Italy - AA Travel Hub
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Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe.


Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and has a largely mediterranean climate; due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). With 61 million inhabitants, it is the 4th most populous EU member state. Italy is a very highly developed country and has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth-largest in the world.[14]

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Speed Limits

Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers: In built-up areas 31mph (50km/h), outside built-up areas 55mph (90km/h) on ordinary roads, 68mph (110km/h) on dual carriageways and 80mph (130km/h) on motorways.
Newly qualified drivers must not exceed a speed limit of 55mph (90 km/h) outside built up areas (62 mph (100 km/h) permitted on motorways) for three years after passing their test.

Licence / Insurance

Driving licence: Minimum age at which an Irish licence holder may drive a temporarily imported car and/or motorcycle (over 125cc or with passenger) 18. All valid Irish driving licences should be accepted in Italy.
Motor Insurance: Third-party compulsory.


Unleaded petrol (95 and 98 octane), diesel (Gasolio) and LPG is available. No leaded petrol (lead substitute additive available). Petrol in a can permitted. Credit cards accepted at most filling stations; check with your card issuer for usage in Italy before travel.


The EU standard for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm.

Road Car Car Towing Caravan/Trailer Additional Information
A1 7.80 10.50 Bologna – Firenze
A1 14.60 20.00 Milano – Bologna
A1 15.80 21.60 Roma – Napoli
A1 17.60 24.20 Firenze – Roma
A1 54.70 74.90 Milano – Napoli
A10 2.90 3.80 Genova – Savona
A10 14.10 26.90 Savona – Ventimiglia (French border)
A11 7.20 10.10 Firenze – Pisa Nord
A12 8.20 12.00 La Spezia – Livorno
A12 11.20 15.70 Genova – La Spezia
A12 14.00 19.90 Genova – Viareggio
A12 16.40 23.40 Genova – Livorno
A12 25.90 35.60 Livorno – Roma
A13 2.40 3.30 Bologna – Ferrara
A13 4.40 6.10 Ferrara – Padova
A13 6.80 9.30 Bologna – Padova
A14 4.70 6.50 Bari – Taranto
A14 5.00 6.80 Bologna – Ravenna
A14 9.40 12.80 Ancona – Pescara
A14 13.80 18.90 Bologna – Ancona
A14 22.70 31.00 Pescara – Bari
A14 27.40 37.40 Pescara – Taranto
A14 51.70 70.70 Bologna – Taranto
A15 14.60 20.80 Parma – La Spezia
A16 19.00 25.80 Napoli – Bari
A18 3.70 7.40 Messina – Catania
A20 11.30 33.20 Messina – Palermo
A21 6.30 8.70 Piacenza – Brescia
A21 7.00 9.30 Alessandria – Piacenza
A21 8.20 11.10 Torino – Alessandria
A21 15.90 21.40 Torino – Piacenza
A22 6.00 8.40 Verona – Modena
A22 6.20 8.50 Trento – Verona
A22 10.20 13.80 Passo del Brennero (Austrian border) – Trento
A22 22.00 30.10 Brenner Pass (Austrian border) – Modena
A23 7.30 9.80 Udine – Tarvisio (Austrian border)
A24 16.50 21.70 Roma – Teramo
A25 20.10 26.40 Roma – Pescara
A26 5.20 7.00 Genova – Alessandria
A26 16.10 21.80 Genova – Iselle (Swiss border)
A27 7.80 10.60 Venezia – Belluno
A28 0.00 0.00 Portogruaro – Pordenone
A29 0.00 0.00 Palermo – Mazara del Vallo
A3 4.10 5.70 Napoli – Salerno
A30 5.60 7.80 Caserta – Salerno
A31 10.10 13.90 Vicenza – Trento
A32 11.90 21.90 Torino – Tunnel du Frejus (France)
A33 8.70 16.20 Asti – Cuneo
A4 2.80 3.90 Padova – Venezia
A4 3.70 5.10 Brescia – Verona
A4 4.90 6.70 Verona – Padova
A4 6.30 8.70 Milano – Brescia
A4 11.40 15.60 Venezia – Trieste
A4 13.90 18.10 Torino – Milano
A4 18.70 25.90 Milano – Venezia
A5 21.50 32.40 Santhia – Aosta
A5 23.50 35.60 Torino – Aosta
A6 11.90 17.60 Torino – Savona
A7 4.30 6.00 Milano – Tortona
A7 10.10 13.90 Milano – Genova
A8 3.20 4.30 Milano – Varese
A9 3.90 5.30 Milano – Chiasso (Swiss border)
Stelvio Pass 10.00 10.00 Seven day pass
Other Requirements

