Italy power adapters - what plugs are used in Italy?

Italian power outlet

What adapter do I need for Italy?

You will need to pack a Type L plug adapter [9] for Italy if your plug doesn't fit into an Italian power outlet.

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that you'll need to bring when visiting Italy all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to use in an Italian power outlet. If you're unclear about which voltage your device can use then please read the section about how can you tell if you have a dual voltage or single voltage device first.

  • If you're planning on visiting Italy from America you will need to bring a suitable power adapter to fit a US plug in an Italian power outlet. As the voltage is different in Italy you also need to pack a power converter for Italy if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage and your plug will fit in an Italian power outlet then you can use it in Italy without needing a plug adapter.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in an Italian power outlet then you'll need a suitable plug adapter for Italy such a Type L plug adapter [9]. Please be aware that a plug adapter for Italy (or power adapter) only changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Italy, but can't convert the voltage from 230 volts to another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for Italy to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You'll still need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Italy if your power converter doesn't use the correct Type L plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to power one or more USB devices such as a cellphone or a tablet then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it will work with any voltage, however make sure that you choose one which has a Type L plug adapter otherwise you'll also need to use a suitable plug adapter for Italy.
  • An increase in use of a cellphone during a vacation will leave you with a flat battery quickly, it is practical to pack a power bank [10] if you need to keep your cellphone battery or other devices charged throughout the day whilst travelling to an unfamiliar country.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in Italy please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Italy power adapters

Power adapters for Italy

If you are planning to travel it can be helpful to know if you can power all your essential electronics when you arrive at your destination. Without knowing which wall socket is used in Italy you could end up either weighing yourself down with unnecessary spare adaptors or bring the wrong power adaptor, thereby leaving you having to borrow a suitable charger on arrival. Differing standards and plugs can all be confusing when planning on staying in a foreign country especially if you've never visited before. With only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used in the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Italy. This page contains links to simple instructions showing exactly how to supply power to your devices when you're visiting Italy by using the Type L, C or F Italian 230 volt 50Hz plug outlets, most Italians typically use the Type L sockets in their wall outlets. You will discover power sockets will vary depending on which country you are in therefore we suggest reading the power adapters list for a full list of countries.

What is the best power adapter for Italy?

The best power adapter for Italy will be a Type L power adapter [9] which is suitable for powering any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Italy?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are compact and lightweight plastic adapters that permit a wall outlet in Italy to accept a power plug from an appliance from a different region.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for Italy allows visitors travelling from another country to use electronic appliances in Italy by adapting the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Do I need a power adapter in Italy?

If the power plug that you are using isn't the same as the type of plug outlet in Italy then you will need a power adapter.

Will I need a plug adapter for Italy if I'm from the US?

If you are visiting from the US bring a plug adapter for Italy as an American plug won't physically fit into an Italian power outlet, and because the voltage is much higher you will also need to use a power converter for Italy if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage to prevent overheating or damage.

Do European plugs work in Italy?

There is a possibility that a plug adapter that works in another territory in Europe doesn't work in Italy because there are so many different power outlet types used throughout Europe.

Can a power adapter change the voltage in Italy?

Power adapters will only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Italian power outlet and doesn't convert the power to a different voltage. If you need to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance then you will also need a step down power converter for Italy.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Italy?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Italy?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Italy

Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of powering several electical appliances at once via a single plug socket, costing on average $30 USD.
  • Some types of travel power strips have voltage conversation for lower wattage devices (for example laptops). Even if the appliance isn't dual voltage it will still function in Italy by using just a travel power strip, making them a lightweight and cheap alternative to a dedicated voltage converter.
  • Normal models will also include multiple USB charge ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain areas can be tempremental, a sudden power surge can damage your delicate electrical items. Some power strips will include a surge protector which will prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • When you return to Canada it should still work.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Italy. (Note: UK power strips include type B, F, G and I plug adapters so you will need to use it with an additional plug adapter.)

