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Europa : Europa occidentale : Regno Unito
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The '''United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland''' (the ''United Kingdom'' or the ''UK'') [http://www.visitbritain.com/] occupies all of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern portion of the island of Ireland and most of the remaining [[British Isles]]. Located just off the north-western coast of mainland [[Europe]] (and counting [[Republic of Ireland|Ireland]], [[France]], [[Belgium]] and [[Holland]] as its nearest neighbours), the UK is comprised of four home nations within the Union: [[England]], [[Scotland]], [[Wales]], and [[Northern Ireland]]. Several island protectorates also exist, which include the [[Channel Islands (United Kingdom)|Channel Islands]] and the [[Isle of Man]]. The UK today is a diverse patchwork of native and immigrant cultures, possessing a fascinating history and dynamic modern culture, both of which remain hugely influential in the wider world. Although Britannia no longer rules the waves, the UK is still a popular destination for many travellers. The capital city of the United Kingdom (and of [[England]]) is [[London]].
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==Home nations==
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[[Image:Uk-map.png|thumb|right|200px|Mappa del Regno Unito.]]
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country made up of several nations and territories: 
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''Note that technically ''Great Britain'' is the name for the largest of the '''islands''' that make up the British Isles and includes only Scotland, England, and Wales. It is often used as a misnomer for the entire United Kingdom, which additionally includes Northern Ireland and most of the off-shore islands.''
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*[[Great Britain]]:
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**[[England]] - by far the largest component, in terms both of size and population
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**[[Scotland]] - situated in the far north of Great Britain
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**[[Wales]] - located within the largely mountainous western portion of Great Britain
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*[[Northern Ireland]] - occupies north-eastern part of the island of Ireland.
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Note that English, Welsh and Scottish people may all be referred to as "British", but to refer to Welsh or Scots as "English" is both inaccurate and impolite.  Some residents in Northern Ireland may describe themselves as "British" and others as "Irish" - however the term "Northern Irish" can be used to describe people from Northern Ireland without causing offence to all but a few very strongly nationalistic people who refuse to even use the term, preferring to call Northern Ireland "The Six Counties" or some other phrase which avoids reference to the political border.
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[[Image:uk-map.png|thumb|right|500px|Map of United Kingdom]]
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===Dipendenze della Corona===
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*The [[Channel Islands (United Kingdom)|Channel Islands]]: [[Guernsey]], [[Jersey]], [[Alderney]] and [[Sark]].
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*The [[Isle of Man]]
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The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not strictly part of the UK, but rather are 'Crown Dependencies'. This means that they have their own democratic governments, laws and courts and are not part of the EU; but they are not entirely sovereign either.
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See also: [[Republic of Ireland]] (not part of the United Kingdom).
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==Città==
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Many cities and towns in the United Kingdom are of interest to travelers outside the capital city of [[London]]. Following is an alphabetical selection of '''nine''' (four in [[England]], two each for [[Scotland]] and [[Wales]] and one in [[Northern Ireland]]) - others are listed under their specific countries and regions:
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*[[Belfast]] - capital of Northern Ireland
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*[[Birmingham]] - Features great shopping, and is home of the famous Balti.
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*[[Cardiff]] - capital of Wales, castle and varied cultural events
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*[[Edinburgh]] - capital of Scotland
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*[[Glasgow]] - Scottish city, new cultural hotspot
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*[[Leeds]] - voted [http://www.greenbankleeds.com/index.php?section=location UK's Favourite City and Visitor City of the year]. Great base to explore all of [[Yorkshire]].
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*[[Manchester]] - England's 'Second City', thriving bohemian music scene, gay quarter and dozens of tourist attractions
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*[[Swansea]] - Wales' second city, spectacular coastal scenery, sandy beaches and diverse cultural events
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*[[York]] - historical city
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==Altre destinazioni==
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The United Kingdom has an array of [[United Kingdom National Parks|National Parks]] and designated [[United Kingdom Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty|Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty]] that serve to preserve the country's natural heritage. Smaller cities of historical interest, such as [[Stratford-Upon-Avon]] (birthplace of William Shakespeare) and [[Bath (Somerset)]] (location of a Roman health spa
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) also attract a large number of tourists each year, and the south coast city of [[Brighton (England)|Brighton]] boasts a thriving nightlife and gay scene.
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==Capire==
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===Usare le mappe===
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Most basic mapping in the United Kingdom is undertaken by the [http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ Ordnance Survey of Great Britain] (in England, Scotland & Wales) and the [http://www.osni.gov.uk/ Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland]. The maps found in bookshops may be published directly by those organisations, or by private map publishers drawing on basic Ordnance Survey data.
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One consequence of this for the traveller is the widespread use of Ordnance Survey grid references in guide books and other information sources. These are usually presented [xx999999] (eg. [SU921206]) and form a quick way of finding any location on a map.
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Alternatively, every postal address has a postcode, and most internet mapping services enable locations to be found by postcode. Popular mapping services are Streetmap.co.uk [http://www.streetmap.co.uk/] and Multimap.co.uk [http://www.multimap.co.uk/]. Postcodes will usually identify a location to within a few metres.
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===Clima===
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The UK has a benign humid-temperate climate moderated by the North Atlantic Current and the country's proximity to the sea. Warm, damp summers and mild winters provide temperatures pleasant enough to engage in outdoor activities all year round. Having said that, the weather in the UK can be changeable and quite often conditions are windy and wet. British rain is legendary, but in practice it rarely rains more than two or three hours at a time and sometimes parts of the country stay dry for weeks, especially in the East. More common are overcast or partly cloudy skies. It is usual to be prepared for a change of weather when going out; a jumper and a raincoat usually suffice when it is not winter.
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Because the UK stretches nearly a thousand kilometres from end to end, temperatures can vary quite considerably between north and south. Differences in rainfall are also pronounced between the drier east and wetter west. Scotland and north-western England (particularly the Lake District) are often rainy and cold, with heavy snowfall in northern Scotland in winter. The north-east and Midlands are also cool, though with less rainfall. The south-east is generally warm and dry, and the south-west warm and often wet. Wales and Northern Ireland tend to experience mild temperatures and moderate rainfall.
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==Come arrivare==
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===Immigrazione e requisiti di ingresso===
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* Citizens of the European Union do not require a visa, and have permanent residency and working rights in the UK. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland have additional rights allowing them to vote in elections.
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* Citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland also have permanent residency rights, but may require a work permit in some circumstances.
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* Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the United States do not require a visa for visits under 6 months, though require entry clearance for purposes other than visiting as a tourist. 
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* Most other countries will require a visa, which can be obtained from the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.
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* All visitors should expect to be asked by the Immigration Officer upon arrival to demonstrate that they have a) a return ticket to leave the United Kingdom, b) a valid address at which they will be staying in the United Kingdom and c) sufficient funds with which to support themselves during their stay. An inability to demonstrate these three basics may lead to a refusal of leave to enter or a grant of restricted leave.
