Australians are allowed to stay in Italy ( and other countries that are part of the Schengen agreement) for up to 90 days without having to apply for a visa. Check with your travel agent before you travel.
If you plan to stay in Italy for more than 90 days you will need a visa. There is a Consulate in Brisbane, which is where I went. Here are some suggestions to perhaps make this excercise not too traumatic. Please note that this not official advice – just my experience.
1. Obtain an application form from the Italian Consulate. The form can be downloaded on the internet at no cost.
2. You will need originals and photocopies of -
A. Return ticket
B. An address you will be staying at – in our case we had to produce proof of ownership of our house.
C. Financial statements – to prove you can support yourself.
D. Travel Insurance
E. 2 passport size photos of yourself
Take your passport with you.
If you do not have originals and photocopies of everything you will be sent away to get them. Don’t expect pleasant or helpful service. Good luck.
PS – August 2010
I have just returned to the Italian Consulate office to obtain another visa. I followed my own advice and had everything I needed gathered together. I was at the counter for a matter of minutes, my request was handled promptly and cheerfully and I should receive my new visa in a few days – excellent!!!