Emergency numbers

Getting emergency assistance & services

Emergency numbers

Living in Italy, any number of situations can arise. Be sure that you have access to emergency numbers and services so you can get the right service promptly.

Calling the following numbers from a fixed line is free of charge:

  • 118: Ambulance
  • 115: Fire-brigade
  • 113*: Polizia (Police)
  • 112*: Carabinieri (military police)
  • 117: Finance Guard
  • 1500: Call centre for health emergencies managed by the Department of Health  which gives information to the population in case of health emergencies, notably information about SARS, flu syndromes, bioterrorist threat or information about the risk of excessively warm weather. The service is active only in some periods of the year.
  • 530: Blue number for sea emergencies, managed by the Corps of the Port Captaincies – Coast Guard  (whose own number is: 800-090090)

* The functions of the Carabinieri and the Polizia in Italian society are overlapping. The Carabinieri are a sort of local branch of military Polizia derived from the ancient Corps of the Royal Carabinieri. The Carabinieri have the dual function of national defence and policing, and they have special powers and prerogatives.

Carabinieri offices are located in many villages across Italy, and there is more of a Carabinieri presence than a Polizia presence in Italy. In fact, if you're driving in the country and are nearing a collection of villages, you'll see signs directing you to the village where the Carabinieri office is located with the emergency number printed below.

In some cities, you can call both numbers (112 and 113) and they will be answered by the same person. However, you should probably address the police before the Carabinieri.

General Services:

  • 12 is the general National directory assistance telephone number.

Not Free of charge numbers:

  • 176 International Directory Assistance (the connection fee is 90¢ a call).
  • 116: A.C.I. (Italian Automobile Association) gives road assistance
  • 89 20 21 / 199-892021 / 199-303060  Italian State Railways

Coloured telephone numbers

Some public-service telephone numbers are referred to by colour. The colour corresponds to the type of service provide to which they connect the caller.

  • Green numbers (numeri verdi): freephone/toll-free numbers start with 800 or 147 (from inside Italy only; may not be available from mobile phones) : 800-016600 DrugTel by Council of Ministers 
  • Blue numbers (numeri azzurri): to report child abuse (e.g.: Telefono azzurro  19696 Free line for children /114 childhood emergency or paedo-pornography online/116 missing children)
  • Pink numbers (numeri rosa): to report abuse of women (e.g.: Telefono rosa : 1522)
  • Violet numbers (numeri viola): to report any sort of abuse (e.g.: Telefono viola )
  • Red numbers (numeri rossi): pregnancy/prenatal advice (e.g.: Telefono rosso )

Phone directories

If you need to find a number, dial 12 or use one of the following online directories (annuaires).

Pagine Bianche  (White pages): for private phone numbers and addresses:

Pronto.it  for all Italian phone numbers and Italian Postal Codes

Pagine Gialle  (Yellow pages): search for a company by products, by services, by brands or by name

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: