Driving in Italy

 
Italians drive on the right and overtake on the left. The roads in Italy are quite good and Italy has a fine network of motorways (Autostrade). Although the motorway network is quite extensive, there is also a good network of state roads to get you around. These state roads (strade statali) are often just as good. As a tourist you may find that avoiding motorways is a good idea. The provincial roads (Strade provinciali) will bring you into the Italian countryside.

An emergency triangle must be carried in the vehicle at all times. Seat belts must be worn in the front and rear seats. The use of mobile phones is prohibited if they required being hand held. Helmets must be worn on two-wheeled vehicles.

Speed limits are as follows (unless otherwise displayed):

Motorway 130 km/h

Highway 110 km/h

Major Roads 90 km/h

Towns / Cities 50 km/h

Penalties for violation of speed limit vary in proportion to the amount of the excess. The Italian Motorway Code follows the Geneva Convention and Italy by using international road signs. Motorway signs 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. Wearing of seatbelts is compulsory for front-and back-seat passengers as well as for the driver. The use of mobile phones while driving unless they have a hands free device. The alcohol limit is 0,5 grams per litre.

Tolls can be paid through the following methods:

- TelePass: A telematic system that allows you to pay the toll without stopping.

- By Cash: When the sign background is white, it means that the lane is exclusively for cash payment. The sign shows the icon of cash with in addition the symbol of a hand, indicating the presence of a cashier.

- ViaCard charge card: a magnetic prepaid charge card, of the amount of 25, 50 or 75 euros, which can be used to pay tolls in all automatic toll lanes and in lanes with cashier of all motorway network in Italy. The Viacard charge card can be used for any type of vehicle travelling on motorways, either private or commercial. The Viacard charge card in euros can be used anywhere on the Italian motorway network disregarding its expiry date.

- Payment with credit card and Maestro Cards: A new signage layout has been implemented to achieve major directness and visibility, based on colour identification associated to the different payment options and on a standard use of colours, icons and symbols. Clear and immediate understandable signs allow drivers arriving at the toll to choose quickly the lane corresponding to their payment option, avoiding both confusion, and slowing down of the car flow near the pay tolls and, more importantly, help cut down the number of accidents due to sudden manoeuvring or moving from one gate lane to the other.

Entrance gate

The lanes reserved for Telepass owners are provided with new signage above the marquee, characterized by a yellow background sign reading “reserved Telepass owners”. All the other gate lanes, where tickets are issued, are characterized by signs situated near the entrance of the lane.

Exit gate

The new signage is meant to quicken the payment, allowing users, along the 2.855 km of the Autrostrade per l’Italia network, to see and locate clearly and immediately the various payment options available at each exit gate.

For travel, traffic and road information please visit: www.autostrade.it or www.aci.it

PETROL

Almost all service stations in the country are equipped with pumps for unleaded petrol and diesel fuel. Service stations are usually open from 07:00 to 12:30 and from 15:00 to 19:30. During weekends and public holidays they operate with an alternative shifting system, generally only in the morning. Service is guaranteed 24 hours a day on the motorways. Carrying petrol in containers is prohibited.