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* The UK also operates a '''Working Holidaymaker Scheme''' for citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations, and British dependent territories. This allows residency in the UK for up to 2 years, with limited working rights.
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For more information of UK Immigration and visa requirements, see the British '''Home Office''' website [http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk]
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===In aereo===
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The UK is at the heart of the world's aviation industry, and '''London Heathrow Airport''' is the world's largest international airport. Situated 20 miles west of London, Heathrow offers a large choice of international destinations, with direct flights to most countries in the world. [http://www.british-airways.com British Airways] has its hub at Heathrow and offers a wide range of international flights to Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia. There are less direct flights to South America, although many South American airlines connect to London via Spain. Other large airlines operating at Heathrow include bmi (formerly British Midland) [http:///flybmi.com], [http://virginatlantic.com Virgin Atlantic] and the main national airlines of most countries. '''London Gatwick Airport''', 30 miles south of London in Sussex, is the second largest airport, and also offers a wide range of international flights. '''London Stansted Airport''' in Essex, and '''London Luton Airport''' are hubs for the budget airlines [http://www.ryanair.com Ryan Air] and [http://www.easyjet.com Easyjet] who offer direct flights to a wide range of European destinations. '''London City Airport''' is the most central airport in London, situated 7 miles east of Central London, but mainly serves business passengers to the main financial centres in Europe.
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Outside London, many of the regional airports offer a wide range of direct links to European and some long haul destinations. '''Manchester International Airport''' in the North of England, is the UK's third largest airport serving many European and long haul destinations. Direct flights from North America are also available into '''Glasgow International Airport''' and '''Edinburgh International Airport''' in Scotland as well as '''Birmingham International Airport''' in central England. [http://www.jet2.com Jet2.com] is based at '''Leeds Bradford''' with many cheap flights to Europe and beyond. Other large airports in the regions, including '''Aberdeen''', '''Bristol''', '''Cardiff''', '''East Midlands''', '''Newcastle''' and '''Teesside'''. In Northern Ireland, '''Belfast International Airport''' is the only airport with international flights, although some transfer flights may take you to Belfast City Airport.
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Please note that due to an increase in airport security and aviation security in general, long delays are possible when checking in for a flight. Additionally a passport or valid photo ID ( such as photo drivers license, national ID card etc.) is required for internal flights although no visas or travel permits are required.
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The airport tax is applied to both international and internal flights ( 20 pounds international , 14 pounds internal) so check if it is included in any quoted air fares.
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===In treno===
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'''Eurostar''' [http://www.eurostar.com] services run between [[London]]'s Waterloo Station and [[Ashford (Kent)|Ashford]] in [[Kent]] and [[Paris]] (Gare du Nord), [[Lille]] and [[Brussels]] through the '''Channel Tunnel'''. Journey times average two hours forty minutes from [[Paris]]. A second class
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return from Paris to London costs between €85 and €230, although it is often cheaper to fly from London to Paris using a low-cost airline.
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The main benefit of using the Eurostar is that it runs between the central zones of its destination cities, removing the necessity of accessing the relevant airports on the outskirts of cities (potentially very time-consuming!), and of undergoing several uncomfortable modal changes.
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===In auto===
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The '''Channel Tunnel''' has provided a rail/road connection since 1994. Shuttle trains carry cars from [[Calais]], [[France]] to [[Folkestone]], the journey taking around 40 minutes. Fares start at £49 one way and can be booked on the [http://www.eurotunnel.com/ukcmain Eurotunnel website]. On arrival at Folkestone, you can drive on to the '''M20''' motorway which heads towards [[London]]. Car ferries also operate to many parts of the UK, see 'by boat' section.
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===In autobus===
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Coaches are the cheapest and most uncomfortable way to travel to the UK from [[France]] and the [[Benelux]].
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Eurolines offer daily services from [[Paris]], [[Amsterdam]] and [[Brussels]] to
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[[London]] Victoria coach station, with connections to most parts of the UK via the domestic National Expess coach system, for most destinations it is cheaper to purchase this when purchasing your Eurolines tickets as discounts are avaliable. Journeys take about 8-14 hours.
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Eurolines will also take you to/from other major European cities. Taking
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a budget flight is normally cheaper though and spares you from a 24h+ bus journey.
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===In nave===
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See the city articles for more details on routes, timings and costs.
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There are a large number of ferry routes into the UK from continental Europe. [[Newcastle upon Tyne|Newcastle]] serves several routes from '''Scandinavia'''. [[Harwich (England)|Harwich]] has ferries from [[Esbjerg]] in '''Denmark''', [[Cuxhaven]] in '''Germany''' (put out of operation in November 2005) and [[Hoek van Holland]] in the '''Netherlands'''. You can also sail from [[Rotterdam]] in the Netherlands or [[Zeebrugge]] in '''Belgium''' to [[Kingston_Upon_Hull|Hull]], or from [[Rotterdam]] to Rosyth (near [[Edinburgh]]).
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[[Dover (Kent)|Dover]] is one of Britain's most popular passenger ports with sailings from [[Zeebrugge]], [[Dunkerque]] and [[Calais]] in '''France'''. The Dover-Calais route is particularly busy, with three companies competing and up to 50 sailings per day.
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On the south coast, [[Portsmouth]] serves ferries from [[Le Havre]], [[Caen]], [[Cherbourg]], [[St. Malo]] and [[Bilbao]] in '''Spain''' and there are speedy services between [[Dieppe]] and [[Newhaven]]. The other route from Spain is  [[Santander]] to [[Plymouth (Devon)|Plymouth]], Plymouth also has ferries from [[Roscoff]].
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From '''Ireland''', ports of entry include [[Swansea]], [[Pembroke]], [[Fishguard]] and [[Holyhead]]. There are sailings from [[Dublin]] to [[Holyhead]], [[Mostyn]] and [[Liverpool]].
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From Iceland, the Faroe Isles, Norway and Denmark, a passenger ferry sails into Lerwick.
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==Come spostarsi==
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London has a very efficient transport system. It has trains, buses, taxis and lots of places to walk. Because the roads were built so long ago they are somewhat narrow and can create a lot of traffic, because this can be a problem it would probably be easiest to use the train.
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===In aereo===
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The UK has a wide range of domestic air services linking many major cities, particularly with the main domestic hubs of [[London]], [[Birmingham (England)|Birmingham]], [[Manchester]], [[Glasgow]] and [[Edinburgh]]. Given the short distances involved, however, it may be more practical and cheaper to use other forms of transport. '''British Airways''' [http://www.british-airways.co.uk] operates a wide range of services from its Heathrow and Gatwick hubs throughout the country including Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Manchester and Newcastle. Fares start from as low as £60 for an economy seat. '''bmi''' [http://www.flybmi.com] also flies from Heathrow to Aberdeen, Belfast, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds-Bradford and Manchester.
