Dorm Newcomers


How can I get internet in my dorm room?
Airmen in the dorms may obtain internet by going to the phone store in front of The Exchange with their codice fiscale and signing up for Telecom (ADSL) or purchasing a wireless internet key that plugs into a USB port. ADSL is about 85 euro every two months and does not include the modem. That must be purchased separately. Once signed up, the individual will be put on a waiting list and when there is an open line in the dormitory, Telecom will make an appointment to setup the internet. The cost for an internet key depends on the provider and plan you choose but there is no wait period. You can put minutes on the internet key and use it immediately. Stop by the any phone store in the local area for more information.

What phone companies/plans are available in Italy?
Many stateside cell phone companies "lock" their cell phones so they can only be used with their service. For example, an iphone purchased through AT&T is locked to their network and cannot be used here in Italy with a local SIM card. To use an iphone, cell phone users must either purchase an unlocked iphone online or from a local phone store in Italy. The same is with other phones locked to carriers in the states.

Phone users have two options in Italy: pre-paid or monthly plans. Vodafone and TIM are the two main carriers. Both have similar phone plans, but users can compare quotes when they arrive on station. Most phone plans are on a 2-3 year contract and range from 20-60 euro a month depending on the plan and phone purchased. Additionally, users who would like a pre-paid plan can purchase an unlocked phone and then buy a SIM card from either provider for 10 euro. Then, it is up to the individual to load a certain amount of euro for pre-paid minutes and texting. Both carriers offer unlimited internet for pre-paid accounts which typically costs two euro a week.

A SIM (Subscriber Information Module) card is a small chip that fits into the phone. This chip contains the cell phone number (so if it is switched it to another phone, the number will still be the same) along with the account information. The SIM Card determines the network and phone number the cell phone uses.

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is a type of cell phone and network used in Europe and most countries in the world. Some US cell phone companies use GSM (T-Mobile, AT&T), but many do not. GSM phones are required in Europe. These are sometimes called "World Phones" because they can be used around the world.

What type of driver license do I need? Will I have to take a road test? What are the requirements?
All Department of Defense sponsored personnel (active duty, family members and civilian employees) must have an Allied Forces Italy (AFI) license to drive in Italy; an International license will not suffice. However, an International Driver's License (obtainable from AAA) is needed whenever traveling outside of Italy and it is recommended to obtain one prior to leaving the U.S. To receive your AFI Driver's license you must:
· Complete and submit the AFI Licensing Application
· Take the AFI License Test and AFI Road Sign Test and submit the test results to the Drivers Licensing Office
· Attend the base's Local Conditions Brief
· Have a valid stateside, USAREUR or other country license (can't be expired).
The study material and AFI Driver's License Test is offered online. All personnel must have a valid stateside license and be 18 years of age in order to receive an AFI license. Military members must be assigned to Aviano and civilians and dependents must be command sponsored or have logistical support.
To obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your AFI license, you must have a valid U.S. Motorcycle Operator's License and a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Card prior to arriving. Once in country, call wing safety to schedule a local motorcycle safety course. Per Italian law, those under 21 can only drive a motorcycle with 33 HP (25 KW).

Are rental cars available? Are they expensive? What are the requirements to rent a car?
Rental cars are available on and off base. A EuropCar office, located in The Exchange, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Off-base rental companies can also be found in Aviano and other neighboring cities. Rental cost per day ranges from 39 to 95 euro. To rent a vehicle, you must have an identification card, state driver's license and Allied Forces Italy license. Call EuropCar at DSN 632-8719 for more information.

How do I get gas coupons? What are the requirements?
NATO gas coupons can be purchased at the Base Exchange which eliminates the need to pay local European prices. You receive tax-free gasoline coupons only for your tax-free vehicle. Once your tax-free vehicle is registered on base through Pass and Registration; a "ration card" will be posted at the BX cashier cage where you can purchase tax-free gas coupons. Your monthly allowance is based on the engine size of your car. The maximum monthly allowance is 400 liters. These coupons are valid only at AGIP; however, other local gas stations in the area may accept NATO coupons. You should verify with the attendant prior to filling up your vehicle.

