Driving tips - Italy
Before hitting the road in Italy, one must know the ins and outs of all the matters pertaining to driving on the beautiful yet sometimes crazy Italian roads. If you equip yourself with such knowledge now you’ll be sure to have a fun and enjoyable experience when you’re there. Why not follow this simple guide, complete with facts and figures to keep yourself safe:
Before you rent or take a car to Italy, you will need to know what documents you are legally required to have on your person when in control of a vehicle. You will need to carry:
- Driver’s licence or IDP
- Car insurance documents
- Photographic proof of ID
- Ownership or permission to drive the vehicle
- The minimum age for driving in this country is eighteen (18) years.
- Children of four (4) years or under must be seated in a standard regulation safety seat.
- Children under twelve (12) years of age must be seated in the back with a fastened seatbelt.
Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations
- You drive on the right hand side of the road
- Keep right and overtake on the left
- Overtaking is prohibited at bends, at the top of a hill, places of restricted visibility and intersections
- Always carry license while driving
- Should obey traffic signs
- On the autostrada (expressway), you must drive with your lights on
- Give priority to pedestrians
- Keep lights on while driving on dual carriageways and other roads during reduced visibility
Speed Limits and Fines
Under normal road conditions the following speed limits apply at all times:
- 130km/h (80mph) on expressways.
- 110km/h (68mph) on highways.
- 90km/h (55mph) on roads outside cities/built-up areas.
- 50km/h (31mph) on roads in cities/built-up area.
Failing to adhere to these speed limits will incur fines that you will have to either pay within 60 days or immediately, depending on the situation, but whatever the case, you’ll have no choice but to pay.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.05mg/100ml is the legal blood-alcohol limit in Italy, but 0mg for those who have been driving less than three years. Police in Italy may carry out random alcohol tests on drivers. Failing a blood-alcohol test has serious consequences. The vehicle will be seized, the driver will be fined and have their licence confiscated, and in more serious cases, the driver may also be imprisoned.
Blue road signs indicate paid parking zones, which provide some hours of free parking every day and on Sundays, this all depends on the area. Blue stripes indicate limited parking and there will be a ticket machine.
If a vehicle is parked on a pavement it will be clamped. Freeing your vehicle will involve a fine. If the vehicle is obstructing traffic then it will be towed away, which will also involve a fine to release it.
The international sticker for disabled parking can be used in specially marked zones, indicated by yellow lines and the yellow wheelchair symbol.
A final note is that all of these rules apply to everyone without exception. Keep this in mind while driving and you’ll be sure to enjoy your time spent traveling on the Italian roads, be it in the city or countryside.
Venice Driving Guide – SPEND MORE, DO LESS
Even with a map book, when you plan your day in Venice, factor in some time to get lost, because in the winding streets of Venice (the labyrinthine calli) you will certainly get lost at least once. But getting lost in Venice often leads you to the most fantastic experiences, misty fogs and rising tides that cover the streets will only add to this wonder.
The grandeur of the architecture, the vast markets, many of which are on the water’s edge, the cathedrals, the grand canal, the shopping (this is the place to buy a pair of Italian leather shoes that will last you a lifetime), the La Dolce Vita that is practiced in serenading quartets in St. Marc’s square, and patrons occupying sidewalk cafes at 11pm on a week night. By the time you leave Venice, you may have fallen in love with her.
For a while it is wonderful to walk freely along the walkways without worrying about traffic, but if you’re like us, after a while you’ll miss the speed and convenience of a car. Feel like a quick, one-day road trip? We have some ideas:
Venice to Verona:
1 hour 10 min to Verona (112 km)
As with any day trip from Venice, you’ll need to catch a vaporetto (a water taxi) through to the mainland and from there you can rent a car and drive the rest of the way. Be warned, vaporettos are expensive and you’ll be able to get around Venice without one, there are enough bridges allowing you to cross over canals to get to different parts of the island.
Verona is a must for Shakespeare fans, as it was in the city of Verona that the two star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, fell in love. But Shakespeare himself must have been quite smitten with Verona, as he also set The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew in this quaint location. However, it is the Romanesque San Zeno Maggiore Church that draws in so many tourists, as well as the Arena, a crumbling Roman amphitheater.
Venice to The Dolomites:
2 hour 30 to The Dolomites (167 km)
Once again, you’ll need to catch a vaporetto to the mainland, from there you’ll travel two hours to The Dolomites. This is a great day trip for those looking for some wide open spaces in the great outdoors, especially if you’re up for a good hike, and there are many hiking paths to choose from. The majestic Dolomites are considered amongst the best alpine areas in Europe.
If you are the type of traveler who likes to factor in a night or two in areas surrounding your main vacation city, then we’ll help you out with some well priced accommodation. We believe in the Do More Spend Less style of travelling, that means spending less on simpler accommodation and using the extra funds that you save to go out and really experience the area around you. Rather than allocating your budget to lavish quarters with little to spend on anything else, we prefer to offer you a range of reasonably priced accommodation. In fact, we’re fairly certain that we have the best prices available.
The same can be said for our car rentals. We offer a range of rental cars to suit your travelling requirements and budget. We have over 800 collection points and we certainly have some in the area surrounding Venice, should you decide that you feel like a drive.
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