of charge.

  • A list of taxi numbers. 
  • A list of emergency numbers:

Carabinieri (Police) - Emergency:
Phone no: 112

Car rescue service: Phone no: 116 Fire Brigade: Phone no: 115 Medical emergency service: Phone no: 118 Police - Emergency: Phone no: 113 International Call Service - Information: Phone no: 176 Telegram Service: Phone no: 182

  • Links to public transport services. 
  • A list of restaurants in the area. 
  • Times of shop openings.
  • Location of the nearest pharmacy. 
  • A list of things to do in the area from wine tasting to tours. 
Answer as many questions before they are asked and remember a lot of your guests will forget to bring this information sheet with them so have some extras printed out! 

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