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike normal voltage converters, the voltage converter on a travel power strip doesn't convert higher wattage appliances such as hair dryers or curling irons.
  • Because of their size travel power strips might be unsuitable for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips could be considered excessive for travellers with only a small number of items that need powering.
Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type L plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Simple to operate.
  • Affordable, with prices starting at around $7 USD.
  • Light and compact.
  • Bringing a Type L plug adapter [9] will be ideal for Italy.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • A single adapter for each device - for each device or appliance you'll also need to pack a separate adapter.
  • If you intend on visiting more than one country then you may need to pack multiple plug adapter types for other countries.
  • Only alters the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Type L Italian power outlet and doesn't modify the actual voltage. So if your appliance doesn't work with a 230 volt outlet and isn't dual voltage then you will still need to pack a separate voltage converter.
  • Your accomodation may only have a single wall outlet, therefore you will only be capable of powering a single device at once.
  • You'll also need to bring a separate USB charger if you wish to power a USB device.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB charger with swappable plugs

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect when you only have to charge devices which use USB.
  • You only have to bring a single unit instead of packing multiple domestic USB power chargers costing on average $18 USD.
  • Supplied with swappable adapter heads making them versatile in a large number of locations. The interchangeable adapter heads are usually small and lightweight making them easy to fit into hand luggage.
  • Offers surge protector built in.
  • The charger can still be useful domestically.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • The interchangeable heads don't include one which is compatible with an Italian power outlet - therefore you'll still need to bring a separate power adapter for an Italian power outlet.
  • As they only have USB outputs you can't to power any appliances, only USB powered devices.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

Universal adapters are ideal in multiple countries

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Easy to use.
  • An all in one design which is both lightweight and small for around $15 USD.
  • There are some universal travel power adapters which have a surge protector built in which will protect any electronics from being overloaded by unstable power grids.
  • The pins retract so don't get caught against other items when packed in luggage.
  • The universal travel power adapter will still be of use domestically as a USB charger.
  • Some models also have USB charging ports built in.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Although most universal travel adapters will work in over 150 different countries the pins don't change shape to fit in an Italian power outlet. So you will need to bring a separate power plug adapter if you want to use universal travel adapter to benefit from surge protection and powering multiple devices from one outlet.
  • Must not be used with a high powered electrical appliance such as hair straighteners, microwaves, kettles, vacuum cleaners or hair dryers.
  • Missing a power converter will mean it isn't suitable for appliances which don't support 230 volts.
  • A universal travel power adapter might not be fully universal, adapters might not work in some countries with less common power outlets.
  • The moving parts could be fragile on some universal travel power adapters which could make them prone to breaking whilst abroad.
  • Universal adapters only charge a single plug.
Plug Adapter Sets

A power plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices between $15-$20 USD an adapter set typically works out more cost-effective purchasing than buying multiple $7 plug adapters.
  • By bringing every type of plug adapter ensures that you are covered for all countries.
  • For travellers visiting multiple countries this is ideal.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N adapters so should be compatible with an Italian power outlet.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve some planning; prior to any trip you will need to decide which plug adapters they'll need, if you don't know every country you'll be visiting you'll need to bring each adapter type along.
  • Lots individual adapters to pack.
  • The remaining power adapters will be useless using up packing space.
  • Not all plug adapter types are typically included (especially rarer adapters), so check that your set has an adapter that works with an Italian power outlet.
  • Each plug adapter only modifies the actual shape of the plug and don't modify the actual voltage.
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters offer surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • It only changes the 230 volts in Italy and not the actual shape of the plug to slot in a Italian power outlet, you will still be required to pack the right type of plug adapter.
  • The normal size and weight of most models of voltage converters makes them impractical for hand baggage.
  • Useless when you return from Italy.
  • Often less expensive and more practical to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to purchase an expensive voltage converter just in order to power your existing appliance abroad.
  • Costly - on average $128 USD.
  • When you travel to Italy from the US then you will need a power converter as the voltage from a Italian power outlet is 230 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Italy

Type L Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Italy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included L A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 5+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type L Italian power outlet Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type L plug adapter required to fit in an Italian power outlet Yes Yes Yes
Useful when you return to Canada Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 230 volt AC appliance in Italy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Typical price $7 USD $15 USD $18 USD $30 USD $19 USD $128 USD
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Italy power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Italy?

Type C, F and L power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Italy?

There are three types of power outlets used in Italy, these are type L, C and F with the primary power supply being type L:

  • Plug Type C - This unearthed plug socket is recognised by two holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this wall socket by the two 4.8mm circular adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go along with a pair of metal grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type L - This flattened hexagon shaped wall outlet, technically known as a type L power outlet, can be identified by three circular adjecent holes in a line for live, neutral and ground pins. You'll find there are two types of Type L power outlet, one rated for 10 amps and one at 16 amps. The 10 amp version has 4mm thick pins which are spaced 5.5mm apart, and a 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm round pins spaced 8mm apart.

Do US plugs work in Italy?

No - an American plug won't work in Italy because it doesn't fit in an Italian power outlet without using a power adapter. Also, the voltage is 230 volts so you will need to use a power converter for Italy if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage and check that your device or appliance will work with a 50hz power outlet.

