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Italy - Road Rules

Italy's motorway network is excellent, connecting most of the country.  Most of these are toll roads with frequent tunnels and can be quite expensive.  Back roads are much more scenic, but can be mountainous, especially in the interior of the country.

Speed Limits

  • Built up areas - 50 km/h
  • Normal roads - 90 km/h
  • Motorways - 130 km/h

Notes: In wet weather conditions speed limits are reduced to 90 on normal roads and 110 on motorways. Limits when towing are reduced to 70 on normal roads and 80 or motorways.

Essential Equipment


  • Warning Triangle
  • Reflective Jacket


  • Replacement Vehicle Bulbs

Notes: Reflective jackets are compulsory for driver and all passengers when exiting the vehicle in a breakdown situation.

Emergency Numbers


Driving Licence Requirements

Minimum age is 18. Old style green UK licences should be updated or backed up with and International Driving Permit.

Insurance Requirements

Third party compulsory.

Drink Driving Rules

The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%. Random breath tests are conducted and could lead to heavy fines and possible imprisonment.


The Italian police can issue on the spot fines for traffic offences.

Seat Belts

Compulsory if fitted in rear.
Children under 4 must use a suitable restraint system while those aged 4-12 are only allowed in the front seats with a suitable restraint system.

Other Rules

Dipped lights are compulsory at all times outside of built up areas. Main beam headlights are not allowed to be used in towns.

Overhanging loads (bike racks, boxes) must be indicated with red and white hatched square.

When turning left at cross roads, vehicles must pass in front of each other rather than behind.

Road Conditions and Other Drivers

Italy has a good network of toll motorways, however these are busy and expensive. The toll methods vary, with some you are issued with a travel ticket and must pay when exiting the motorway. Others require payment at intermediate sections of the road while a few roads require payment on entrance - the destination must be stated.

There are services throughout the motorway network which are well equipped.

Italian roads are generally in good condition, but some have broken surfaces and need repair.

Road signs can be inconsistent - town names will appear on some signs and not others for no particular reason.

Drivers can be inconsiderate and impatient, particularly in the south where road rules are often ignored. The traffic in Italy can seem particularly hectic with many mopeds weaving in between vehicles and is a marked difference from more sedate northern countries.

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