Seat belts: Compulsory for front / rear seat occupants to wear seat belts, if fitted.
Passengers/Children in cars: Children travelling in foreign registered vehicles i.e. in a UK registered vehicle, must be secured according to UK legislation.
Lights: Use of dipped headlights during the day compulsory outside built-up areas and during snow and rain / poor visibility. Rear fog lights may only be used when visibility is less than 50 metres or in case of strong rain or intense snow. Lights must be switched on in tunnels.


Drinking and driving: If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.051 per cent or more, severe penalties include fines, confiscation of vehicle and imprisonment. Professional drivers and drivers with less than three years driving experience, the alcohol limit is zero, it is prohibited. A person can also be tested for narcotics.
Fines: On-the-spot. Fines are particularly heavy for speeding offences. The police can impose the fine and collect 1 quarter of the maximum fine, and must give a receipt for the amount of the fine paid. Fines for serious offences committed at night between 2200 and 0700 hours are increased by one third, serious offences include speeding, going through a red light etc. Illegally parked vehicles can be clamped or towed away and a fine imposed.


Any vehicle with an overhanging load (e.g. carrying bicycle at rear) must display a fully reflectorised square panel 50cm x 50cm which is red and white diagonally striped, a fine may be imposed if the sign is not displayed. This also applies to vehicles such as cars/caravans carrying bicycles at the rear. This board can be purchased from most caravan / motor home accessory shops.
Tolls are levied on the majority of motorways.
In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger.
The transportation or use of radar detectors is prohibited. Violation of this regulation will result in a fine between 803 and 3212 Euros and confiscation of the device.

Travel Advice

Entry Requirements

Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Italy. However, you do require a valid passport, for the duration of your stay in Italy.

Local Laws & Customs

Practical advice

  • Read the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice, inform yourself before travelling and get advice locally when you arrive
  • Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them
  • Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.


Visitors to Italy should be aware that alcoholic spirits are usually sold in significantly larger measures in bars and restaurants than in Ireland.

Whilst Italians will normally drink wine with their meals, there’s a cultural taboo and intolerance regarding public intoxication and in particular anti-social behaviour as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

Public Conduct

In cities such as Florence and Venice, you should observe notices regarding public conduct. In certain areas, near churches and in some piazzas, eating and sitting on steps or monuments is forbidden. Churches and other places of worship, including St Peters’ Basilica, require visitors to dress modestly.

Getting married in Italy

All Irish citizens wishing to marry in Italy must obtain a nulla osta (a certificate of freedom to marry). More information on how to apply.

European Health Insurance Card

The Department of Foreign Affairs advise you to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel to Italy. This card replaces the E111 form and entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Italian nationals. In case of emergencies, you can go to any Pronto Soccorso (Accident and Emergency Room) free of charge. If the hospital believes that it wasn’t a real emergency, it may charge a small fee.

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance and doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature.

You can apply for an EHIC online at

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Emergency contact details

Police: 112 or 113
Ambulance Service: 118

Contact the Embassy

If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Rome.

If you phone outside of working hours, leave a message giving:

  • Your name
  • The nature of your problem
  • Where you are now
  • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

They regularly monitor these messages and one of their staff members will be in contact with you.

How they can help you

Irish Embassies have a lot of experience helping Irish citizens who run into problems when they’re abroad. Learn more about the kind of emergency assistance they can offer you.


Practical advice

  • Read the Department of Foreign Affairs Know Before You Go travel guide for useful security tips when travelling abroad
  • Get advice locally about areas of risk and security concerns
  • Take common-sense precautions about safety and security
  • Know who to contact in case of an emergency

Social unrest

The political situation in Italy is reasonably stable but public demonstrations occur frequently, especially in the centres of major cities where tourists are likely to find themselves.

They are usually well organised and rarely, if ever, turn violent. However, you should avoid them and exercise common sense if in the vicinity of large public gatherings.

Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.

Italy on Instagram

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