What frequency is used in Italy?

The frequency of the alternating current from an Italian power outlet is 50 Hz.

Do European plugs work in Italy?

Tourists in Europe

Do European plugs work in Italy?

Various locations throughout Europe all use different standards of power outlet types and voltages, so a plug which works with an Italian power outlet might not function in an electrical outlet in another location. If you are visiting more than one location in Europe you can either bring a multiple power adapter travel set [17] consisting of various types of power adapters, or a more convenient international travel plug adapter [18] as both these options should make sure you're covered for all different power outlet types which you might encounter in each country. Before travelling check the list of power outlets used throughout Europe to understand which power converters and adapters you might need to bring for your trip.

Are outlets in Italy the same as US?

US plugs won't fit in an Italian power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Italy. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for Italy and check that it works with a 50hz supply.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Italy?

To use a 110 volt appliance in Italy you will need a step down power converter.

Is the voltage in Italy the same as in the US?

The voltage which comes from an Italian power outlet is 230 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in America. If your US appliance or charger isn't dual voltage then you should use a suitable power converter for an Italian power outlet which allows a 120 volt American device to work with a 230 volt outlet.

Is there good access to electrical power in Italy?

Access to electricity in Italy is excellent which covers the entire country.

How reliable is the power grid in Italy?

Whilst stable electrical power can't be guaranteed, the power grid in Italy is classed as reliable with no pattern of recurrent power blackouts.

Should I pack a power bank for Italy?

Power bank for charging smartphones

Should I pack a power bank for Italy?

Even though power failures in Italy aren't regular with power being available to the entire population, visitors are still recommended to bring a power bank to recharge mobiles and other USB powered devices.

  • The dependence on phones for many people is high and being offline will leave them anxious, especially when being needed when travelling to an unknown location. During a trip increased use of cell phones for taking pictures, storing itineraries, social networks, sat nav and web browsing can drain power before the end of the day. A flat smart phone battery can possibly leave you without enough power to make an emergency call or being able to use GPS to get directions to your hotel.
  • Packing a portable charger [10] for Italy alleviates those concerns as it allows you to recharge your cell phone on the move.
  • A typical 10,000mAh power bank [10] will store enough energy to power over 3 full days of mobile phone use whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [21] should keep a typical cell phone charged for almost a week.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop in Italy and it it supports USB-C charging then look for a portable charger for a laptop [22] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies at least 20 Wh.
  • Please note that some airlines don't let you take batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Typical consumer portable chargers won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer [19] or gas hair straighteners [20] are available for travelling.
How well do solar chargers work in Italy?

A solar backpack in the sun

How well do solar chargers work in Italy?

The climate in Italy may be suitable conditions for a solar power bank [24] but is likely to take time to recharge. The compact surface area of the cells means a solar power bank will need to be kept in strong daylight for a long period of time in order to produce enough energy for a single charge, which might prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • Instead, the bigger cells used on a solar backpack [23] give the bag the ability to create more electricity within a faster period of time, and could also generate power during overcast weather.
  • Phones that are plugged directly into the USB charging port of a backpack will gradually recharge the battery during sunny spells in Italy, but could prove inconvenient to have it constantly tethered to the bag should it be used frequently. So it is recommended to plug in a normal power bank [10] into a solar backpack which can then be constantly recharged inside the bag during the day, afterwards you can power up your phone from the power bank.
  • A solar bag which is suitable for Italy should have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of energy and includes a 10,000mAH power bank or stronger.
  • They come in messenger, rucksack and backpack styles making them ideal for domestic, work and travel use. The flexible and durable panels used in solar powered bags have been made to survive scratches and bending, unlike regular firm solar panels.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Italy chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Italy?

If you are travelling to multiple countries and bringing more than just one device the best international travel charger for Italy to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [2]. Italians use three different standards of plug sockets (types L, C and F) and bringing this will ensure that you are covered for type C. Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable pins and handle from 100 volts - 240 volts will mean that you can travel to multiple countries in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa just by switching the heads over. If your device can support Fast Charge then you will benefit from faster recharging times with one of these USB travel chargers along with support for more power hungry devices. Unlike other travel adapters this means you can charge more than one device at once without needing to pack multiple travel chargers. Only bringing a single international USB travel charger will help keep the size and weight down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand luggage. Because of their space saving flexibility these types of travel chargers can be used when you return home not just abroad so when you're not travelling they can be used under your bedside table charging multiple tablets and phones without using up an additional plug socket.

