When you are leaving the country through the Rome Airport, here are some tips about getting your VAT rebates:

1) gather all your receipts into one envelope - make sure you have both articles -- the receipt and the VAT paperwork that you get at each store for the items you purchased.

2) At the airport -- there are TWO parts to getting your rebate. One takes place BEFORE you check in (at a small kiosk in the international terminal) and one takes place AFTER you get to your gate.

a) before you check in and go through security, visit the VAT kiosk and get your paperwork. The attendant will help you so you can fill out the declaration. You MUST do this or you won't be able to get back your VAT rebate when you get to the gate.

b) after you get your declaration, check in, and go through security, proceed to the gate area and visit the VAT kiosk in that area. Take your declaration, receipts, and any other VAT documentation to that kiosk where you will then get your rebate.

If you miss the first step you could leave a lot of money behind as a result. Other airports may not work like this, but Fiumicino in Rome does. Happy Travels!