Italy has excellent highway network that permits tourists and foreign visitors to enjoy famous sites and picturesque landscapes. For driving in Italy, foreign drivers from non-European Union countries need to have their original driving permits and International driver licenses. It is permited to drive in Italy with International driver licenses for up to one year. In addition to International and domestic driving permits foreign drivers must have third-party insurance and car registration papers.

Italy has following types of roads: autostrada – motorways and freeways; major roads – dual carriageways and highways with more than one lane in each direction; minor roads – winding roads with one lane in each direction; white roads – roads through the countryside. 75 % of Italy is mountainous so some motorways have long tunnels and bridges. Drivers must pay a toll to use the autostrada; a driver collects a ticket when enter to a motorway and pays once exit.

The main Italian road laws are:

  • Drivers must drive on the right and overtake on the left side of roads.
  • Minimum driving age for cars is 18 years.
  • For renting a car minimum driving age is 21 years, but some company allowed hiring vehicle from 18 years with additional fee. Some rental car companies introduce restraint on the maximum driving age, namely, 75 years.
  • Using horns in built-up areas is prohibited except of extreme danger times.
  • It is allowed 0.05 % alcohol in blood.
  • Seat belts for front and rear seats are required.
  • It is recommended to have a replacement bulb set.
  • Children up to 36 kg and up to 150 cm tall  must be placed in a restrain system adapted to their size and weight. Children up to 9 kg must be secured in a rear facing child restraint.
  • Speed limits are: on motorways – 130 km/h (80 mph); on dual carriageways – 110 km/h (68mph); on the open roads – 90 km/h (56 mph); in towns – 50 km/h (31 mph). Driver who have held driving permits no more than three years must drive with speed not exceed 100 km/h on motorways and 90 km/h on urban roads.
  • Children less than four years old or under 150 cm can only be ridded with a suitable restraint system. Children from four to twelve cannot travel in the front seats without a suitable restraint system.
  • It is permitted to use cell phone while driving only with hand-free system.
  • It is obligatory to give way to buses, trains, trams, and emergency vehicles.
  • Flashing amber traffic lights means proceed with caution and give way to traffic on the right.
  • If a car does not have an Italian registration, it must have a sticker denoting the home country next to the rear number plate.
  • It is required to drive with headlights on motorways and highways
  • As a rule, blue lines mean paid street parking. A driver must take a receipt from a payment machine or a place to buy tickets and put it in the car window. White lines on the street mean free parking spots but, as a rule for a limited time. Yellow areas indicate parking with a disabled permit.

Each driver must have in his car:

  • warning triangle;
  • high visibility vest;
  • if a driver uses corrective eye-wear, spare spectacles or contact lenses;
  • first-aid kit is advised;
  • from 15 November to 15 April, winter tyres or carry snow chains.
Police can stop a car and ask a driver about these equipments; in case of non-compliance, the driver will be fined.

Italy Road Traffic Signs

 Driving Overseas - Short Information