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The arrival of budget airlines '''RyanAir''' [http://www.ryanair.com] and '''Easyjet''' [http://www.easyjet.com] at London's Gatwick, Luton and Stansted Airports saw a boom in domestic UK air travel, and have forced the cost down considerably. Other domestic airlines include '''Flybe''' [http://flybe.com], operating from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Newquay, Norwich and Southampton Airports; and '''bmibaby''' [http://www.bmibaby.com] operating from Birmingham, Cardiff, Durham Tees Valley and Nottingham Airports. [http://www.jet2.com Jet2.com] operates from [[Leeds]] and Manchester. In Scotland, Loganair operate a British Airways franchise serving remote destinations in the Scottish Highlands and Islands from Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports (flights are booked through the British Airways website).
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To get the best fare, it is advisable to book as far in advance as possible. It is worth noting that most UK regional airports are not connected to the national rail network, with connections to the nearest cities served by expensive buses.
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===In treno===
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The UK has an extensive privatised train network, covering most of the country, from [[Penzance]] in [[Cornwall]] to [[Thurso]] in the North of Scotland. There is a huge multitude of different train tickets avaliable, which can often make travelling by train in the UK fairly complicated. Generally, if you book 7 to 14 days in advance the journey is often cheaper. Avoid travel during peak times (6-10am, 4-7pm Monday to Friday) as trains are often crowded and tickets prices are extremely high.  Train services seldom match their high-speed counterparts in France or Germany (the UK does have high-speed rail links up to 125mph, however these are no match for the TGV in France and the ICE train in Germany), but nonetheless are often faster than driving a car. Train frequencies are generally very good. and punctuality has improved greatly over previous years, with almost 96% of all trains arriving at their destination on time or up to 10 minutes after the scheduled time.
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The railways in England, Wales and Scotland were originally built and operated by numerous private companies, mostly in the 19th century. After nearly 150 years of independence (and successive amalgamations which consolidated them into four large companies by 1923) they were nationalised as 'British Rail' in 1947, but they were privatised again in the 1990s. The track has recently reverted to state control as 'Network Rail', but the trains are run by a number of different private operators referred to as the 'Train Operating Companies'. However, tickets can be bought from any station for travel anywhere on the network and all train times and fares can be found on the '''National Rail''' web site [http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/planmyjourney/] or by calling 08457 484950 from anywhere in the UK.
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Tickets can also be booked online through various private agents such as [http://www.thetrainline.com thetrainline] and [http://www.qjump.co.uk Qjump].  The websites can be slow but they do the job nonetheless.  Fares vary widely depending on when you travel and when you book.  Often it is quicker and cheaper to purchase by phone. Privatisation has resulted in a huge range of quality and price of rail services. While some connections and companies have poor standards of speed, reliability and cleanliness others offer excellent service and value for money.
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A second class return ticket from London to Manchester can cost anything from 20 to 180 pounds, depending on how, when and where the ticket is booked. As a general rule, tickets should be booked as early as possible.  Also bear in mind that it is sometimes cheaper to buy a return ticket than a single so check the price of both.
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The main cross country services are:
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* the West Coast Main line, operated by [http://www.virgintrains.co.uk Virgin Trains], running north-south between London's Euston Station, and up the west coast of England, with stops at Rugby, Crewe, [[Manchester]], [[Liverpool]], Preston, the [[Lake District]], [[Carlisle]], and on to Scotland, with stops at [[Motherwell]] and [[Glasgow]]'s Central Station.
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* the East Coast Main line, operated by [http://www.gner.co.uk GNER], runs between London's King Cross Station and north up the east coast of England with stops at [[Peterborough]], [[Doncaster]], [[Leeds]], [[York]], [[Durham (city)|Durham]], [[Newcastle upon Tyne|Newcastle]] and onwards to Scotland with stops at [[Edinburgh]] and [[Glasgow]]. Some services continue further north to [[Dundee]], [[Aberdeen]] and [[Inverness]].
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* the West of [[England]] and [[South Wales]] main line, operated largely by [http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk First Great Western], running west from London's Paddington station to [[Penzance]], near [[Land's End]] in [[Cornwall]] and [[Swansea]] in Wales. The line runs through [[Slough]] and [[Maidenhead]] to [[Reading_(Berkshire)|Reading]] and then divides. One route goes through [[Swindon]], [[Chippenham]] and [[Bath (Somerset)|Bath]] to [[Bristol]] (Temple Meads Station) and then on to Taunton, where it rejoins the other route direct from [[Reading_(Berkshire)|Reading]] via [[Newbury_and_Thatcham]] and Westbury. From Taunton, the line continues through [[Exeter]] to [[Plymouth_(Devon)|Plymouth]] and finally to Penzance. The South Wales route diverges from the Bristol line after Swindon, making stops at Bristol Parkway (a station in the north of the city), and then in [[Wales]] at [[Newport (Wales)|Newport]], [[Cardiff]], a few minor stops, and finally [[Swansea]]. Some trains do go onto [[Carmarthen]] and [[Fishguard]], but generally passengers traveling further west need to change in [[Swansea]].
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* the Midland Main Line, operated by [http://www.midlandmainline.com National Express], running from London St. Pancras to [[Derby]], [[Nottingham]] and [[Sheffield]] with stops at [[Luton]], [[Bedford]], [[Wellingborough]], [[Leicester]] (amongst others) with some services continuing on to [[Leeds]].
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* the Cross Country network, operated by Virgin Trains runs a variety of routes across the UK from Aberdeen to Penzance, and North Wales (Holyhead) to Brighton. The main English cities of [[Manchester]], [[Leeds]], [[Birmingham_(England)|Birmingham]] and [[Liverpool]] are served by these lines.
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* the Great Eastern line, operated by [http://www.onerailway.com National Express], running from London Liverpool Street to [[Norwich]], with main stops at [[Ipswich (England)|Ipswich]], [[Chelmsford_(England)|Chemlsford]] and [[Colchester]]. Some trains continue on to [[Harwich (England)|Harwich]].
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* a sleeper service, operated by [http://www.firstscotrail.co.uk First Scotrail] runs between London and Scotland, with stops at [[Inverness]], [[Fort William]], [[Glasgow]], [[Edinburgh]].
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Train services in Northern Ireland are operated by the state owned [http://www.translink.co.uk/ Translink], who also operate rural and urban buses within Northern Ireland. Train services in Northern Ireland are, however quite limited. The main line travels from Londonderry in the north west, hugging the north coast before it travels cross-country to Belfast. From Belfast, the cross-border Enterprise service operates with stops in Portadown, Drogheda, Dundalk and Dublin. Recent major investment has led to the vast majority of rolling stock in Northern Ireland being replaced. Train services in Northern Ireland are not part of the National Rail network. Train and bus times can be found on Translink's web site, or by calling 028-9066-6630 from anywhere in the UK or +44-28-9066-6630 from outside the UK. 
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Other domestic rail services which are not part of the National Rail network include the Heathrow Express service between London Heathrow Airport and London Paddington, the London Underground system, and several smaller metro or light rail systems in other cities. For details of these see articles on the city in question.
