Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Italy

Getting authority to drive in Italy won’t be much of a problem if you’ve already got a license from any EU member state, since these are valid across the European Union. Others who don’t, will need an international driving permit or a translation of their own license. The minimum required age is 18 years old.

Drivers drive on the right and overtake left, with trams and trains having the right of way at all times.

When in two-lane motorways, make sure you’ve got dipped headlights on. When on three-lane motorways, the rightmost side is primarily for the slower vehicles as well as those that intend on overtaking. Blowing horns is prohibited when driving through towns and villages, except in cases of emergency. Take note that seatbelts for front and rear seated passengers is required by law. Those caught not complying with this requirement can be fined by authorities on the spot. All motorcycle drivers are required to wear helmets as well.

Take note of Italy’s speed limits for all vehicles with an engine size over 150 cc:

  • Urban areas: 31 mph or 50 km/h
  • Minor Out of town roads: 31 mph or 50 km/h
  • Major Out of town roads: 68 mph or 110 km/h
  • Motorways: 81 mph or 130 km/h

The speed limits for motorways change when there’s rain or snow, in which case it would be 110 km/h. Trunk roads will observe a limit of 90 km/h under the same circumstances. These speed limits are regulated and enforced by speed cameras positioned across the country’s roads, so always keep them in mind. Also, sometimes the speed limits change between areas, so be on the lookout for speed signs and follow those.

Motorists are also required by law to keep the following equipment when driving in Italy: safety triangle, spare tires, reflective safety jacket, and a fire extinguisher. In case of emergency or when stopping in the night or when the visibility in the area is poor, drivers are required to put on the reflective safety jacket.

Green cards are ideal for those from abroad who intend to be driving in Italy. They’re valid between 15 and 45 days, and can be used as your insurance policy, which is required by law.

Like most European jurisdictions, driving under the influence of more than 0. 5g/liter of alcohol is illegal. Remember not to rely on your GPS too much. Many motorists have ended up lost because it’s common to find two separate towns or villages with the same name in Italy. Bring with you a map and be sure to ask around if you’re planning to go from one place to another, just to make sure you’re heading the right direction.

For easier and less stressful driving in Italy, try driving on Sundays. Trucks aren’t allowed on the road on Sundays, so it’s easier to get through the motorways.

You can also get more information about driving in Italy with the local car rental company, should you plan on renting a car while you’re in the country.

Summary

The minimum required age is 18 years old.
Drivers drive on the right and overtake left.
Dipped headlights are required on motorways.
Blowing horns is prohibited when driving through towns and villages.
Seatbelts for front and rear seated passengers is required by law.
The speed limits for motorways change when there’s rain or snow, in which case it would be 110 km/h. Please be aware of this.
A safety triangle, spare tires, reflective safety jacket, and a fire extinguisher are required in your vehicle at all times.
Driving under the influence of more than 0. 5g/liter of alcohol is illegal.

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