The British embassy in Rome is advising all British nationals in Italy to look after their passports and to make sure they renew them in good time.
According to embassy figures, in May this year 107 emergency travel documents (ETDs) were issued to British nationals in Italy. Of these 68 were issued because of theft – usually hand-bag snatching, car break-ins, burglary and pickpocketing. The remaining 39 were issued for other reasons, mainly expiry.
The British consul in Rome, David Broomfield, advises British nationals living in Italy to make a note to renew passports about nine months before they expire. He points out that the remaining validity on the passport (up to nine months) is credited to the new passport.
A new passport takes a minimum of four weeks to arrive and costs about €164 (which includes around €80 in carrier fees). However an ETD is only valid for a one-way trip, costs €116 and does not include the price of the new passport.
Therefore anyone who has to apply for an ETD, which may take a few days to arrive, also has to add the amount of a new passport and therefore faces a bill of about €280.
Anyone who loses a passport, whether stolen or just mislaid, must make a report to the Italian police (Questura) before going to the British consulate.