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===In auto===
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A car will get you pretty much anywhere in the UK. Parking can be a problem in large cities, and especially in London, can be very expensive. Petrol (Gasoline) is heavily taxed and therefore expensive, currently at around 96 pence per litre. Diesel (Oil) is currently around 98 pence per litre. There are very few tolls (mainly on some large bridges/tunnels) but a levy (congestion charge) is payable for driving in central London on weekdays. Traffic can be very heavy, especially during 'rush hour', when commuters are on their way to and from work - typically 7-10am and 4-7pm. The M25 London orbital motorway is particularly notorious - it is best avoided on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, and only use it if you need to. School holidays can make a noticeable difference, however, particularly in the morning rush hour.
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All of the UK drives on the ''left'' - the opposite side from Europe and the USA, but the same as Australia, Japan and South Africa.
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Speed limits for cars are 70mph on motorways and most dual carriageways; 60mph on single carriageway roads unless otherwise signposted; and 30mph in towns unless signs show otherwise. Enforcement cameras are widespread on all types of road.  There are some variable speed limits on the M25 to the west of London, and the M42 near Birmingham - these are shown on overhead gantries inside a red circle; other temporary speed limits shown on matrix boards are recommended but not mandatory.
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Don't drink and drive in the UK. The maximum limit is 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The police often patrol roads in cities on Friday and Saturday night, on the lookout for drink drivers. Fines are  automatic and steep, and imprisonment and a ban from driving or removal of licence can also be expected.
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===In autobus (''urbani e extraurbani'')===
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Local bus services are of variable quality and cost. Getting to outlying rural areas can be especially hard, as there may be only one bus a week. Services run by major coach companies like '''National Express''' [http://www.nationalexpress.com/] and the new cut-price '''Megabus''' [http://www.megabus.com] provide an alternative to train travel for longer journeys.
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===In taxi===
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There are different types of Taxi in the UK.
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In London, strictly regulated "Black Cabs" (not always Black) can be easily recognised by the unique vehicle type.  The drivers must pass a strict test on the geography of London, known as "the knowledge".  These types of vehicle are often found in other major cities, with similarly strict regulation.
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Outside London, normal cars and minibuses can usually be licenced as taxis - it is up to the local council how they are distinguished, but they always carry additional plates, usually at the rear, giving details of their approval by the relevant local authority and number of passengers they can carry. Visual identification is almost always through an illuminated sign on the roof, and often through a distinctive colour paintwork.
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Minicabs are normal saloon (sedan) cars or vans/minibuses. They are similar to taxis, but must be pre-booked from a minicab office or over the phone. Minicabs may be 'metered' as taxis and charge by mileage/time, or 'off-meter' and charge a set rate for a set route. Properly regulated Minicabs will always have a local authority approval plate as with taxis.
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Any other car or driver offering to take you anywhere may not be licensed or insured; some large cities have a problem with such drivers touting for business so take care.
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===In nave===
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Ferries link the mainland to the many offshore islands including the Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Orkneys and Shetland islands. There are also numerous car and passenger ferry routes between England and France and  between Ireland and the UK.
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==Parlare==
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'''English''' is spoken everywhere. In some parts of Wales or the Scottish highlands, Welsh or Gaelic may be used, but everyone will speak English to tourists.  In the far South West of Cornwall, the ancient Celtic Cornish language is kept alive; but is not spoken widely.  Regional accents can be strong and varied throughout the country.
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Government bodies whose area of responsibility covers Wales are officially bi-lingual with English and Welsh (for example, see [http://www.dvla.gov.uk/ The DVLA site]).
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In London there are over 250 different languages spoken including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Arab, Hindi, Chinese and many others.
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==Acquisti==
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===Costo della vita===
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Britain is an expensive country even for Britons (though average salaries are among the highest in Europe, the average purchasing power is among the lowest), and due to the high pound, even more so for foreigners. The high cost of basics such as transport, accommodation and food means that you'll spend at least £50-80/day as a budget traveller and more if you want to afford luxuries such as taxis, 3 star hotels, and meals in restaurants.
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London and the South East is up to three times as expensive as other parts of the country. Remote areas in the North are more reasonably priced.
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===Moneta e valuta===
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The currency throughout the UK is the '''pound''' (£) (more properly called the Pound Sterling, but this is not used in everyday speech), divided into 100 pence (p). Coins appear in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 denominations, while notes come in £5, £10, £20 and £50.  English notes depict the Queen on one side and famous historical figures on the other.  Scottish and Northern Irish banks issue their own notes in the above denominations, with their own designs. £100 notes and some old £1 notes are also in circulation in Scotland. Some vendors are reluctant to accept Scottish and Northern Irish notes outside their respective countries (they are not required to do so as the Scottish and Irish notes are technically not legal tender - but they're still usually accepted).
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You may also hear the slang term '''quid''' for pounds.  It is both singular and plural; "three quid" means "three pounds".
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The £50 note is best avoided; very few establishments are happy to take a £50 note, due to their rarity and the risks of forgery for such large notes.  Most high street banks will not change notes or coins unless you have an account with them, this is very annoying if you have a legitimate £50 note no shop will accept! However, you can have your money changed without you having to pay commission or own an account at certain post offices.
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ATMs are very widely available and usually dispense £10 and £20 notes. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at most banks. Be aware some non-bank ATMs now charge a fee for withdrawing money and your home bank may as well. On average it's about £1.75 per withdrawal so it pays to check before you use the ATM.
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Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted by most shops and restaurants, although AmEx is the least popular card of the three.  Since February 14, 2006, [http://www.chipandpin.co.uk/ Chip and PIN] has become nearly compulsory, with only some companies still accepting signatures when paying by credit or debit cards.  Customers from countries without chips in their credit cards are supposed to be able to sign instead of providing a PIN, however, it is wise to carry enough cash in case the retailer does not comply.
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===Shopping===
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Shopping in Britain can be expensive depending on where and what you shop for. Fierce competition has brought prices down considerably in the food, clothing and electronic sectors. Prices do vary and it is always worth visiting the various retail stores as bargains can often be found. Avoid buying from the tourist areas and stick to the High Street shops or the many 'out-of-town' retail parks where prices will be considerably cheaper.
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VAT (Value Added Tax - a mandatory tax on many goods and services in the UK) is currently at 17.5%. In many of the larger towns and cities, many shops have the blue "Tax-Free Shopping" sticker in the window, meaning that when you leave the UK, you can claim back the VAT before you leave the country. However, in order to do this, you must keep any receipts you receive from your purchase.
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Electronic items such as computers and digital cameras can be cheaper here than many European countries (especially Scandinavian countries), but do shop around. The internet is always a good way to judge the price of a particular item, also you can use this as a bargaining tool when agreeing on a price with some of the larger electronic retail stores. If visiting from the US, there may be duties and taxes charged that make some of these purchases much less of a bargain so shop wisely.
