A Complete Guide to Driving in Italy

by - Friday, May 10, 2013

Italy has produced some of the best cars the world has ever seen, from the Ferrari to the Maserati, as well as some of the best racing drivers. Therefore, it makes sense that the roads that line the country’s spectacular countryside and mountainous regions should be one hell of an adventure to drive on! A road trip of Italy’s best roads is a holiday in itself, however if you’ve never experienced Italian drivers, then there’s some things you should know before you embark on your motoring vacation.

You might not need the skills of a Formula One driver, but you’ll certainly need your wits about you when taking on the bends and corners of Italy. The inner cities offer a great driving experience, with amazing architecture, sights and smells to keep other drivers occupied, and speeds down to a minimum. However once you leave the cities, and travel on the motorways up into the hills, you’re likely to see a change in driving styles.

Driving Styles

Skillful, aggressive and fast. Three words that are used to describe Italian drivers all over the world, and for your own wellbeing, it’s best to respect them as well as the roads you’re driving on. The driving norms in Italy are completely different to the norms of any other European country, and it’s nothing unusual to see late breaking, lane hopping and high speed tailgating.

Furthermore, never expect another driver to slow down for you in Italy. Instead of holding up the traffic and aggravating the other drivers, why not just accept the norm, seize the moment and react swiftly. Go for the gap in the traffic as soon as you see it, however remember to keep your wits about you, because no matter where you holiday, there will always be one or to maniacs on the road. Be sure to search for Italy car rental if you need a car on your holiday.

Road Etiquette

When it comes to driving in Italy, it’s the unwritten rules of the road that create the motoring etiquette. For example, if you were to flash your lights at another car in England, it would mean that you’re giving way to the other driver, or giving permission for the pedestrian to cross the road. However in Italy, it means the exact opposite. Flashing your lights means ‘don’t get in my way’, or ‘I’m not stopping, so don’t walk in the road’, and surprisingly, approaching cars will even flash you if there’s a police check up ahead!


Parking in Italy is always a headache, not only because there’s minimal parking space, but the cities are always so busy. The traffic wardens are also great at their job, and their extremely efficient at towing away cars that violate the rules of the road. Parking on blue lines means you have to get a ticket from the parking meter, so make sure you always have some change on you. You don’t have to pay these charges to park at night however, with rules only being enforced between 8am and 8pm.

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