DRIVING in ITALY TOOLS

Driving in Italy: rules, requirements, license, road signs...
Important things to know before take a motorway in Italy: driving in Italy for tourists.
This article is written by Laura: an Italian girl who works in a motorway service area (on the A4 Milan - Venice).

italian motorway

One of the questions that often tourists ask her when they stop in the rest area is:
How to pay for the motorway in Italy?
Other questions are:
  • How does Italian motorway work? (Italy tolls roads cost.)
  • Which is the Best Way to Pay Autostrada Tolls?
And other useful tips.
Below you can read her suggestions...



Driving in italy which side?

Always Right as in America and all over Europe except in England and its colonies where you drive to the left.

Italy autostrada speed limit

On the highways: 130 kilometers per hour, down to 110 in case of bad weather.
On the main extra-urban roads: 110 kilometers per hour, down to 90 in case of bad weather
On secondary and local roads: 90 kilometers per hour
In the city the limit is 50 kilometers per hour; 70 in some sections expressly indicated.


Driving in Italy license and requirements


EU Member States license


You can drive with your driver's license.


Patent of non-EU countries


Foreigners with an extra EU license may travel in Italy for up to 1 year, BUT need and official translation to show with the license.
Translation can be made:
  1. By a professional translator and asserted with an oath made in front of a judicial or notary chancellor.
  2. Consulate with the signature of Consular Officers legalized in the Prefecture.

How does Italian motorway work?

Driving in Italy road signs

Foreign people can have difficulties to understand how to use Italian highway.
The mechanism is quite simple but payment can be complicated, or rather, can be tricky to figure out which tollbooth to choose.
Italian highway
When you enter in every Italian highway you'll find some tollbooths.
Follow the other cars that lined up in a lane.
Choose one that you want except the tollbooth indicated "Telepass".
When you are in front of a lowered bar, look to your left, find a red button... push it and take the ticket.

IMPORTANT: Keep the ticket until the exit! If you loose it you must pay the full amount from the origin to end of the highway. Quite expensive.
Now enjoy your trip... but remember... speed limit is 130 km/h.


take the motorway ticket


Head to your destination by driving smoothly.
When you decide to quit, you just take the first exit on the right.
Every highways exit has at least one tool where you can pay. You pay directly on the highway before leaving it.

Driving in Italy rules

Best Way to Pay Autostrada Tolls?



The only way guaranteed to be trouble-free is to pay cash. This is my tip.


For full information I tell you that:
There are different tollbooths that provide different payment methods (credit card, cash,Viacard, Telepass...).
Choose the payment system that you prefer and take the right tollbooth.
Every of them has a different sighboard, visible in the distance, indicating the payment system.
Let's see...

italian road signs
Italy road signs


BEST CHOISES n.1 or 2:


1 — CASH + OPERATOR (white sighboard) when you see a picture representing a hand and some coins it means that in this line you can pay by cash and there is an operator inside the tool.
I recommend this alternative for those without experience. Give the ticket, taken at the beginning of the highway route, to the clerk. The amount (the total of what you have to pay) will be displayed next the clerk window. Give the money to the operator and when the bar is raised, you are free ;)


TIP: Have some coins ready too. They appreciate not getting a €20 for a €0.80 toll.


2 — AUTOMATIC PAYMENT by Cash a picture with coins only (white sighboard): here you can pay by cash but the payment is automatic. There is not an operator.
Insert the ticket in the slot and your amount will be displayed. Than insert the money in the slot (one dedicated only for banknotes and one for coins only).
IMPORTANT: If you choose to pay by cash remember to bring with you enough coins and small banknotes (max 20 euros).


3 — TELEPASS (yellow sighboard): do not take it! It is a subscription using from Italian people that take the motorways almost every day in order to speed up the payment mechanism. Only those who have paid for this subscription and received a detector, to be placed on the windshield, can use this lane.


4 — CARTE (blue sighboard): here you can pay by credit cards. It accepts the principal cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners).


FIRST step: Insert the ticket in the machine where it is indicated and your amount will be displayed.
SECOND step: insert the credit cards where it is indicated.


Simplifying: put the ticket, put the credit card, take the card, go. It doesn't ask for a PIN number.


In CREDIT CARD line you can also pay by Viacard.
What is a Viacard? It is a pre-payed card of 25 or 50 euros that you can buy in the rest areas along the motorway. You can use it in the same way of credit cards. The amount will be deducted.
PAY ATTENTION: do not go into a closed lane! The open tollbooths have a green traffic light while those closed have a red traffic light.


What to do in case of payment problem?


In case of problems, visibile in the toll, there is a red button for to call an operator.
If nobody reply to you... don't worry, some minutes later the tollbooth opens automatically and the machine will issue a ticket indicated the information about your car and the amount that you must pay.
IMPORTANT: You have 15 days for pay the amount. You can also pay the motorway ticket on-line, in the post offices, by bank transfer or in a "Punto Blu".

What a Punto Blu is? It is an office of assistance for problems concerning the motorways. You can find them along the highway, in the cities or sometimes in the rest area.
Find "Blue Point" near you on the map, and click it to see the detail information. Here the map: Italy blue points motorway.


REST AREAS IN HIGHWAY


About every 25-30 km along the principal highways and a little bit more along the others there is a rest area with toilettes, a bar, a market and sometimes also a restaurant.
The averange prices are quite expensive, but you can find almost everything you are looking for.


How much does the italian highway cost?


You can get detailed driving directions, fairly realistic times, and estimated costs (fuel and tolls) for travel throughout Europe from: www.viamichelin.com


Another website with useful information for traveling on Italian motorways is this:

Best Way to Pay Autostrada Tolls


  1. The easiest way for most first timers is to just pay with euros
  2. Best and most easiest is to use a manned booth - so look for the toll sign above the booth showing the outstretched hand holding money. 
  3. Be very very careful not to go in a Telepass lane.
I hope these tips could be useful for you. When you will take a break in a rest area, look for a blond girl called Laura...

She works there (on A4 motorway), in the store at the cashier's desk, and probably she will be explaining to a foreign traveler how to pay the motorway ticket 😉

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