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==Cibi==
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The United Kingdom is an expensive place to eat out in Europe compared to the more southern European countries, but relatively cheap in comparison with countries such as Switzerland and Norway.
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Certainly only the minority of visitors will come here for the famous food. However, British cuisine has improved greatly in the past few years.  The stereotype made by Jacques Chirac, saying that British food is the second worst in the world after Finland is an oversimplification. Compared to southern Europe, the quality of British restaurants is still highly variable, especially ouside London. Despite the recent popularity of celebrity chefs and a surge in restaurant culture, many Britons still eat to live rather than live to eat, which is reflected in the outlets catering for them. If you simply pick a place at random, you may be lucky and find it delicious, but you're also running the risk of being served a fat drenched, overpriced microwave ready meal. The mere fact that many pubs advertise "food freshly prepared on premises" as a major selling point suggests that British food still has some way to go. But high quality and even world-class outlets can be found at reasonable prices if you put some effort into researching them.
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Many restaurants in city centres tend to be a little more expensive then ones say, in the suburbs, and pubs do tend to be slightly more expensive in the countryside, but generally, a three-course meal without drinks will cost the traveller anywhere between £10 and £15. Chicken tikka masala with rice is sometimes claimed as the UK's official dish, though roast beef is a more traditional national dish.
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===Sandwich shop===
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A very British way to have food is to go to a sandwich shop and get a freshly prepared sandwich for "take-away" (British for "to go"). Alternatively, most towns and many road routes now have a branch of an American fast food chain. Many large shops will have a coffee shop or restaurant. A variety of take-away food of various types is available in most towns, ranging from fish-and-chips (not quite as ubiquitous as they once were, but still very common) to Indian, Chinese, Thai and other cuisines. Generally the standard of take-aways is good, although travellers should beware. A good guide is, as always, to observe what the locals are doing.  If there are a few people waiting to be served then the food should be good - although at pub closing time it's worth noting that a take-away's popularity may be based more on its opening hours than its cuisine.
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===Pubs===
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Almost all pubs (see below) serve food, although not all will do so during the whole of their opening hours (typically only 12am-2pm and 7pm to 9pm). Quality and prices of all these types varies enormously, and you should seek local advice if you have particular requirements/standards. Pubs often work on a self-service basis; you order your drinks and food at the bar and pay upfront. Do not sit at a table in a pub expecting a waiter to take your order. Regulation of opening times has changed recently with many venues now open past the traditional closing time of 11pm. Some pubs can now open 24 hours although this is rarely taken advantage of.
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===Ristoranti===
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Larger towns have a range of restaurants to suit most tastes and you will find a very broad range of different cuisines, because Brits are very open-minded and love food from India, China, Thailand, France and Italy. Waiters generally expect a 10-13.5% tip and in most places you get directly charged for the service. The service is average and you should keep your expection in the same level.
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===Balti===
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One of the most popular types of restaurant in Britain is an Indian restaurant. Most common in certain areas of large cities and not often found directly in city centres or other tourist traps, Indian restaurants serve cuisine known as balti, named after the metal bowl the food is cooked (and served) in. The cuisine supposedly originated in the UK though it is clearly based on food from the Indian subcontinent. Common balti dishes include Chicken Tikka Masala, Prawn Biryani and the incredibly spicy Vindaloo. Birmingham in the Midlands is considered the balti capital of the UK as this dish was originally conceived there.
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===Le aree di servizio sulle autostrade===
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Motorway Service areas are notoriously expensive places to eat, though they are open 24 hours by law. Most contain well-known American-style fast food outlets, and toilets. Best avoided, and it is often possible to find cheaper and much better places to eat within a mile or two of a motorway junction.
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On other major routes, there are often mobile cafes ("burger vans") in lay-bys that will serve a cup of coffee or tea, and a bacon sandwich for around £3. The quality of these can vary, and it is best to stop at one that has a lot of vans or lorries parked nearby.  However, there are unlikely to be any other facilities such as toilets or a seating area.
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===Bambini===
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Children are not necessarily allowed in all pubs and restaurants, and high chairs are not always available. Most pubs that serve food will accept children, and it is usually rather easy to distinguish those that do.  The general rule is that children cannot sit (or stand about) in the area where drinks are being served; so if the pub has only one small room they are not allowed.  Children are permitted in most drinks-only pubs, especially those with gardens, but again they are not supposed to come near the bar.
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===Specialità regionali===
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It should be pointed out that whilst these are foods famous for being found primarily in Britain, the British diet actually consists largely of imports, and the menu of even the cheapest pub will include international dishes such as pasta, pizza, or Chinese foods.
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*'''Black Pudding''' - a sausage made of congealed pig's blood and rusks cooked in an intestine. Available in all over the UK but a speciality of the northwest of England.
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*'''Cornish Pasty''' - beef and vegetables baked in a folded pastry case. Originally a speciality of [[Cornwall]], but now available throughout the UK.
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*'''Deep Fried Mars Bar''' - Orignally from [[Stonehaven]], [[Kincardineshire]], but now available in other parts of [[Scotland]].
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*'''Haggis''' - a mixture of sheep innards and oatmeal boiled in a sheep's stomach. Available widely, but a speciality of [[Scotland]].
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*'''Lancashire Hotpot''' - a hearty vegetable and meat stew. A speciality of [[Lancashire]], but available throughout the UK.
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*'''Laverbread''' - a puree made from seaweed, rolled in oatmeal, lightly fried and generally served with bacon rashers, though can be prepared as a vegetarian dish. Available in [[Swansea]] and West [[Wales]].
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*'''Oatcakes'''  - this speciality of [[Stoke-on-Trent]] and North [[Staffordshire]] is a large, floppy, oat-based pancake, eaten hot with a savoury filling. Not to be confused with the Scottish oatcake, a sort of biscuit.
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*'''Potato Bread''' - a mixture of potatoes, salt, butter and flour. A speciality of [[Northern Ireland]], which when added to a Full English Breakfast (alongside Soda Bread) forms an 'Ulster Fry!
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*'''Yorkshire Pudding''' - a savoury side dish made from unsweetened batter.  Squat and round in shape - often served with a roast dinner (consisting of roast potatoes, roast beef and yorkshire puddings.  Originally a speciality of [[Yorkshire]], but a popular side-dish throughout the UK.
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==Bevande==
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Some think that Britons tend to drink alcohol mainly in the evening, during the day they are sustained by '''tea''' and '''coffee'''. Bill Bryson was only half-joking when he said  "I remain impressed by the ability of Britons of all ages and social backgrounds to get genuinely excited by the prospect of a hot beverage". Getting drunk is acceptable and often it is the objective of a party. This applies to all levels of the British society - it may be worth remembering that the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, had to collect his son Euan from a police station after he had been found drunk celebrating the completion of his GCSE exams (taken at the age of 16). Nevertheless, Britons have a great sense of humour and everything is forgotten after a hangover, at least until the next time.
