Guide to Driving in Italy

We can say that in Italy it’s a pure pleasure to drive. Roads and streets are in excellent shape even around small cities and villages. There are plenty of road signs, markings and traffic lights so making your way around should be easy. In particular regions there might be construction sites so you should reduce the speed in advance. Local drivers are usually respecting each other and the signal lights are put to good use.

There are plenty of motorways across the country and you need to know one thing: there is a fee you need to pay in order to drive on any of them. But there’s nothing too complicated; on every motorway entry there are special kiosks (tollbooths) where you need to get a ticket. Then, once you exit the motorway on any exit, they calculate the tax according to the number of kilometers you drove; nothing sophisticated. Be aware that in small cities and villages there might be some really narrow streets, less than 2.1 meters wide.

The police cars are often painted in blue with white stripes. Older cars might be white with green markings. However, look for the word ‘POLIZIA’ or ‘POLIZIA LOCALE’ (local police) and for the beacons and you’ll know whether it’s a police car or not. You must always carry an identification card, the car’s registration and your driver’s license. According to their law you are not required to have an international driver’s permit. If you’re planning to exceed the speed limit, think again. There are numerous speed cameras all around the country which monitor the traffic. Remember that vehicles coming from the right have the right of way in unmarked intersections. Trains and trams also have the right of way. During the winter temperatures get around 0°Celsius but in the northern area it may get below freezing. Winter tires are mandatory.

Essential Driving Information

  • Every car must be equipped with a spare tire, a reflecting triangle and an emergency vest.
  • Seatbelts must be used both for front and rear passengers.
  • Dipped beam must be used only when driving on motorways.
  • You’re allowed to use the horn in built-up areas only when there are imminent dangers ahead.
  • No other special documents like translated copies of documents are needed.
  • Civil Liability insurance is mandatory.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 90kmh (55mph)
Motorway: 130kmh (80mph) or 110kmh (68mph) with snow/heavy rain
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 113
Ambulance: 118
Firefighters: 115
Other: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%.
Petrol Price: €1.77/litre
Diesel Price: €1.67/litre
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