When traveling abroad, safety is of the utmost importance. That means being aware of your surroundings and knowing local safe areas, but also having all the pertinent information when it comes to emergency services. In the unlikely and unfortunate event an emergency were to transpire during your trip to Italy, here are the national telephone numbers to all for help. Simply dial these numbers from anywhere in the country.
Emergency Numbers in Italy
- 12 - Telephone Directory Assistance Number
- 112 - Carabinieri
- 113 - Emergency Police Help Number (also ambulance and fire)
- 115 - Fire Department
- 116 - A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Club) road assistance.
- 118 - Medical Emergencies
- 1515 - Forest Fires
112: The Pan-European Emergency Number
Here's a really important bit of knowledge: you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe, and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting. The service functions alongside existing national emergency numbers. Operators can answer your call in their native language, English, and French.
The country code for calling Italy from outside the country is 39.
Notes on Italy's Emergency Phone Numbers
Like everywhere else in Europe, public phones have virtually disappeared in Italy, but nearly everyone has a mobile phone. If you are outside your hotel and don't have a mobile phone, you might have to ask in a shop or even a passer-by.
They will certainly make an emergency call for you.
The functions of the Carabinieri and the Police in Italian society overlap. The Carabinieri are a sort of local branch of military police derived from the ancient Corps of the Royal Carabinieri instituted by Vittorio Emanuel in 1814. He gave the Carabinieri the dual function of national defense and local policing with special powers and prerogatives.
Carabinieri offices are located in many villages across Italy, and there tends to be more of a Carabinieri presence than a police presence, especially in rural areas of Italy. In fact, if you're driving in the country and are nearing a collection of villages, you'll see signs directing you to the village where the Carabinieri office is located, with the emergency number printed below the name of the village.
Small medical emergencies can sometimes be handled by an Italian pharmacy (farmacia). You can always easily find one that is open 24/7. Otherwise, call either the 112, 113 or 118 numbers, or look for an emergency room, pronto soccorso.
In some cities, you can call both numbers (112 and 113) and they will be answered by the same office. It's best to try 113 first.