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===Pub===
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The '''pub''' (public house) is the most popular place to get a drink in the UK. Even small villages will often have a pub, serving spirits, lagers, ales, snacks, and increasingly a selection of wines and alcopops. British '''real ales''', championed by the [http://www.camra.org.uk/ Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)] are amongst the best in the world - though they are not to everyone's taste. The best selections can be found at 'freehouses' which are not 'tied' to a particular brewery.
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Many pubs are very old and have traditional names, the "Red Lion" or "King's Arms"; before widespread literacy pubs would be identified by most customers solely by their signs.  Recently there has been a trend, strongly resisted in some quarters,  towards chain-pubs such as the Hogshead, Slug and Lettuce and those owned by the JD Wetherspoon company. Another recent trend is the '''gastro-pub''', a smartened-up traditional pub with a selection of high-quality food (nearly at restaurant prices).
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Beer in pubs is served in '''pint''' and '''half-pint''' measures, or in bottles.  Simply ordering a beer on tap will be interpreted as a request for a pint, eg 'A London Pride, please'.  Alternatively 'half a London Pride, please' will get you a half-pint. Prices vary widely based on the city, the pub and the beer, but generally pints will be in the range £2 to £3.
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Pubs often serve food during the day. Drinks are ordered and paid for at the bar.
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Check out [http://www.beerintheevening.com/ Beer in the Evening] for an excellent directory of pub listings with reviews and customer ratings.
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[http://www.sirc.org/publik/pub.html Passport to the Pub] is an entertaining (semi-serious) guide to British pub culture for visitors, written a few years ago (though licensing laws have recently changed, and opening times are now less strict than they describe).
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===Wine bars===
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In cities there are more modern '''wine-bars''' and '''cafe-bars''', though the variable weather means that there is not as much of a 'street scene' as in other European cities.
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===Clubbing===
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'''Clubbing''' is popular in large towns and cities; Manchester, London and Sheffield have world-renowned venues as well as many alternative joints.  Prices in clubs tend to be considerably higher than those charged in pubs.
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==Alloggi==
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The UK offers a wide variety of '''hotels''' rated on a scale of stars, from 5-star luxury (and beyond!) to 1-star basic. There is also a vast number of privately-run '''bed and breakfast''' establishments (abbreviated as "B&B"), offering rooms with usually a fried 'full English breakfast'. Alternatively you can rent a private house which is let as a holiday home.
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Holiday homes for rent in the UK
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*'''[http://www.holidayhomerental.co.uk Holiday Home Rentals in the UK]''' For those that prefer a holiday home rather than a hotel, HolidayHomeRental.co.uk is dedicated to holiday homes for rent in the UK. The site contains over 10,000 holiday homes which have been posted directly by the owner which means holiday makers can avoid paying commissions to realtors/brokers.  The site does not contain hotels or guest houses - it only contains self-catering holiday homes. The most popular areas in the UK are Cornwall, Devon, Cotswolds, Edinburgh, London, Newquay, Oxford and Stratford-Upon-Avon.
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Budget travellers can opt to stay in a '''youth / backpackers' hostel'''
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*YHA England and Wales [http://www.yha.org.uk], tel 0870 770 6113
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*Scottish YHA [http://www.syha.org.uk/], Email - reservations@syha.org.uk, tel 0870 1553255
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*HI Northern Ireland [http://www.hini.org.uk/], tel 028 9032 4733
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There are also many '''campsites''', with widely varying levels of facilities.
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Many travellers to the United Kingdom decide on a campervan holiday, whereby your accommodation travels with you.... Most parts of the country have a good range of camping and caravan parks available. If you are searching for a motorhome or campervan to hire: All Motorhome Rentals [http://www.allmotorhomerentals.com].
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[http://www.letfor.com/countries/united_kingdom/united_kingdom.php UK holiday homes] can also be rented out, usually on a weekly basis, for those that want their creature comforts whilst travelling.
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As a more quirky option, the '''Landmark Trust''' [http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/] is a charitable organisation that buys up historic buildings, follies and other unusual examples of architecture - especially those in danger of destruction - and renovates them in order to rent them out to holidaymakers. For bookings, tel 01628 825925, mailto:bookings@landmarktrust.org.uk
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==Omparare==
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The UK has been a centre of learning for the past 1000 years and possesses many ancient and distinguished universities. Many former polytechnics and other colleges have been promoted to university status over the past 25 years , and there are now over 120 degree-awarding institutions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The two most famous (and oldest) universities are '''Oxford''' and '''Cambridge''', but '''England''' also has several other world-class institutions, including several in '''London''' (notably '''Imperial College''', the '''London School of Economics''', '''University College London''' and '''King's College London''', all are part of London University).  Outside of London top universities are located in '''Birmingham''', '''Manchester''', '''Sheffield''', '''Bristol''', '''York''', '''Nottingham''', '''Bath''', '''Loughborough''', '''Newcastle''', '''Warwick''' and '''Durham'''.
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'''Scotland''' has its own semi-separate educational system, with universities in '''Aberdeen''', '''Dundee''', '''Edinburgh''' (Edinburgh, Napier, Queen Margaret and Heriot-Watt), '''Glasgow''' (Glasgow and Strathclyde), '''Stirling''' and '''St Andrews'''.
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There are only two universities in '''Northern Ireland''': the Queen's University of Belfast, and the University of Ulster (which has campuses in Belfast, Jordanstown, Coleraine and Londonderry). Although Queen's is the older and more famous institution, both are highly respected throughout the UK as centres of excellence.
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Traditionally the University of '''Wales''' was comprised of four large universities: [http://www.aber.ac.uk/ Aberystwyth], [http://www.bangor.ac.uk/index.php.en?width=1024&height=768 Bangor], [http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/index.html Cardiff] and [http://www2.swan.ac.uk/ Swansea], but since many polytechnics were upgraded to university status the number of Welsh universities has increased.
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Foreign students make up a significant proportion of the student body at UK universities, with over 300,000 foreign students in 2004. All applications go through a central body [http://ucas.com UCAS], which acts as a clearing house passing applications to the universities for consideration and feeding their decisions back to applicants. Course fees for overseas students vary considerably, costing significantly more for the prestigious institutions.
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The UK - and London in particular - remains an exceedingly popular destination for those seeking to learn the English language. A huge variety of organisations and companies exist to cater for this desire, some much more reputable than others:
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*the '''British Council''' [http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-learn-english.htm] offers courses and advice
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==Lavorare==
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Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have permanent work rights in the UK. Citizens of Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, or Slovenia may need to to register under the Worker Registration Scheme. Generally the citizens of other countries will require a visa to work for more than six months in the UK. However, the UK has low unemployment, making it easier for those with specialist skills to gain working visas. A general shortage of skilled labour in the health sector means the British health service actively recruits abroad, making it easier for those with speacilist health care skills to work in the UK.