We suggest searching for this type of flexible power adapter at an electronics retailer, the power adapter illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [2] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous countries around the world.

What USB charger do I need for Italy?

Why use a travel USB charger for Italy?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Rather than bring 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 separate devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Europe which are likely to use different outlets to Italy.
  • A good power charger is rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair in Italy.
  • USB travel chargers can accept the 230 volt power outlets in Italy along with other voltage standards across the world.
  • It's possible that hotels in Italy might only have a single power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single wall outlet with all your devices rather than having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their flexible nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of travelling to an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets in airports can be in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in Italy could prove problematic and costly.
  • Larger USB chargers should also include power outlet strips to use multiple low powered devices such as laptops, but please note these are unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our guide on using travel appliances with an Italian power outlet for advice and guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for an Italian power outlet for high wattage appliances.
  • Certain tablets and cellphones could require more than the standard 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Premium USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones on an overnight basis using one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Italy?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, however for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs the following power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be useful for travellers to counties with unreliable or unstable power grids to prevent damage to any connected devices from voltage spikes. These travel converters come supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Italy and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Italy.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs and offers almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with 1 less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Italy.

Power converters for Italy

What does a power converter for an Italian power outlet do?

Power converters for Italy allow you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 230 volt Italian power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

A heavy and bulky power converter [25] will transform a 230 volt Italian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Italy.

Do I need a power converter for Italy?

When travelling to Italy from another region check that the device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [15] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance won't support 230 volts. See the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to find out the voltage your country uses.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Devices designed for a lower voltage such as 110 volts and used with 230 volts run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you need to charge a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone as these are normally dual voltage and designed for international use, but please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as hair straighteners or clothes irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [6] which allows it to be used with a 230 volt Italian power outlet.
  • It should be more cost effective to use a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a heavier power converter to Italy in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, flat irons and hairdryers with Italian power outlets , along with recommendations for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Italy from America?

The voltage from a wall outlet in Italy is different to an 110 volt American outlet, therefore please use a step down power converter if your appliance or charger doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Italy?

In order to use any 100-120 volt appliance in Italy you will need to buy a step down power converter [15].

What voltage is used in Italy?

Italy uses 230 volts in their power outlets.

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [15] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with an 230 volt Italian power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Italy before plugging that into an Italian power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with an 230 volt Italian power outlet.
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage or single voltage appliance?

A simple method to tell if your appliance is dual voltage is to check for a sticker on the charger or on the unit itself, normally near to where the power cord goes. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your appliance but could also be written on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

Substantiations

How we compared products

Typical figures based on top 5 popular electrical adapters for each form-factor from different manufacturers with prices as of October 2018.

  • Power Plug Adapters - Ceptics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter, TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Power Plug Adapter, Tmvel Universal International Power Adapter Plug, EnriQ Plug Adapter, Ckitze Travel Power Plug Adapter.
  • Universal Travel Power Adapters - BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter, NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, Bluegogo Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, HAOZI All-in-one International Power Adapter, UROPHYLLA Universal European Adapter Dual Fuses.
  • Trvel USB Wall Chargers - iKits 4-Port USB Wall/International Charger, LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, PISEN USB Wall Charger, Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 4 Lite, USB Plug Travel Charger Adaptor, Turata 4 Port Universal World Wall Charger.
  • Travel Power Strips - BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip, TESSAN 3 Outlet Surge Protector travel Power Strip, Portable Travel Adapter Power Strip Charging Station, GR-8 Power Compact & Slim Travel Charging Station, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station.
  • Plug Adapter Sets - Ceptics GP-12PK International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set, Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set - 11 Pack, BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Set, OREI 7 World Travel Adapter Plug Set, Ceptics Adapter Plug Set for World Wide International Travel Use.
  • Voltage Converters - Power Bright VC2000W Voltage Transformer Step Up/Down converter, LiteFuze LT-3000 3000 Watt Voltage Converter Transformer - Step Up/Down, SEYAS 1000W Auto Step Up & Step Down Voltage Transformer Converter, Rockstone Power 5000 Watt Heavy Duty Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converter, KRIEGER 1700 Watt Voltage Transformer Step up/down 120V / 230V AC outlet American European Converter.

Weight, dimensions, number of AC outlets, number of USB powers and prices were all based by calculating and rounding an average figure for each attribute where known.

