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No matter where you are in Italy, dial 113 for all emergencies, or find somebody (your concierge, a passerby) who will call for you, as not all 113 operators speak English; the Italian word to use to draw people's attention in an emergency is aiuto (help; pronounced "ah-YOU-toh"). Pronto soccorso means first aid and the emergency room of a hospital, and when said to an operator, it will get you an ambulanza (ambulance). If you just need a doctor, you should ask for un medico; most hotels can refer you to a local doctor. Don't forget to ask the doctor for una ricevuta (an invoice) to show your insurance company in order to get a reimbursement. Other useful Italian words to use in an emergency are al fuoco (fire; pronounced "ahl fuh-WOE-co") and al ladro (follow the thief; pronounced "ahl LAH-droh").
Italy has a national police force (carabinieri) as well as local police (polizia). Both are armed and have the power to arrest and investigate crimes. Always report the loss of your passport to either the carabinieri or the police, as well as to your embassy. Local traffic officers are known as vigili (though their official name is polizia municipale)—they are responsible for, among other things, giving out parking tickets and clamping cars, so before you even consider parking the (illegal) Italian way, make sure you are at least able to spot their white (in summer) or black uniforms. Many are women. Should you find yourself involved in a minor car accident in town, you should contact the vigili. Many police stations have English-speaking staff to deal with travelers' problems. When reporting a crime, you'll be asked to fill out and sign a report form (una denuncia); keep a copy for your insurance company.
A countrywide toll-free number (112) is used to call the carabinieri in case of emergency.
United States Embassies
U.S. Consulate (Via Lungarno Vespucci 38, Florence. 055/266951.)
U.S. Embassy (Via Vittorio Veneto 121, Rome. 06/46741. www.usembassy.gov.)
General Emergency Contacts
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