Handedness of road traffic
Italy is a right-hand traffic country.
The general speed limits in Italy are presented in the table:
|Type of vehicle||Built-up areas||Secondary suburban roads
& Local suburban roads
|Main suburban roads||Motorways|
|Motor vehicles < 3,5 t||50 (31)||90 (55)||110 (68)||130 (80)|
|Atmospheric precipitation of any nature||50 (31)||90 (55)||90 (55)||110 (68)|
|Quadricycles||50 (31)||80 (49)|
|Cars with trailers or caravans||50 (31)||70 (43)||70 (43)||80 (49)|
|Camper vans > 3,5 t and < 12 t||50 (31)||80 (49)||80 (49)||100 (62)|
- Driving licenses issued by any of the EU member states or the EEA are valid throughout the European Union, including Italy. Drivers in possession of a license issued outside the EU are required to have an international driving permit (IDP) or a sworn translation of their own license.
- Registration certificate.
- Certificate of Motor Insurance. In Italy third party or above insurance and civil liability insurance are a requirement. An International Motor Insurance Card (Green Card) is required for non EU registered car's and would generally be a good option to be held by everyone.
- All foreign-registered with non-EU number plates vehicles in France must display a nationality sticker at the rear. Separate signs are not needed for Canada, Mexico and the United States, where the province, state or district of registration is usually embossed or surface-printed on the vehicle registration plate.
Items required in cars or with motorcycles
- Emergency warning triangle. It must be used to signal emergency stop by placing it at a distance of least 50 meters from the stranded vehicle, provided the road allows such distance. Otherwise, it must be placed in the most visible position. Two wheeled vehicles are exempted from this requirement.
- A reflective vest must be worn when stepping out of a vehicle – in case of an accident, a breakdown or for any other reason - outside built-up areas at night and even in the daytime in case of poor visibility. This applies also in rest areas and in the emergency lane of motorways. For this reason, reflective items as above are supposed to be available at all times in the driver and passenger compartment.
Between 15th October to 15th April winter tires are recommended for certain roads but not compulsory. Snow chains must be carried with cars not fitted with winter tires.
There legislation gives the possibility of an extension of the aforementioned period one month before October (meaning 15th September) and / or one month after April (15th May).
A list of the roads where the rules apply can be found on neveitalia.it
Motorcycles should have their low-beam headlights turned on all day long. Also cars should use their low-beam lights regardless the time of the day outside built-up areas, if they are not fitted with DRLs.
There are both attended and self service fuel station in Italy. In most of the smaller stations the attendant pumps the fuel for you. Self service stations have pay at the pump systems where you can pay in cash or by using a debit / credit card.
- Unleaded petrol / gasoline (Italian: Benzina senza piombo / Benzina verde).
Petrol is commonly called at the pump Super or Senza Pb or Benzina when it has an octane rating of 95 RON and is the only compulsory type offered in all stations. A few stations like Eni and IES offer 98 RON petrol as the premium type
Big suppliers, such as Shell or Eni for example, also offer 100 RON petrol, called V-Power and blu super+ respectively.
- Diesel. In Italy it is also called Gasolio.
- LPG. It is called GPL in Italy. A list of stations that offer LPG can be seen by visiting the previous link.
- CNG in Italy is found as Metano. A list of stations that offer CNG can be found by clicking the previous link.
Indicatively some sources of locations of fuel stations and real time prices of fuel in Italy are listed here:
- Prezzi Benzina also available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
- Cheap Refuel for Android.
Electric vehicle chargers
Road user charges
Motorways in Italy have a toll system with toll plazas.
The widely available scheme adopts distance based charges. Typically, in most of the cases when you join the motorway you get an entry ticket (Italian: biglietto), that proves your point of entry, which is used at the last toll plaza of the motorway or at exits in order for the rate of the journey to be calculated. If you don't provide the ticket when paying the tolls, the calculation will be done assuming that you joined the motorway since its beginning. There are cases like the Mont Blanc Tunnel (Traforo del Monte Bianco) or the Salbertrand toll plaza at Autostrada A32 where there is no distance based charges, so there is no entry ticket issued.
Different payment methods are available in different lanes, distinguished by the signs above the toll booths:
- Payment with cash, debit or credit card to the toll booth operator or via the automatic toll machine. In order to get a receipt you have to press the Receipt button (Italian: Ricevuta). You have to introduce the ticket first for the price to get calculated. These lanes have a white sign over them depicting banknotes and coins and a blue sign for cards. If the blue sign is absent then payment by cards is not available.
- Payment with debit / credit cards and with VIAcard, a prepaid card, is available at lanes with a blue cards sign over them and marked with blue road surface markings. The introduction of the ticket is again the first step of the procedure. For printing a receipt the button Receipt (Italian: Ricevuta) should be pressed after inserting your card.
- Payment with the installation of the electronic transponder TELEPASS. The transponder can also be used in France, Spain and Portugal. In order to use this method after installing the device and connecting it with a bank account you have to enter the motorway using the dedicated lanes marked with yellow road surface markings as well as with a yellow or white sign over them with the word TELEPASS written on it.
If there is no TELEPASS entry lane when joining the motorway, then you should not use a TELEPASS lane for exiting the motorway, but instead you have to take the ticket and use either a lane marked with the sign "CARTE" or the lanes with the white sign with banknotes and coins on it and ask the service personnel for assistance. Regardless which of the two types of exit lanes you are going to use the amount due is charged to the Telepass system.
In case you have used a TELEPASS lane when joining the notorway, but there is no TELEPASS lanes at your exit, then you should use the other lanes and again ask the personnel for assistance.
TELEPASS has an app available for bot Android and iOS.
Calculation of toll fees is offered on autostrade per l'Italia website, by filling the departure and arrival points in the respective fields.
When a toll is unpaid, either wholly or in part, a printout confirming non-payment will be issued in both manned and automatic lanes. Each printout (statement of unpaid toll) contains vehicle data (class and license plate number), journey data (date, time, exit toll gate and, where available, the entry toll gate) and the amount to be paid.
For unpaid tolls on roads managed by the following companies:
- Autostrade per l'Italia
- Tangenziale di Napoli
- Società Autostrade Meridionali
- Raccordo Autostradale Valle d'Aosta and
- Società Autostrada Tirrenica
an online platform for their payment is available.
Urban Access Regulations
There are around 200 schemes that are enforced with cameras, plus 100 low emission zones, called Zone a traffico limitato (ZTL) in Italy. The intention is to reduce traffic in historic city centers as well as the lowering of emissions and as a result pollution.
Before visiting any cities you should check with urbanaccessregulations.eu which zones are in effect there and pay any fees before accessing them in order to avoid any fines.