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Driving in Italy Sardinia and Sicily

Italy - Winning nation of the 2006 World Cup football

Key rules, regulations and things to know

Driving: Drive on the right and overtake on the left.

Speed limits: Built-up-areas: 50km/h ( 31mph) - Open Roads: 90/110km/h (55/68mph) - ,motorways / Autostrade : 130km/h (80mph) as in France The speed limits are lowered by 20km/h in wet weather on both dual carriageways and motorways

There is an excellent road network in Italy that makes driving from one end of the country very easy in a day, however it is a shame to rush if you don't have to when there is so much to see on the journey.

Seat Belts: Seat Belts must be worn at all times in the front and rear of the vehicle. Children are only allowed in the front passenger seat if they are at least 12 years of age or they are in a suitable child restraint.

Drink and Driving: Blood alcohol limit is 0.05 More information Here This is now a very low limit and it is best not to drive

Drink Drive laws in Italy Update. Italy Magazine's March 2009 edition reports that the new Codice della Strada (The Highway Code) has stated that if you drink more than three glasses of wine or more than one brandy you will not pass Police alcohol tests. Apart from having the driving license suspended up to a year, the vehicle can also be confiscated and sold by the state. Note taking the above paragraph into consideration this cannot be correct if 50 mgs is equivalent to one glass of wine a driver would be way over the limit with the amounts quoted in red above.

Warning / Emergency Equipment: A reflective vest is also complusory (like in France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Spain).

Mobile Phones: The use of a mobile phone in a car is only allowed if you either have a hands free kit or headset. However as in many countries many motorists ignore this rule and risk a fine. Don't risk using one as you can receive a heavy fine in most countries and more important cause a serious accident.

Take care in city centres like Florence and Rome. There are now charges for non authorised vehicles - similar idea to London congestion charge and because of inter-European co-operation the fines can be sent to the owners home, so foreign registrations will not help you. When you rent a car remember your credit card details are held in case the car hire company has to deduct payment for parking offences or fines.

Parking: Parking is generally on the right hand side in Italy. Parking is in blue zones where a disc is often needed. These can generally be bought at Service Stations and operate in most towns. Other areas have ticket machines in the street and traffic wardens monitor the tickets displayed on the vehicle.

Disabled Parking: The Blue Badge is recognised in all European countries - More information Here

Headlights: No full beam lights allowed in built-up area. During the day dipped headlights are compulsory when you are driving on motorways, dual carriageways and on all out of town/village roads.When driving in a tunnel, lights must be used and there a lot of those in Italy. However as many visitors to Italy will know a lot of motorists do not bother using their lights, particularly on a very hot bright summer day.

If you are on a motorbike, you must use dipped headlights during the day as it is compulsory on all roads.

Fines: Fines are issued on the spot. The police can impose the fine and collect a quarter of the maximum fine and they must give a receipt for the amount of the fine paid. Make sure that you get an official receipt from the police officer collecting the fine.

Police: Above left Municipal Police and right Arma dei Carabinieri

Toll Roads: The majority of the motorways on Italy are subject to tolls which can be paid by cash, credit cards and an Autostrada card - Telepass.

Motorways in Italy (Autostrade per l’Italia): The Italian motorway (Autostrade) network do not have large distance signs showing the number of km to the next town or city or major cities like Roma, Milano etc on the motorway like in many other countries.

They do have much smaller signs in the central reservation which are much harder to read, even if you are travelling in the fast lane. There are numerous signs up warning of radar speed traps, however the maximum speed that you can drive legally is never shown as it so well marked on the motorway system in France for example. The service stations do cater for the hot weather by having carports for cars parked in these rest areas which is very sensible. Visit the site here

The free motorways have white on blue signage opposed to green on white on the toll roads and also show the speed limits.

In Sicily the signage is in green and white - Most are free, however the A20 Messina - Palermo and Messina - Catania have sections of toll road.

Speed Cameras: Speed camerals will be found on most motorways and also on major and minor roads. The boxes on the roadside are a similar size to those in France. There are overhead cameras on the Autostradas and usually there are warningh signs before the motorway.

In Sicily from the editor's personal experience in May 2017 there are not too many and there are a lot of them on the dual carriage way linking the motorway (Autostrade) either side of Palermo.

Road offences between Italy and France - Riviera Radio Daily News reported on the 8th January 2016 that a new measure has been introduced concerning road offences in France and Italy. Both countries will work together and as of the 1st of January all French motorists who commit a driving offence in Italy will receive a fine by post at their French address. The same will apply to any Italian motorists fined in France.

Winter Tyre Requirement: Recommended during the winter months due to unpredictable weather conditions and that even happens in Sicily!

Automobile Club d'Italia -(ACI)- to enter the site, click on the image above left

Part Source: Holiday Autos | Economy Car Hire

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Information from holiday autos about Italy

Italy is traditionally associated with romance, opera, and passionate cooking. The hills of Rome and Florence are dwarfed by a mountainous peninsula, the Alps and Dolomites. Mainland Italy is also renowned for Vesuvius which is still an active volcano. Unless you are skiing, the best time to visit is during Spring and Autumn when the temperatures are best for travelling between places of interest. .

