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Advices for Car Trips through Italy

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53. Despite the fact that local drivers are quite temperamental and sometimes very impatient, there are no rude people on the roads of Italy. It is not common to shout out of the windows and express own displeasure in an aggressive form. Local drivers will surely not tolerate such a behavior from foreigners.
54. Anti-fog lights can be turned on only when the visibility on the road is less than 50 meters. Otherwise, you can be issued rather a big fine.
55. Even if you increase speed on those parts of roads that are not equipped with cameras, your violation is not likely to be unnoticed. The majority of roads are equipped with Tutor radars that fix the time, during which cars move from one camera to another. Therefore, calculating their average speed is not difficult.
56. Foreign visitors should keep in mind that quite often the location of signs is quite unusual on local roads. In many areas they are not installed parallel to the road, but at an angle or even perpendicular to it. Despite this fact drivers should keep moving straight ahead.
57. Do not forget to move carefully on unfamiliar roads. If you pass a turn accidentally, turning back can be very difficult. Many narrow streets simply have no space for a turn, and many roads have only one-way traffic.
58. The maximum permitted level of alcohol in blood is 0.5 ppm (a bottle of beer or a glass of wine). Drivers, who exceed the abovementioned limit, will be issued a large monetary fine and a temporary suspension of the driving license. In particularly severe cases violators can be imprisoned.
59. While driving on a highway, you will see big electronic scoreboards that indicate petrol prices at the nearest gas stations. Experienced drivers prefer filling the tank on small self-service petrol stations (Fai da ate). In this case, there’s a chance to save considerably.
60. Quite an interesting fact – it is much easier to find a free parking place in a small town than in a large city. In small towns, there are usually many free parking lots. Drivers should also note that cars are prohibited to enter central areas of some cities.

Renting a Car in Italy - Recommendations

If you need a car with an automatic transmission, it is recommended to book it in advance. Cars with automatic transmissions are often sparse in Italy, so the rental confirmation may take a longer period.

When selecting a specific model for traveling throughout Italy, we recommend to take into consideration some practical apects. If you are going to drive mostly in the cities, then a car of a small size is preferable, while for long distance trips (and trips in the mountains) we recommend to choose a larger and more powerful car.

Prior your car retrun, please clean the salon from a garbage, and do not forget to take away all your belongings from the passenger compartment.

At the car return time, please ask the officer to make a visual inspection of the vehicle for defects and to sign the acceptance report. Keep the invoice and the acceptance report for next few months.

For a car rental options in Italy, we advise you to check actual offers in the orange search form at the top. We guarantee that you would not be able to find better rates anywhere else!
61. Entering the central part of some cities is paid. On weekdays it will cost approximately 10 euro. It you plan to make frequent rides in the central area, buying a special pass will be more profitable as in this case you can save considerably.
62. Small fines can be paid directly to a police officer right on the road. The officer must give a receipt to the violator. In no case should violators offer a bribe to the police. In this case your fine may increase in many times. In order to pay off a large fine, one should go to one of the branches of the bank.
63. Drivers can calculate the cost of toll motorways by themselves. There is a scoreboard at the entrance of each highway. The scoreboard indicates the “unit rate” (the price per 1 km). Simply multiply the unit rate by the number of kilometers passed, and add 20% (VAT) to the resulting amount.
64. The unit rate is not constant and it depends on the type of a road, its management company and the type of a vehicle. The unit rate of a flat highway for cars can be approximately 0.06 - 0.07 euro.
65. It is very easy to pay for a toll road. Simply overcome a system of entry barriers and get a ticket for the payment (which can be made in cash or by a credit card). Do not enter a highway by crossing a yellow line – this entrance is made for vehicles equipped with an automatic TELEPASS payment system.
66. The payment is made directly at the exit of a road upon the presentation of the ticket received. Highways must be left only through a blue (payment by a card) or white (payment in case) line. Yellow line is for cars with the automatic TELEPASS payment system.
67. Not all local parking lots are available for drivers daily and at any time of a day. If the entrance to a parking lot has a “Parcheggio” sign, then drivers should be especially careful. It is prohibited leave a car on certain hours in a given day of a month or week at such a parking.
68. A refusal of a driver to take a test of the level of alcohol in blood will result in a large fine. The violation can bring the fine from 1.5 to 6000 euro, and cancellation of a driving license for a period from 6 to 24 months. The punishment may also be accompanied by an imprisonment for a period from 6 months to 2 years.
69. Drivers, who received a driving license less than three years ago, have another limit of alcohol in blood. The allowable rate for them is 0.00 ppm. If the test result shows the level that is more than 0.00 ‰, but less than 0.5 ‰, then the amount of the fine will be from 150 to 620 euro. If the level of alcohol in blood will be more than 0.5 ‰, the driver will lose his driving license for a period from 3 to 6 years.
70. It should be noted that local fines depend on the period of time, during which the violation occurred. For instance, during the period from 22:00 to 7:00 the fine for a certain violation of traffic regulations will be approximately 30% higher than the fine for the same violation committed in the afternoon.
71. If you see the «zona traffico limitato» sign on your way, this means that there is a zone that is limited for vehicles. Entering this zone is only possible for an additional fee. As a rule, such signs are located near the central parts of cities and historic districts.
72. If a hotel, in which foreign tourists stay, is located in the abovementioned zone, then entering the area is free. The hotel staff should be informed about the car in advance, so they can report the plate number to the police and add it to the list at the checkpoint.
73. If there is no fine in a couple of weeks after entering the forbidden territory, do not relax. According to local regulations, drivers may be notified of the violations within 360 days.
74. Tourists, who will be traveling on the roads in the Valle d'Aosta region in the period from early October to mid-April, will need to equip their cars with snow chains or snow tires. In the province of Südtirol such a rule operates from mid-November to late March.
75. Drivers are prohibited to use radar detectors. Even a transportation of such a device can be the reason for a fine of up to three thousand euro. The punishment also includes the immediate confiscation of the device, regardless of the fact whether it was used or not.
76. Only a few decades ago usual intersections with traffic lights could be seen everywhere in Italian cities. Today, they have become a true rarity. According to one version, previously a large share of accidents occurred at intersections, so they were gradually replaced by safer areas with a circular motion.
77. Riding a car in major cities of Italy is quite dangerous for inexperienced tourists. After having reached the right place, it may take sometimes a few hours to find a free parking space. Quite often the efforts of inexperienced foreign visitors are simply in vain – there are simply no free parking places in the center of large cities.
78. Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road is considered one of the most picturesque roads of Italy. The road connects the province of Bolzano to the picturesque Austrian Ötztal valley. Tourists, who wish to make a ride in the beautiful mountain area, should remember that the road is available from June to October. Drivers are not recommended to go on a trip in case of adverse weather conditions.
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