Italy power adapters - what plugs are used in Italy?

Italian power outlet

Summary

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Italy all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to charge in an Italian power outlet. If you're not sure which voltage your device can use then please read the section on how can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device first.

  • 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 is 230 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in an Italian power outlet then you will need a suitable plug adapter for Italy such a Type L plug adapter [5]. Be aware that a plug adapter for Italy (or power adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Italy, but isn't designed to convert the voltage from 230 volts to use with 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 tablets or mobile phones 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.

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

Background

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. We also recommend referring to the Italy Wikipedia page [1] for more indepth information on the location.

Italy power adapters

Do I need a power adapter in Italy?

This will depend on where you are travelling from and the shape of plug you want to use. If you are travelling from the US then use a plug adapter for Italy as American plugs won't physically fit in an Italian power outlet, and as the voltage is much higher you will also need to bring a power converter for Italy to prevent overheating or damage to your device or appliance if it isn't dual voltage.

What is the best power adapter for Italy?

The best power adapter for Italy is a Type L power adapter [5] which allows you to use any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Italy?

Italy power outlets

What type of outlets are in Italy?

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

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this power socket by the 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go.
  • Plug Type F - The recessed round wall socket, technically called a Schuko plug or type F power outlet, can be recognised by two 4.8mm holes 19 mm next to each other for live and neutral pins along with two thin grounding clips above and below.
  • Plug Type L - You can identify the flattened hexagon shaped power socket by the three large circular holes forming a line. Note that there are two different variations of Type L power socket rated at 10 and 16 amps. A 10 amp plug socket has 4mm round pins spaced 5.5mm apart whilst a 16 amp version has larger 5mm thick pins which are spaced 8mm apart.
What type of outlets are in Italy?

What is the voltage in Italy?

The voltage used in Italy is 230 volts.

What frequency is used in Italy?

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

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.

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.

Italy USB 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 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 iKits 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 multiple USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. Rather than bring 4 separate power chargers you only need to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 individual devices, thereby reducing the weight of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for different regions thereby making them perfect if visiting different countries across Europe which will probably use different power outlets to Italy.
  • A good power charger is lightweight, compact and rugged - perfect for the rigors of travel rather than risking packing 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 different voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a possibility that hotel rooms in Italy might only have a single power outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler rather than waiting to charge 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 practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets in airports are often in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to fast charge is perect.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a quality travel USB charger allows for unexpected fluctuations and will prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded mobile phone or tablet in Italy might prove inconvenient and costly.
  • More expensive USB chargers will also include power outlet strips to plug in multiple low powered devices such as laptops, but please be aware these will be unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. For further information read our guide on using travel appliances with an Italian power outlet for guidelines on the most suitable power adapter to use with an Italian power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Certain mobile phones and tablets could pull more than the standard 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should some of your devices require extra power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be useful by recharging multiple mobile phones on a daily 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 is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter?

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter [9] converts a 230 volt Italian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter [8] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Italy.

Do I need a voltage converter for Italy?

If you are visiting Italy from a different region please make sure that your device can accept a 230 volt supply.

  • If charging a USB device which was purchased in a country which uses a lower voltage (for example 110v) ensure the device is dual-voltage (marked with a 100-240 volt notation) otherwise you may need to use an additional International travel voltage converter [11] to stop the device from overloading during charging.
  • For supplying power to larger appliances if you are visiting Italy from a lower 110 volt country you will need to use a bulkier Step Down Voltage Converter [10] to convert the voltage from 110 volts to 230 volts.

Read the WikiConnections world power outlets page to find out which voltage your country uses.

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

Dual 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 diffence) 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.

Travel appliances which can connect to an Italian power outlet

Clothes iron
clothes iron

Curling iron
curling iron

Hair dryer
hair dryer

Hair straighteners
hair straighteners

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to an Italian power outlet

Beats Pill
Beats Pill

Beats Pill 2
Beats Pill 2

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with an Italian power outlet

Jabra Solemate
Jabra Solemate

Jabra Solemate Mini
Jabra Solemate Mini

Mobile phones that can connect to the Italian power outlet

A mobile phone
mobile phone

Apple iPhones that can be connected to the Italian power outlet

iPhone
iPhone

iPhone 3G
iPhone 3G

iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4
iPhone 4

iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S

iPhone 5
iPhone 5

iPhone 5C
iPhone 5C

iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S

iPhone 6
iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with an Italian power outlet

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

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

Kindle Fire 1st generation
Kindle Fire 1st generation

Kindle Fire 2nd generation
Kindle Fire 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation

Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation

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

iPad
iPad

iPad 2
iPad 2

iPad 3
iPad 3

iPad 4
iPad 4

iPad Air
iPad Air

iPad Air 2
iPad Air 2

iPad Mini
iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2
iPad Mini 2

iPad Mini 4
iPad Mini 4

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italy - wikipedia.org entry about Italy.
  2. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  3. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel.
  4. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel.
  5. Type L plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type L power outlets without converting voltage.
  6. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  8. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  9. Power converter - A step up step down power converter transformer converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  10. https://www.amazon.com/mn/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&bbn=10967761&camp=1789&creative=390957&fst=as%3Aoff&linkCode=ur2&qid=1451321648&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A!493964%2Cn%3A281407%2Cn%3A173541%2Cn%3A10967761%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A2888021011%5Cc2888054011&rnid=2887998011&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=A6EA2MIBWUPLQKJD - Step Down Voltage Converter
  11. International travel voltage converter - Travel voltage converters change the voltage of an electrical power supply by stepping up or stepping down the voltage and are often compact units which support both plug sockets and USB charging.