Driving a hire car in Italy is not for the faint-hearted but driving is the best way to discover the real Italy. Take in some opera, wine and architecture and don’t be afraid to toot your horn – its rude not to. Cheap car rental is the best way to see the country and our guide will give you some great ideas of where to go in your car hire. Book cheap car hire in Italy today - we've great rates all year round.

car hire in Rome - Rome. A giant, outdoor museum. Do not forget your camera. Wherever you go there’ll be something to snap. The Colosseum, Vatican City, Spanish Steps - the list goes on. Book hire car in Italy and drive to the famous town of Assisi. Had enough of churches? Live it up with the rich and famous on the Almafi Coast.

top driving tip - Be careful in Rome. The traffic lights are turned off after midnight.

Book car hire in Italy -Sicily - Sardinia here

Car hire at Palermo's Falcone-Borsellino Airport

Sanremo - Italian Riviera - Italy If you are staying in the South of France and feeling like taking a day trip into Italy Sanremo is a perfect place to visit.

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FACT FILE — Italy — Italia:

Italy is an art lover's paradise and the works of beauty can be seen in its many museums and art galleries, ranging from the art of the Roman Empire to the masterpieces of Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Rome the capital city (known as the eternal city) has always been inspiring for travelers.There are many more beautiful cities to be seen — Florence, Naples, Milan, Siena, Genoa, Pisa and Venice -the queen of the Adriatic.

Italy offers fine beaches bordering on to the Adriatic, Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian sea. The mountains of the Appenine range forming the backbone of the country and the Alps to the north (for winter sports). It also has a lake district (Como, Maggiore and Garda) and the pleasant scenery of the olive groves and the river valleys.

Currency: — Euro (€) Currency Conversion Here

Electricity Voltage: 230V European 2 prong round plug

Population 2006: 58,1034,033

Land Area: 301,230 Km2

Telephone Country Code: + 39


Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Corsica and separated from Corsica by the Strait of Bonifacio. The landscape is very similar to that of Corsica — mountainous. The principal towns are Calgari, Sassari and Olbie. The temperature is very similar to that in Italy and Corsica — good all year round Mediterranean climate.


Sicily is located just southwest of the Italian mainland . It has a total surface area of 25.460 sq. km, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean basin.

Around it lies a number of smaller islands: to the north the Aeolian islands and Ustica, to the west the Egadi, and to the south the Pelagie islands and Pantelleria, making a total surface area of 25.708 sq. km. Sicily boasts around 1.000 Km of coastline, mostly rocky in the north and sandy in the south.

The landscape is varied, prevalently mountains and hilly, but with an expanse of plains around Catania. In the eastern part of the island Mount Etna (about 3.330 m) is Sicily's highest mountain, the whole of which is a protected area within a national park. Still active, it is the biggest volcano in Europe. Along the north coast, from east to west, lies a stretch of the Peloritani and the Nebrodi and Madonie Mountains, some of their peaks reaching 2,000 m.

The Capital City is Palermo (below)


Source jmlvillas.com - (some of this information has been provided by jmlvillas.com clients)

Sanremo - Italian Riviera - Italy If you are staying in the South of France and feeling like taking a day trip into Italy Sanremo is a perfect place to visit.Article Here

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Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card. We have driving guides for those countries marked in red below (plus other non EU member European countries).

Austria - Belgium - Bulgaria - Cyprus - Czech Republic - Denmark - Estonia - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Malta- Netherlands - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden

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Drink Drive Laws - Examples of what can be drunk at present

It is not a lot and in some countries even to drink the glass on the right would be breaking the law if you drove afterwards in others a sip would be too much see "Wine" below

"Wine - even a sip will send you over the limit and invalidate your insurance in Parkistan, Cuba, Indonesia, Romania, Jordan and Nigeria, according to Rhinocarhire.com which produces a comprehensive guide." The A to Z of car hire - The Independent - August 2010

See this guide for further information

Finally, Don’t forget your excess cover and buy it before you set off

Excess charges could cost you up to £1,000 or more. Protect yourself by organising your insurance4carrental car hire insurance before you head to Europe.

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Other Country Information Guides

Driving in Austria

Driving in Belgium

Driving in Bulgaria

Driving in Canada

Driving in Croatia

Driving in Cyprus

Driving in The Czech Republic

Driving in Denmark

Driving in England

Driving in Europe (with detailed country guides)

Driving in Finland

Driving in France and Corscia

Driving in Germany

Driving in Gibraltar

Driving in Greece and the Greek Islands

Driving in Holland

Driving in Hungary

Driving in Iceland

Driving in Ireland

Driving in Israel

Driving in Italy Sardinia and Sicily

Driving in Jordan

Driving in Lebanon

Driving in Liechtenstein

Driving in Luxembourg

Driving in Malta and Gozo

Driving in Mexico

Driving in Monaco

Driving in The Netherlands

Driving in New Zealand

Driving in Northern Ireland

Driving in Norway

Driving in Poland

Driving in Portugal

Driving in Scotland

Driving in Slovenia

Driving in South Africa

Driving in Spain The Balearrics and The Canary Islands

Driving in Sweden

Driving in Switzerland

Driving in Turkey

Driving in United Arab Emirates UAE

Driving in The UK - England - Scotland - Wales & Northern Ireland

Driving in the USA

Driving in Wales

Worldwide Driving Guides Index

Driving Abroad - Advice from FCO — Foreign and Commonwealth Office




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