Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Italy
Before visiting Italy, you should be aware of the available voltage and electrical frequency as well as the electrical outlet and plug types in the country. The available voltage in Italy is 220 Volts with an electrical frequency of 50 Hz. In comparison, the United States has a lower voltage of 110 and an electrical frequency of 60 Hz. Tourists who wish to bring their gadgets and appliances such as laptops, camcorders, hair dryers or battery chargers should be aware of how to convert to the new voltage, as well as how to connect these appliances to the electrical outlet sockets available in Italy.
Electrical Outlets and Plugs in Italy
There are three available electrical outlet types and plugs in Italy. The Type C or CEE 7/16 Euro plug, Type F or Shucko Plug and Type L or Italian 3-pin Plug. Type C plug or most commonly known as the
CEE 7/16 Euro plug has two round pins with 19mm diameter between the pins and 4mm length to allow safe insertion in most Type C, E, F, H and Type L electrical outlets. CEE 7/16 is a similar plug with CEE 7/17 though it has larger pins. This kind of electrical outlet and plug was designed for devices with 250 V unearth at 2.5 A. This type of plug is commonly used throughout continental Europe, Middle East, and Africa, South America, central Asia, and the former Soviet Republics.
The next type of plug and electrical outlet available in Italy is the Type F or the Shucko Plug. It has two round pins of 4.8mm that is similar to CEE 7/16. Each pin that is for the live and neutral contacts is 19mm long and 19mm apart. Shucko plugs also have two flat contact areas on the top and bottom side of the plug for protective earth (ground). This type of plug was designed for devices with 230 V at 50 Hz and for currents up to 16 A. Shucko plugs and sockets are symmetric AC connectors. The Shucko plugs are safely designed to connect with other types of electrical outlet while Shucko electrical outlets accept other kinds of plugs such as Euro plugs.
The third type of plug in Italy is the Type L or Italian 3-pin Plug, it is known as CEI 23-16/VII. The Italian 3-pin plug has two round pins and a round grounding in the middle. This type of plug can be inserted in either horizontal or vertical position. This type of plug and electrical outlet is designed for devices carrying 250 V at 16 or 10 A. There are two CEI 23-16/VII models that are rated up to 10 A and 16 A. The 10 A plug is called IT1-10P and the socket is IT1-16R. The 16 A plug is called IT2-16P and the socket is IT2-16R. 10 A electrical outlets are designed to accept Euro plugs while 16 A electrical outlets have receptacles that are a little further apart and accepts thicker pins. The 16 A electrical outlet accepts other types of plug like French and Old British electrical plugs, though it may cause damage to your electrical outlet and the plug may get stuck.
There are two types of electrical outlet used in Italy. The first electrical outlet is smaller, with a central round hole and two 8-shaped holes above and below. This type of electrical outlet accepts Type L plugs and Type C Euro plugs. You can commonly see this type of electrical outlets in the kitchen of residential buildings. The next type is a normal Italian outlet that has 3 round receptacles. This type of outlet is most commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. It accepts Shucko plugs, French 2-pin plugs and Type L 10 A plugs.
When you are going to use a device that is not compatible with the available plugs and electrical outlets in Italy, you should use an adapter and a voltage converter. This type of plug adapter is all you need to convert the US rectangular pronged plug to the round Italian power plug that is available in most homes and hotels. While if you are going to use devices that run only in 110-120 V, a combination voltage converter is needed. It is better to bring devices that are compatible with Italy’s available voltage and electrical frequency. Or bring electrical devices that are designed to run on dual voltages.