Electricity and Home Appliances in Italy

Information on the domestic power available, wall socket plugs and voltage of kitchen and living room (fridges, TVs) appliances in Italy...

Ente Nazionale per l'Energia Elettrica (ENEL) supplies most of the electricity in Italy. The company had a monopoly on providing electricity before being privatised in 1988, although there is still little competition. As of 2006 31.1 percent of the company is state owned.

Italy's standard electricity supply is 220 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz. However, in some buildings in remote places it may run at 125 volts.

Note: A country's available voltage is printed on the glass of a light bulb, or the light bulb packet.

Plugs

Italy uses a two or three-pin plug (spine). There can be a combination of socket types within the same room or property. Generally low voltage appliances use two pin plugs with higher voltage appliances (televisions, washing machines, kettles) using the three pin plug which has an earthed (or grounding) third pin.

Appliances from the United States

It is not recommended to bring electrical appliances with a motor from the USA (appliances such as refrigerators, electric can openers, stereos). The voltage in the US is 110 and 60 hertz, while in Italy it is 220 volts and 50 hertz. The appliances would need a transformer.

Light Bulbs

The standard light bulb fitting in Italy is a screw or Edison fitting.

Television

The transmission standard in Italy is PAL.

There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world.

  • The system used in the US, Canada, Japan and some other countries is called NTSC
  • Most of Western Europe, Australasia and Southern Africa use a system called PAL
  • Eastern Europe and France uses SECAM

The three standards are not compatible with each other. This means that you can't watch a TV signal (or play a DVD or video) produced for one system on machinery that's been designed for another. Multi-standard TV, DVD and video equipment will be able to play a PAL (or NTSC) camcorder, DVD player or games console.

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