Key to electrical adapter comparison

  1. Compatible number of countries based on data from the International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs page (cited November 2018).
  2. Assuming only a single plug adapter from the plug adapter set will be used at any one time in a compatible location.
  3. Depending on if the power strip supports voltage conversion for low wattage items. All travel power strips tested do not convert voltage for high wattage appliances.
  4. Including the device itself, any supplied plug heads and power cords.
  5. Some travel power strips featuring less AC outlets may be small and lightweight enough to be suitable for hand luggage.
  6. Number of items if bringing an entire set of plug adapters for use in multiple locations to cover all eventualities (unless bringing only the necessary single plug adapter).

What type of adapter do you need for Italy?

Which type of adapter you need for Italy

The type of power converter that is suitable for Italy is dependant on your requirements, so before deciding which adapter to bring we recommend using this checklist:

How many electrical devices are you taking to Italy?

How many devices are you packing

How many electrical devices are you taking to Italy?

  • List all the items you want to bring to Italy (such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eReaders, hair dryers and curling irons).
    • Allow for more electrical items at a later date. Do you intend on purchasing a new tablet computer next year?
    • There is an increasing number of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise USB charging for a power source. Therefore if you have to replace a device it might need a USB power adapter so check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these too.
  • Will you also be travelling with a partner who will need to recharge their phones as well?
What are the types of devices do you need to use with an Italian power outlet?

Make a list of items to bring

What are the types of devices do you need to use with an Italian power outlet?

  • There are 3 different types of electrical items:
    • Low wattage electronic items which plug into an electrical outlet - for example laptops or cameras.
    • High wattage appliances which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons and hair straighteners.
    • USB electrical devices which charge using a USB port - for example phones.
  • If you only want to bring along just USB powered devices then you'll find that a travel USB charger is perfect because you'll only need to pack one charger plus some appropriate USB charging cables.
  • Travel power strips are perfect for powering and converting voltage for multiple low wattage devices of any voltage, but unsuitable for high wattage appliances (such as hair irons) which require voltage conversion, potentially damaging it.
How many power outlets will be available when you get to Italy?

How many power outlets will be available

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Italy?

  • Your hotel may have only one power outlet on the wall, this will be an issue when recharging more than one device overnight because you can only recharge a single device at a time then need to swap every few hours.
  • To charge more than one device at the same time we suggest packing either a USB wall charger or a travel power strip which are capable of charging multiple USB ports or power outlets.

Do your devices and appliances work with 230 volt power outlets?

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB items

Will you only be planning on charging USB devices?

  • Should you only plan on using USB powered electronics such as phones and tablets then we suggest just bringing a travel USB wall charger.
  • If you only use a simple power plug adapter in Italy then you'll still need to pack the USB power charger that was supplied with your device as well.

Are you planning to visit anywhere else abroad in the future?

Is Italy the only place you'll be visiting?

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Cheap power adapters start from $7 which charges only one device from an Italian power outlet (providing that it is dual voltage or works with 230 volts), but investing in roughly $20 allows you to power multiple devices at once and bring them to various countries.

Are you visiting another country with reliable access to power?

  • The electricity in Italy is generally stable but if you plan to visit another country you may need a power adapter to protect your electrical appliances. Electricty might often fluctuate in some regions which could possibly cause damage to your devices, so it is advisable to use a power adapter which has surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Prepare for power cuts and limited electricity by bringing a portable charger [10] and a solar backpack [23].

Would you like to use your charger when returning to Canada?

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Will it take you a long time to get to Italy?

Are you flying long haul

Will it take you a long time to get to Italy?

  • For much longer journeys it's worth considering packing an appropriate airport-suitable power charger that can be used with different outlet types, one which can be packed in carry-on luggage and can be used to quickly charge tablets and phones just prior to a lengthy trip.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets available we recommend bringing a travel portable charger [10] for recharging on the go. After landing in Italy you could need to rely on a phone for making telephone calls, receiving text messages, using sat nav to find accomodation or reading an itinerary; make sure that your phone will have ample charge remaining.

What can I connect to an Italian power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to an Italian power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to an Italian power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with an Italian power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Italian power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to the Italian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with an Italian power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to an Italian power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with an Italian power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Italy, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [26].

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italy - wikipedia.org entry about Italy.
  2. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  3. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage.
  5. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel.
  6. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  7. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel.
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  9. Type L plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type L power outlets without converting voltage.
  10. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  12. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries.
  13. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices.
  14. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries.
  15. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  17. Multiple power adapter travel set - international travel plug adapter set .
  18. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries.
  19. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  20. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  21. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  22. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  23. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  24. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  25. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  26. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets