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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

Age Restrictions

  • 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.

Drunk Driving

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.

Milan Driving Guide – SPEND LESS DO MORE

Style is the word that comes to mind when visiting Milan, the locals seem to have this innate quality in spades. Milan is an international capital of design and fashion and is the place to go to shop (Italian designers are known for their impeccable tailoring), and to dine on the best of Italian cuisine.

While in Milan, make your way to Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural, The Last Supper, or the Teatro alla Scala, the grand 2800 seat theatre, the Duomo, the opulent Gothic cathedral, and the Parco Sempione, if you need a little bit of greenery.

While Milan is a splendid place for a trip, don’t discard the surrounding towns which have much to offer as well.

Milan to Parma:

1 hour 24 to Parma (124 km)

Yes, you guessed it Parma is home to parma ham and parmesan cheese, to delicacies that Italian chefs would be at a loss without.  Stroll through cobbled streets to find markets and café’s built in the Art Nouveau style to lunch on these and other culinary delights topped off with the local Sangiovese wine. The cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you the same as a bottle of midrange wine, if you choose to spoil yourself with a three course meal, you’re looking at twice that amount.

Nothing processes a large lunch better than a walk, so once you’ve had your fill, head down to the many historic sights, including the bapistry and cathedral which is known for incorporating the Romanesque and Gothic architecture, which is very unusual.

The town of Parma also produced Giovanni Verdi and Lamborghinis, as if parma ham wasn’t enough of a contribution to the world.

Milan to Lake Maggiore:

1 hour 39 to Lake Maggiore (105 km)

Travel northwest from Milan and you’ll find yourself on the magnificent Lake Maggiore, the second largest lake in Italy. Located on the southern side of the Alps and surrounded by the Mediterranean vegetation that the mild climate of the area produces, Lake Maggiore is a spot for budding photographers if ever there was one. Fans of Ernest Hemingway might remember that in his novel, A Farewell to Arms, the two lovers were forced to row across the vast Lake Maggiore in order to escape the Italian Carabinieri.

But if you feel that a day trip to Parma, Lake Maggiore or any of the other magical towns around Milan (including Lake Como where George Clooney lives), why not book accommodation with us when you book one of our rental cars? Our ethos for accommodation is the same as for our car rentals, we want you to spend less on the vehicles and accommodation we have to offer and more on exploring the surrounding towns, or enjoying Milan, or however you choose to spend the money you save on a good deal.

Be sure to check out our specials as well, such as our savings of up to 25% off for stays of 5 days or longer at one of our well priced hotels and accommodation. We also understand that when travelling, plans can change spontaneously which is why, under certain conditions, we don’t charge for cancellations. With over 30,000 pick up locations, we’ll be able to reserve a car for you at a company around Milan, for your convenience.

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