|Highways and Roads Highway||Gasoline||Driving License|
|Other important regulations||Easy Italy – Information service for a trouble free holiday||Practical Information|
|Traffic Tips||Motels Along the Road||Validating Rail, Bus & Subway Tickets|
Limited traffic areas (ZTL) have been created in most of the historical centers of Italian cities. This measure has been taken to increase pedestrian areas, commercial activities, and reduce pollution to preserve historical sites.
In these limited traffic areas only authorized vehicles are allowed to drive, such as: buses, police cars, ambulances, etc. Residents have access as well. All of the authorized vehicles have their license plate registered with the Municipal Police.
If a vehicle crosses a limited traffic area, cameras will take a picture of the license plate.
The photo is automatically sent back to a computer of the Municipal Police and if the license plate is not registered a violation ticket is generated and sent to the owner of the vehicle.
The limited traffic areas are clearly indicated with a sign marked with a white circle with red borders (see picture above), stating the hours in which the area is restricted.
If you think you will be driving in one of these limited traffic areas, call your hotel after you rent the car, so they can tell you where you can drive. Some hotels also offer their customers a shuttle which picks up passengers from a parking garage, located outside the Limited Traffic Areas. However some hotels have a limited number of passes that they make available to driving customers when they make a reservation. If you are not staying in a hotel, contact the rental company or the person who you are renting from and ask for indications on how to go about driving in the area without incurring a traffic violation.
In Italy there is also an electronic speed control called Autovelox, a hidden camera system placed on the sides of regular roads as well as highways. There is always a warning sign indicating that the road is being monitored by cameras (see picture) below.
If your speed is 5% or above the limit, a traffic violation will be issued.
Sample picture of a speed limit sign. The speed limit varies depending on the road type.
Due to the law and the authority that is held by the local Municipal Police, the Italian Government Tourist Board cannot act as an intermediary in settling disputes over traffic violations.
|Planning Your Trip > Transportation|
The main border crossings with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia are open 24 hours a day year-round. Some mountain passes are closed during the winter. State and provincial roads are distinguished by blue signs with white letters.
Highways and Roads Highway There is an extensive and well maintained road network. Tolls are charged on the autostrade (highways). As in the rest of continental Europe, vehicles travel on the right and overtake on the left. The wearing of seatbelts is compulsory for front and back seat passengers as well as for the driver. The use of portable telephones is prohibited if they require intervention by hand to function.
Highways and Roads Highways are indicated by the letter “A” followed by a number written in white on a green background. They are almost all subject to tolls, except for some brief stretches, especially approaching urban areas. Tolls are paid in cash at highway exit points. It is also possible to pay by Viacard Telepass cards (systems that make automatic payment possible without stopping at the toll booths) or Viacard a highway toll payment card which can be bought, at a value of either 25 / 50 / 75 Euro, on the highway, in many banks or in ACI offices.
By using the emergency booths located every 2 km along the roadway, which have buttons with a wrench symbol, to be used in the event of a breakdown, you will be assisted by ACI or other companies, throughout the country and calls for assistance can be made 24 hours a day. By calling ACI number 803.116 you will be assisted by ACI.
Service areas are very frequent along all of the highways. The rest stops are always open, and, in addition to refueling, they also offer other services such as restaurants, bars, information offices, and banking windows.
Autostrade S.p.A Highway Maps, Routes and Tolls
Gasoline is called benzina, unleaded gasoline is benzina senza piombo and diesel is gasolio. Almost all the service stations in the country are equipped with pumps for lead-free gasoline (95 octane) and diesel fuel. Service stations are open from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. They follow a shift system on weekends and holidays.
Italy requests an international driving license which can be obtained in USA through AAA and in Canada through CAA. Seat belts are compulsory in Italy.
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Mopeds and motorcycles must have their lights on at all times on any road.
The use of passing lights or daytime running lights is compulsory outside built-up areas for all motor vehicles, day and night.
The driver and/or passengers stepping out of a 4 wheeled motor vehicle immobilized on the carriageway outside built-up areas at night, or in poor visibility, must wear reflective clothing. The jacket or waistcoat used by foreign motorists should be either yellow, or orange-red or red, in accordance with the EU legislation (EN471).
ANAS (the state organization responsible for the roads), in cooperation with the police and the Società Autostrade, provide information about traffic conditions on the main roads and highways. In addition, Onda Verde is a daily radio bulletin with information about roadwork, delays and weather conditions. The use of spiked tires is allowed between November 15 and March 15. In some regions is obligatory to keep snow chains in the car during winter.
Speed limits are fixed at 50 km (31 miles) per hour in urban areas, 90 km (56 miles) per hour on secondary and local roads, 110 km (68 miles) per hour on main roads outside urban areas and 130 km (80 miles) per hour on highways, with penalties for violation in proportion to the amount of the excess.
On highways (autostrade): no U-turns are permitted and stopping is permitted only in emergency parking areas or parking lanes. The Italian Highway Code follows the Geneva Convention and Italy uses international road signs. Driving is on the right, passing on the left. Violators of the highway code are fined; serious violations may also be punished by imprisonment.
Lanes: On three-lane roads, the middle lane is reserved for passing, which must always be signaled in advance with the directional signal which must be kept on while passing.
Italy has an extensive network of motels that provide motorists with modern and comfortable accommodations, parking facilities and delicious regional food. Many motels also have swimming pools, private beaches, tennis courts, small parks and gardens.
Good coach services run between cities and towns and there are also good local bus services. A major Italian company that operates throughout the country is called SITA S.p.a.
Validating Rail, Bus & Subway Tickets
Please note that in order to avoid heavy fines, it is vitally important to remember to validate any rail, bus and subway tickets purchased for use on the Italian public transport system.
In the case of rail travel, machines for date-stamping your ticket are located on station platforms and are usually yellow in color. It is extremely important to validate your ticket before boarding to avoid fines.
Tickets for buses and the subway tend to be time-limited (often one hour) and it is therefore necessary to complete your journey within the allotted time and purchase a new ticket for any additional travel. Machines for date-stamping your ticket are located in the foyers and beside barriers in the case of subway travel and on board buses. Daily, weekly and monthly passes are also available. Tickets for buses and the subway cannot be purchased on board and must be obtained prior to boarding from newsagents, tobacconists, ticket kiosks or bars.