How To Treat Sore Throat In Italy

woman with sore throat walking with her dog

Can a sore throat ruin my vacation?

Your so longed for Italian gateway is just a few days away. 

Soon, you will be wandering around the crowded streets of Rome, stumbling upon magnificent buildings at every corner and getting lost in the Eternal city’s ancient ruins. 

You can already taste your first bite of Carbonara and smell the sweet aroma of Italian wine. 

But then, of course, the morning after your arrival, your throat starts to itch and an unbearable pain threatens to ruin your dreamy vacation.

You might be wondering what causes your throat to hurt so badly. Sore throats are commonly a sign of an infection, which is usually caused by two kinds of germs:

  • Viruses

  • Bacteria


If your sore throat is caused by a virus, you do not need antibiotics. But if you have strep throat, you should get antibiotics.

The good news is that in most cases sore throats are caused by viruses and get better fairly shortly without the need of medical consultation! Meanwhile, to relieve the pain and get the most out of your Roman experience you could:


  • Find pain medicines such as ibuprofen at the nearest pharmacy
  • Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gargle
  • Drink lots of water (even if it hurts to swallow!)

However, keep in mind that you will have to contact a doctor if your body temperature is higher than 101 degrees F (38.3 C) or if the symptoms last longer than 5 – 7 days.

What happens when your sore throat is caused by a bacterium? We strongly recommend you to see a doctor (a general practitioner will be able to help you) to reduce the symptoms and prevent the spread of the infection to others.

The problem is, it is hard to tell the difference between a viral and a bacterial infection, and often a visit to a clinic is the best way to find out. 

At the clinic, the doctor collects swab samples from the back of your throat, to check for streptococcus bacteria. Certain clinics with the proper technologies, can give you the diagnosis within a few minutes. 

Always ask in advance if your doctor can do a Rapid Strep Test.

Common symptoms of a bacterial sore throat are:

  • Severe pain
  • Purulent exudate (white spots over the tonsils)
  • High body temperature
  • Swollen glands

If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, visit a doctor immediately to start the proper medications and avoid complications.

The sooner you recognize the cause of your sore throat, the sooner you can treat it and get back to your Italian adventure.

What are you waiting for?


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DoctorsinItaly Team

This article was written, curated, and updated by the DoctorsinItaly team, as part of our efforts to share relevant and current information on health and wellness related topics, as well as on life as an expat or traveler in Italy.