Renowned for its cuisine, rustic architecture and love of the fine arts, Italy is a major hotspot for foreign visitors. With history stretching as far back as the days of the Roman Empire, many of the era’s most iconic buildings including the Coliseum in Rome still stand today. The country is also known for having a passionate yet welcoming population. From the Alps in the north to Sicily and Reggio Calabria in the south, Italy is more often than not bathed in sunshine, even during winter! The best places to go are the big cities like Rome, Milan and Turin, although the canal city of Venice and Florence both have their charms. Wherever you go, the food is more than likely to be delightful.
Driving in Italy
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Tolls are levied on the majority of motorways. Payment is made either in cash or via debit/credit cards from Visa, Eurocard and MasterCard.
Only one in four petrol stations are open 24 hours a day on Sundays and public holidays.
On roads in built-up areas, parking is only allowed on the right-hand side if there is two-way traffic. On one-way streets, you can park on either side providing a space of at least 10ft is left.
Driving culture in Italy
What are the roads like in Italy?
On the whole, the road network is pretty good, particularly the motorways. However, in some rural areas, some roads remain untreated, while cobbles are commonplace in some towns and cities. To take this into account, urban speed limits are typically lower than average.
How will I find Italian drivers?
Italian driving habits are typically relaxed, but aggression can come into play in heavy traffic. The quirky rule that states that beeping a horn in urban areas is illegal says quite a bit about the way people drive in the major conurbations.
What are the best times to drive?
Rush hour in Italy generally occurs between 8-10am in the morning, 12.30-1.30pm and 3-4pm in the afternoon and, in the evening, 6-7.30pm as everyone’s getting home from work. Between those times and on Sundays, driving isn’t too problematic.
What are the driving laws?
When driving here, you must have reflective jackets, a warning triangle and headlamp beam detectors. Drivers must have a full driving licence, a passport, proof of insurance and proof of ownership for a private vehicle (V5C Certificate). Children either under the age of 3 or shorter than 4ft 11in should be given a special seat according to their size. Around a quarter of fines given must