How do I purchase gas at an off-base gas station?
Aviano Air Base does not have a gas station on base, but getting gas off base is much like that in the U.S. The main difference is that gas is measured in liters and many gas stations have attendants who pump the gas for customers. To avoid paying local European prices, those driving tax-free personally owned vehicles should use NATO gas coupons to pay. Coupons can be purchased at the Base Exchange. Once your tax-free vehicle is registered on base through Pass and Registration; a "ration card" will be posted at the BX cashier cage where you can purchase tax-free gas coupons. Your monthly allowance is based on the engine size of your car. The maximum monthly allowance is 400 liters. These coupons are valid only at AGIP; however, other local gas stations in the area may accept NATO coupons. You should verify with the attendant prior to filling up your vehicle.

How do I find out about volunteer opportunities? Can I volunteer off-base with an Italian agency?
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available both on and off base. Those interested can sign up for routine opportunities to include Airmen Against Drunk Driving, the post office and Operation Yellow Ribbon just to name a few; as well as more seasonal opportunities such as assisting with base and local events and observances. This includes helping with everything from setup and teardown of an event to being part of the planning committee. For a general list of volunteer opportunities, click here, or contact the 31st Force Support Squadron base volunteer coordinator at DSN 632-5407. Also stay tuned to the Wyvern Weekly Report and Aviano Facebook for volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Where can I get maps of the base and local areas? For local villages/towns, where can I get a real map?
Maps of the base, to include Area F, Area 1 and Area 2 are available at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, located near The Exchange and Post Office. Unfortunately most local villages/towns do not carry a hard copy map, nor does the base. Maps can be found online through a brief internet search through sites such as www.viamichelin.it.

What is the best place to find information about things to do when I'm not working?
The Wyvern Weekly Report (Aviano AB e-newsletter) is a great new source to keep current on base news and events, travel, local Italian festivals and more. Those interested should send an e-mail to avianonews@aviano.af.mil. The newsletter is produced every Friday.

For additional information on events happening in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region (where Aviano is located) visit www.turismofvg.it/. (Note: There is not an english option at this time, but you can type the web address into google translate or babblefish to translate the website in english.

What affordable travel opportunities are available?
Located in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains, there are a lot of travel opportunities for those stationed at Aviano Air Base, Italy, many within a 30-mile radius. Many neighboring towns of the base host festivals and open air markets throughout the year and a short trip up the mountain includes skiing, sledding and tubing opportunities as well as a roller coaster, miniature golf course, mountain biking and hiking trails and a forest adventure park. During the summer, there are also a variety of Italian beaches within an hour to two-hour drive to include Jesolo, Lignano and Bibione, with free sunbathing or additional amenities at a low cost. To find out more about events going on in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (which includes Aviano), click here and select "English" on the middle right.

Travelers can also enjoy a short (90 min) train ride out of Pordenone or Sacile to Venice, Italy, for around 13 euro round trip (stopping at the Venezia Santa Lucia exit). Timetables with prices are available at www.trenitalia.com. (Click "English" at the top of the screen.)

For those interested in traveling further abroad, the 31st Force Support Squadron Information, Tickets and Travel Office offers weekly tours with prices ranging from 29-290 euro depending on the location and length of the trip and can assist travelers with more individualized get aways. For more information, click here or call DSN 632-3107.

For additional travel information, click here.

How can I find information on learning Italian? Are free classes available for the military?
The Air Force Library Program offers the Transparent Language Online program for learning foreign languages. This program is available to all Air Force personnel, to include active duty, retired, guard, civilian and their family members. Those interested should visit the base library to register for the free program and begin learning Italian or another of the 80 languages offered. For more information, call the library at DSN 632-5893. The base community center and the University of Maryland University College al