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The UK does operate a working holiday programme, for citizens of Commonwealth countries which allow residency and limited work rights for 2 years.
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For more details see the British Home Office's visa and immigration website [http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk].
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==Sicurezza personale==
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In some areas petty crime such as pickpocketing can be a nuisance more than a threat, but such crime is not very common in almost anywhere except city centres, etc. Some general points for the worried:
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When out and about:
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*Avoid looking like a rich target, don't flash wads of cash or wear massive amounts of jewelry.
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*Keep your eyes open, if the area is heavily vandalised and there are groups of young people hanging around, perhaps it's not the best place to stop.
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*Try not to get too drunk. If you do then get a taxi home.
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*Like many Western countries, in recent years the UK has developed something of a "yob culture": disaffected, and generally younger people adopt anti-social behaviour - usually fuelled by binge drinking - and may intimidate others by shouting obsenities or acting tough. They are best ignored. Their language and behavior can be threatening, but in crowded areas they are usually not dangerous.
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When using a private car it is vitally important to:
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* Keep the boot or trunk locked - in some areas thieves open the boot and snatch bags at the traffic lights.
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* Keep mobile phones and valuables out of sight -  this goes double when you park the car.
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* Park in well lit places with no cover around the car - if there are bushes, etc. thieves can work on the locks out of sight.
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* It's worth extending your insurance to cover all costs of window / windscreen replacement, it's not uncommon for thieves to just smash the glass to get in.
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When on public transport:
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*Buses and trains: Stay near the driver/conductor when getting on
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*Taxis: Use the licenced black cabs, rather than private taxis, even though they might be slightly more expensive. When using a black cab it's always worth checking for a licence number, this is displayed next to the number plate. It is not uncommon for second hand black cabs to be put back to work without a licence late on Friday or Saturday nights.
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When in public:
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* In some towns it is an offense to drink alcohol in public although this law is widely flouted.
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* Public nudity is very rare and while not strictly a criminal offense, you can be prosecuted if thought to be with the intention of shocking people.
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* Sex in public places is illegal, although it's not uncommon in some public parks at night or known "lovers lanes".
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* The age of both heterosexual and homosexual consent is 16 (in Northern ireland it is 17). However, the homosexual age of consent is 18 where there is a "relationship of trust".
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==Prevenzione sanitaria==
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The local emergency telephone number is 999, however the EU-wide 112 can also be used. For advice on non-emergency medical problems, you can ring the 24 hour NHS Direct service on 0845 4647.
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Emergencies can be dealt with under the NHS (National Health Service) at any hospital with a '''Casualty''' or '''A & E''' (Accident & Emergency) department. At A&E be prepared for up to 4 hours to be seen to if the medical complaint is not serious.
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While all treatment by an NHS hospital or doctor is free to British citizens, people from outside the UK will, in many cases, be required to pay for treatment. However citizens of the EU and a small number of other countries can obtain certain treatment if they  hold a European Health Card.
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For advice on minor ailments and non-prescription drugs, you can ask a pharmacist (there are many high-street chemists), notable pharmacist chains include Boots and Lloyds and many supermarkets also have pharmacists.
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==Rispettare gli usi==
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People in the UK are generally polite, friendly and understanding towards tourists, however non-English speakers should be prepared for difficulties as foreign language speakers are rare even in tourist areas.
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Public behaviour doesn't vastly differ from continental Europe. Public displays of affection between other people is unlikely to cause offense in most situations, however passionate kissing in enclosed areas such as on a bus may cause problems, so try to avoid this.
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It is acceptable to address someone by their first name in most situations though names are often avoided among total strangers to avoid causing any offense or a feeling of overfamiliarity. In very formal or business situations first names are not commonly used at least until people are more well acquainted and Mr X, Miss Y or Mrs Z are used. Waiters, shop assistants and other people providing a service will often address you as Sir or Madam (note: NOT Madame with a french pronunciation) or possibly as Mr X etc.
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On hot days in the summer it is acceptable for men to walk shirtless in towns and cities, especially near the seaside or other tourist areas. However it would be very impolite to do so in a shop or pub and totally unacceptable in a restaurant. Short trousers are perfectly acceptable anywhere in the summer except for establishments with explicit dress codes.
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Beaches can become very crowded in summer especially during public holiday weekends and school holidays. In the UK , in certain situations, it is still considered taboo for women to sunbathe topless (probably because there are so few days a year when it is warm enough to do so, thus a sight to which people are not accustomed!) It is common for very young children to be on a beach unclothed.  Nudist beaches are common in Britain though most are found in secluded locations away from town and city centres.
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Very important to most Britons is etiquette at mealtimes. Some visitors are surprised to find British people even eating pizza with a knife and fork. Ridiculous as it may seem to some, you may be judged on how you comport yourself at mealtimes, though as always, foreigners are given some leeway. Some simple rules to follow are: do not begin eating until everyone has been served (again, use your judgment even if you are told to begin eating by those who have not been served); never talk with your mouth full, this is the cardinal sin of dining; contrary to American practice, it is customary to hold your fork "upside-down".
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It is often said that it is impolite to return used cutlery to the table, but this rule is largely ignored - use your judgment. When finished eating, return your cutlery to the middle of the plate, together. Do not be too afraid to leave uneaten food; most hosts will not find this offensive.
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There are a few other etiquette practices to try that may gain you a lot of respect amongst some Britons. The most important of these is the greeting. The most common greeting you'll receive from a Briton is the handshake. There are some very important rules to follow when giving or receiving a handshake: do not grip too firmly as this may be seen as a sign of aggression, but equally do not offer up a limp hand.  Never shake hands whilst wearing gloves or with your other hand in your pocket. It is very important to stand up when giving or receiving a handshake. If it is not entirely practical to do so, such as in a restaurant, a cursory lean forwards will probably suffice.
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Between female acquaintances, don't be too surprised to find British people practising a "continental" kiss on the cheek, albeit with typical British restraint. Also, amongst young Britons, friends will often greet each other with an uncharacteristic hug. Except between very close relatives, men will never kiss as a greeting, but a reasonably aggressive hug and back-slapping may happen.
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While these rules may appear arcane and pedantic, you will find that most Britons appreciate '''good manners''' more than just about any other character trait, and will look down on '''bad-mannered''' souls with scorn.
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Though Britain is said to no longer have a '''class system''', class divisions are still a lot more pronounced than in continental Europe or America. Most of the social conventions mentioned above will often only apply to people who see themselves as middle class.
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As the culture in North America is much more open, Britain may come as a bit of a shock; it is usually not common practice to speak to people you don't know other than to ask for help, and asking someone what they're doing generally is taken as offensive.
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When greeting someone or knocking on one's door remove your hat or any other 'accessory' such as scarfs and gloves. This symbolises respect on entering someone's home well dressed.
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==Comunicazioni==
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===Telefono===
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In case of emergency, call '''999''' or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance and coastguard).
