What to know before moving to Aviano

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

Congratulations on your assignment to Aviano Air Base, Italy! While visiting Italy is a dream that many Americans strive to accomplish, moving and living here can be a completely different challenge. While Aviano Air Base is comprised primarily of airmen, the base is also home to soldiers, Department of Defense (DOD) employees, contractors and other personnel. This article’s main function is to assist airmen with their Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS), but the information provided can be useful to other personnel, regardless of military service or status. However, it is also important to check with your unit supervisor for current rules, regulations and administrative procedures.

Country background

Italy is comprised of beautiful, mountainous terrain, which spans across the northern part of the country and borders France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Much of Italy is flat and full of vibrant rural areas surrounded by the Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian, Ionian and Adriatic seas. Italy’s coastline of 7,600 kilometers was greatly impacted by the Roman Empire, leaving archaeological and cultural imprints on the nation. You’ll find influences from Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Andrea Palladio, Machiavelli and Dante, along with others, who left their marks on philosophy, art, architecture and political thought.

Italy has been a democratic republic since June 2, 1946 and contains three branches of government, the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The county utilizes a civil law system, and Americans living in Italy fall under this legal system. Italy is approximately 80 percent Christian, with Roman Catholics encompassing the majority and a few small groups of Protestants and Jehovah Witnesses. The remaining 20 percent are atheists, agnostics and Muslims.

The country has thrived in areas such as fashion, motor vehicles, engineering, food and wine. Notable companies in Italy include Gucci, founded in Florence in 1921; Dolce and Gabbana, founded in Milan in 1985; and Lamborghini, founded in Sant’Agata, Bolognese in 1963. A plethora of fairly priced wines and cheese can be found in every town. 

Country code and dialing instructions

The country code is 039: Italian landline phone numbers have 6 to 10 digits, while cellphone numbers have 10 digits.

Telephone Dialing: For on-base DSN calls to a location at Aviano Air Base, dial 632 then the four digit number (632-XXXX).

For a local call on base to a commercial number off base dial 99 0434 + number.

For an off-base call to the U.S., dial 001 + area code + number. For an on-base call to the U.S., dial 99 001 + area code + number.

For a U.S. call to Aviano Air Base, dial 011 39 0434 66 + number.


Italy uses the euro, which averages $1.15 to 1.00 euro.

The weather is generally cold during the winter, averaging 40 degrees Fahrenheit with a rare chance of snow beyond the mountains, but on the mountains, winter offers a perfect haven for skiers and snowboarders. Spring brings a bit of rain with slightly warmer weather and leads into the hottest month of summer, July, which averages temperatures from 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In northern Italy, fall is wetter than spring and temperatures average between the high 50s and 60s.

A number of environmental hazards and weather phenomena may occur in Italy, including flooding, landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, tornados and volcanic eruptions. Living near Aviano, closer to the mountains, you’re more likely to encounter landslides, mudflows or avalanches. If venturing closer to the center of Italy, earthquakes and tornados are more likely. This list of hazards is not meant to frighten you or discourage you from exploring. However, you should be aware of potential hazards and heed all warnings.

Work week

Most Italian establishments are open Tuesday to Saturday, with a day of rest on Sunday and another day off on Monday. Few stores, gas stations and restaurants are open 24 hours a day. Additionally, most Italian businesses close for three hours during the middle of the day, usually starting at noon. This time off is called reposo, which signifies a time of rest during a busy day.

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