This article is from the Italy FAQ, by Gianluigi Sartori firstname.lastname@example.org, Paolo Fiorini email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
All stereo equipment works fine with a transformer, with one small
exception: the FM radio band in Italy starts at a slightly lower
frequency than the U.S. lower bound of 88 MHz, and a few stations are
The U.S. TV standard (NTSC) and the Italian one (PAL) are not
compatible. Among various differences, NTSC transmits 30
frames/second, PAL 25 frames/second. Many electronic stores,
especially those in large cities and the mail-order stores, carry PAL
and multi-system equipment (both PAL and NTSC in various flavors, and
often SECAM too).
Pre-recorded video tapes bought in the U.S. cannot be played on
Italian VCRs (blank tapes are OK), unless both VCR and TV set are of
the multi-system type. There is also a still rare and relatively
expensive type of VCR that is capable of reading a NTSC tape and
outputting a PAL signal (the conversion is hard, because of the
different number of frames). Do not confuse this with a cheaper type
that performs a `fake' NTSC-PAL conversion: it outputs a PAL signal at
30 frames/second. Some PAL TV sets can handle that, usually with a
certain amount of picture distortion (shorter and wider); other can't.
There are also converters for the different standards (PAL-SECAM-NTSC)
and devices (VCRs, TVs, camcoders).
An useful www page about this topic is in :