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The UK's calling code is '''44'''. To phone another country, dial 00 followed by the calling code and subscriber number. If calling the UK from overseas, you'll need to drop any leading "0" on the area code; similarly, if calling in-country, you may need to add a leading "0" if you've dropped the country code.
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Payphones are widely available, especially in stations, airports etc. Payphones usually take cash (minimum 30p - BT, although some private payphones may charge more); change is not given, but you can choose to continue your money on to the next call. Some newer payphones accept credit and debit cards and may even allow you to send emails and surf the web. Phonecards have been phased out, though various pre-paid phonecards can be purchased from newsagents for cheap international calls.  A simpler and often cheaper alternative for international calls is to use a direct-dial service such as [http://www.mymondo.co.uk/ My Mondo], [http://www.globecaller.co.uk/ GlobeCaller UK], [http://www.telediscount.co.uk/ Telediscount] or [http://www.just-dial.com/ Just-Dial].  These offer vastly reduced call rates over the standard providers and don't require you to purchase a card or sign up for an account.
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Mobile phones are heavily used. 97% of the UK population have a mobile phone - and that figure is rising. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O₂ and are all currently GSM based. GPRS data services are also available, usually priced per MegaByte. Since 2003 new CDMA based 3G networks have begun to be deployed, 3 being the first commercial provider, although their coveage is limited.
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UK mobile phone tarrifs basically split into two types
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*Pay monthly - a fixed monthly fee plus any call charges debited from a bank account or credit card, usually includes some call or text messages for free, contracted for 12 or 18 months (if you are staying for a long time in the UK it is often recommend that you obtain a contract)
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*Pay as you go - credit the phone with a top-up card or cash payment via a top-up terminal, no contract and no bills, Some operators also offer some free text messages.
 +
If you have a GSM compatible handset (most dual and tri band phones are GSM compatible) you can purchase a SIM card from several high street electrical or phone outlets or buy online.
 +
However be aware prices do vary considerably – from £9.99 (with £10 call credit) from Fresh (available at the Carphone Warehouse) to £30 (with £2.50 credit) from Vodafone (available at all mobile phone shops). The UK has extensive mobile phone coverage - 99% of the UK mainland is covered.
 +
 +
Costs for calls can vary significantly depending on when, where from and where to. Calls from hotel rooms can be spectacularly expensive because of the hotel surcharges; check before you use and consider using the lobby payphones instead. Calls from payphones and wired, or landline, phones to mobile phones can be expensive too, if you have the choice call the other party's land line. Beware of premium rate calls, which can be very expensive. Text messaging from mobiles costs around 10 pence per message and picture or MMS messages cost around 45 pence (20 pence on some networks).
 +
 +
Calls between landlines are charged at either local rate or national rate depending on the originating and destination area codes; if both are the same then the area code is optional and the call will be local rate. Note that local calls are not generally free. The following table relates the first few digits dialed to call types, so you can avoid some of the pitfalls above:
 +
 +
<table cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" style="border: 1px solid #9866FF; background-color:  #f3f3ff">
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td style="border-bottom: 1px solid #9866FF; border-right: 1px solid #9866FF; background-color: #ddddff">Digits dialed</td>
 +
  <td style="border-bottom: 1px solid #9866FF; background-color: #ddddff">Call Type</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>00</td>
 +
  <td>International call</td></tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>01</td>
 +
  <td>Call to a landline at local or national rate (see above)</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>02</td>
 +
  <td>Call to a landline at local or national rate (see above)</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>05</td>
 +
  <td>Free call</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>07</td>
 +
  <td>Call to a mobile phone or pager</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>0800</td>
 +
  <td>Free call</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>0844</td>
 +
  <td>Variable rate up to about 5p/min</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>0845</td>
 +
  <td>Call at local rate</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>0870</td>
 +
  <td>Call at national rate</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>0871</td>
 +
  <td>Variable rate up to about 10p/min</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
<tr>
 +
  <td>09</td>
 +
  <td>Call at a premium rate</td>
 +
</tr>
 +
</table>
 +
---->
 +
===Internet===
 +
<!---
 +
Internet access is widespread. Internet cafes can be found in cities and large towns, check the city pages for details. Public libraries may also be able to provide access for free, although you can expect a small wait to get a turn, and time is usually limited. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access either via their cable tv system or WiFi , although the prices are quite steep (www.spectrumineractive.co.uk provide the Scottish YHA with a network of broadband and WiFi capable internet terminals).
 +
 +
A number of [[:WikiPedia:ISP|ISP]]s charge nothing for Internet access by telephone modem - they get their payment from the phone company, local call costs are time related.  Examples are [http://www.Gonuts4Free.com/ GoNuts4Free], [http://www.DialUKT.com/ DialUKT].
 +
 +
There are some [[:WikiPedia:WiFi|WiFi]] hotspots, although publicly available wireless is not yet widespread outside central London. [http://www.consume.net/ Consume.net] provides a directory free hotspots.  [http://www.totalhotspots.com/ TotalHotspots] provides a directory of pay-for WiFi access points, many in high-street coffee chains Caffè Nero and Starbucks. 
 +
 +
Broadband is now available to 99.7% of British households using [[:WikiPedia:ADSL|ADSL]]  over the phone line or cable modem over the cable TV network where available.
 +
Several companies have started to offer one month contracts for ADSL, so if you have an existing BT phone line and are staying for more than 2 months, it is fairly straight forward to setup. This will either need to be already installed or you must be staying for long enough to make it worth your while.  A good starting point is The ADSLGuide website, as they list all companies providing ADSL and the packages they offer [http://www.adslguide.org.uk].
 +
 +
It is also possible to access the internet using the [[:WikiPedia:GPRS|GPRS]]  mobile data service , but conection speed is limited to 56kbps ( i.e. a dial up modem) and the tariffs are based on amount of data downloaded. However GPRS is the best solution for mobile computing, unless you can find a WiFi hotspot.
 +
 +
The most you should pay for access across the UK is £1 for half an hour.  Many chain cafes will charge more for little to no extra value.
 +
--->
 +
===Servizi postali===
 +
<!----
 +
The Royal Mail has a long history. Post boxes are still the traditional red colour, (although there are green and gold Victorian "Penfold" boxes retained in some areas and a historically important blue box in [[Windsor and Eton|Windsor]]).  Mail can also be posted at post offices. Postage stamps cost 32p/23p (domestic 1st/2nd class), 44p (Europe), 50p (Worldwide). Stamps can be bought at supermarkets, newsagents and tourist shops. If you wish to send something heavy, then you will have to get it weighed at the post office. Postal rates are very reasonable.
 +
---->
 +
<!---{{guidecountry}}--->
 +
 +
{{isIn|Europa_occidentale}}
  
 
<br clear="all"/>
 
<br clear="all"/>
Riga 17: Riga 530:
  
 
[[WikiPedia:Regno Unito]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Regno Unito]]
 +
[[Dmoz:Europe/United Kingdom]]

Versione delle 13:09, 13 lug 2006


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