Like most of the European Union, Italy uses the Euro as its currency. You’ll see the Euro represented by both the symbol — € — and the initials: EUR. You’ll find the lower denominations in use every day. The higher €100 and €200 notes are less common and the €500 is no longer being produced. Each note is a slightly different size, starting with the smallest €5 and going up through 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. They are also strikingly different colors which helps differentiate them.
Be aware that most smaller shops don’t have change for the larger denominations so when taking out Euros for a day shopping trip, it’s always good to ask the bank for smaller notes.
While credit cards (Amex, Visa, Mastercard) are generally accepted at most larger stores, restaurants and hotels, it isn’t uncommon for a smaller business to be Euro only. Just keep in mind, you will rely on cash much more than you may have in the United States.
When purchasing items on base, you will find that it is much like the United States — credit cards, checks and U.S. dollars are accepted. However, there may be an occasional store on base where Euros are accepted or required.
Navy Federal Credit Union, Community Bank and Banco di Napoli supply multiple ATMs on base that allows you to withdraw funds from your accounts. Some dispense U.S. dollars only, some Euro only, some have both, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with what ATM does what (and if there is a surcharge). Many Italian ATMs offer instructions in English and will allow you to draw cash advances on your credit cards. You will pay a small surcharge fee when you use an ATM affiliated with a financial institution where you do not have an account. It is suggested that you open an account with at least one of the on-base financial institutions.
To view top Euro (EUR) exchange rates, click below. Note that this is the official exchange rate and is not the rate that you will receive when you exchange dollars for Euros at Navy Federal, a bank or money exchange off-base, withdraw Euros from an ATM, etc. It might be a good idea for you to Google the “exchange rate in Naples” for that information.
XE.com – Currency Converter
Explore Italian Culture – Currency in Italy
Outside the gates, Italian is the predominant language spoken in Italy. You’ll find that many non-English speaking Italians in Naples have a general understanding of English, most native Italians that you meet will not speak fluent English. We recommend spending some time learning basic questions or greetings in Italian to further enhance your overseas living experience and to further immerse yourself in Italy’s wonderful history and culture.
Language Knowledge – Italy
World Atlas – Languages Spoken in Italy