Driving in Italy is not for the faint-hearted and finding a car parking spot can be even worse but if you decide to take the plunge we have some tips
1) Italian drivers are fast and aggressive. Lane hopping and late braking are common features of driving in Italy so you need to be decisive on the road.
2) Pedestrian Zones are also very common so do not drive in an area with a sign that says Zona Traffico Limitato (ZTL) or Area Pedonale, limited traffic or pedestrian zones. Most cities have these zones and even in small towns you may find them in the historic center, the centro storico.
3) Parking can be a major challenge as space is at a premium in towns and cities and Italy’s traffic wardens are very efficient. Car parks fill very fast so if you do find a space ensure you get a ticket from the nearest metre and display it clearly on your dashboard. Charges apply typically between 8pm and 8am.
4) Speeding – From motorways to cities all Italian roads have speed limits, usually indicated by a white and red circle with the number (by kilometer per hour) written in the centre. The most common way to be caught speeding is by a camera which are plentiful.
5) Belt up – Italy seatbelts are compulsory for front and rear-seat occupants.
6) When driving on the AutoStrada you must have your headlights on.
7) Fines in Italy increase by one-third at night, so if you find yourself out between the hours of 10pm and 7am, be extra-cautious.
8) There are four main types of roads in Italy.
– AutoStrada (130km/h)- Motorways, –
-Major roads (110km/h – 90km/h)- Dual Carriage Ways, –
-Minor roads – Narrow winding roads
-White roads – Known locally as ‘Strade Bianche” there are normally gravel or dirt roads
14th June, 2015