If you're not used to aggresive driving, driving in Italy may be difficult at best and terrifying at worst. Italian drivers are aggressive and fast, but competent. You must concentrate on your driving and be alert at all times.
The Italians drive on the left side of the road and overtake from the right. Most roads other than the Autostrada are only one lane in each direction, so passing cars and being passed is a part of every driving experience. You must be careful while overtaking and should allow ample space in between cars.
The minimum age for driving in Italy is 18.
Speed limits are set very rigorously, and are being enforced using speed cameras set up in many places. Speeding violations can lead to very heavy fines on the spot. Speed limits differ in different areas:
|Outside cities:||90 Kph|
The speed limits are different during wet days, so make sure you are familiar with all the rules and regulations before taking to your car.
If you are speeding, you may get the ticket months later. It will go to your car rental agency and they will pay it from the credit card you used with them. We heard of tickets that cost over 100 Euros.
Children under four years of age are not allowed to travel unless they are seated in a child safety seat that has met standard regulations. Children under 12 years of age are not allowed to sit in the front and must be seated at the back securely fastened.
It is always a good idea to carry important documentation like you driving license, vehicle registration and certificate of insurance. A photo ID is necessary. Therefore, if your license does not have one make sure you carry your passport as a valid form of identification. If the car has not been registered under your name, you must also carry a letter from the owner stating permission to drive the car.
You must have your driver's license and an International Driving Permit when driving in Italy.
Seatbelts are compulsory both at the front and back.
On the autostrada, you must drive with your lights on. It is also required to be used on dual carriageways and open roads. When the visibility is low, or if you are travelling through a tunnel, dipped headlights are compulsory.
It is recommended that you carry an extra set of bulbs in your car. The use of headlamp converters is mandatory.
The drinking laws in Italy are extremely strict. The blood alcohol limit is 0.5mg.
Horns are used throughout and everywhere except in built up areas.
The police have the authority to collect fines on the spot, so be extremely careful of road and traffic violations. Make sure you receive a receipt from the officer that collects your fines.
It is recommended that you carry a first aid kit with you. Visibility vests have now become a compulsory road regulation. The rules vary depending on which country you are in and concerning the number of vests required and where it should be placed etc. A warning triangle is also compulsory.
Keep these road rules in mind when driving in Italy, as you cruise through the historic cities of Florence, Naples, Milan and Venice. You don’t want to be caught up with traffic violations when there is so much to see and do in Italy.