Italian electricity is produced at 230 volts of alternating circuit at 50 cycles compared to the US 110 volts. The sockets are also different. Italian electricity uses C, F or L plugs. Italian electricity has plugs of its own design. The ordinary two-prong plugs of Europe will work, but the grounded three-prong plugs from other European countries will not. In the north, the German Schuko sockets are available in supermarkets. Adapters for other kinds of systems, including the US plugs are not that readily on hand but can be purchased at specialty stores and airports.
If travelers are using American appliances designed for use in the United States, they must be certain to provide both a voltage adapter as well as plug adapters. The higher Italian voltage could harm or destroy the appliance as well as injure or kill the user.
Plug adapters are the point of interaction between the flat prong plugs used by American appliances and the two or three prong round Italian sockets. This adapter permits these devices to be plugged into the Italian socket but does not change the electricity to the 110-120 volts of the American. The result could be smoke or fire. In addition to the plug adapter, travelers will need a transformer or power converter to change the voltage from 110 to 230 volts. If the small appliance is designed for duel voltage use, then all that is needed is a plug converter. Recent devices such as laptops and battery chargers and smaller electrical devices designed for international travel only need plug converters. The power brick or information on the back of the device explains the electric stipulation.
Devices such as curling irons and hair dryers are a problem for travelers. They often require a larger power voltage converter to be used with dual voltage because they use a get deal of current. Travelers might find it easier to buy one of these devices in Europe. When buying a power converter, be certain that the power rating meets the power rating of the device.
Access to voltage converters in Italy is limited, so the traveler would be better off buying one as well as plug adapters at home and transporting it, than taking time out of travel to look for one.
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