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Driving in Italy – Things you should know.

Verona car
Driving in Italy is not for everyone; after all, the Italians do have a bit of a reputation for being a little crazy on the road. But you shouldn’t let that put you off, because with a car you will have more freedom. So, here are a few small pieces of information and tips, to make things a little easier.
Hire a small car.
There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly they are much easier to park, especially in small villages, secondly is the cost of fuel. The cost of fuel has risen sharply in Italy over the last few months, and small cars are much more economical.
Drive like a local.
Drive with confidence; be decisive. If you hesitate, those around you will assume you are letting them go and either go around you, past you, or in front of you. Some will just pass by other will use the horn!
Worry about the car in front, not the car behind. This may take some getting used to for courteous drivers who worry about holding others up, but to Italian drivers this is not a problem as they will just overtake anyway, even on a blind bend.
When you park, make sure you remember to fold in your side mirrors, if you still want them to be there when you return.
Indicators and the flashing of headlights means “I’m going” not “I would like to go”. This continues on the ‘be decisive’ theme, and if a car coming towards you flashes its lights, they are either coming through, or there is a speed trap just around the next bend.
Try and bring, or hire, a GPS with your hire car. This will not guarantee that you will arrive in the right place, but you will have more of a chance. Whenever possible enter the coordinates rather than the physical address, as theses are more accurate. Also, be aware that on windy mountain roads sometimes you are told to turn right when, in fact, it’s a hairpin bend. You should also take the directions with a pinch of salt, if you are told to turn right and the road is a track or has a no entry sign, it is better to use your discretion.
Cars and Taxis near the Arena
Driving in the towns and cities.
The best advice is don’t drive into the centre of historic cities if at all possible. Many cities have ZTL zones (limited traffic zones) which are marked with signs and monitored with cameras. If you enter one of these zones the cameras capture your license plate and send a ticket to the car hire company, so you’ll have to pay.
Parking can be expensive and quite difficult, especially in historical centres. Usually, the larger parks are indicated by a large blue ‘P’ sign on the outskirts. There are also parking spaces with limited waiting times, or those for residents only on the side of the road. Also, check with you hotel about parking spaces and costs, don't assume it's free.


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