Motorways and tolls in Italy – all you need to know

Motorways and tolls in Italy – all you need to know
Italy is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits throughout the year – and many will be hoping to get behind the wheel and visit many of its amazing towns and cities. But before you set off, make sure you know what to expect when it comes to Italian toll roads.

Like many other countries across the continent, Italian motorways have many toll roads, where you will need to pay to drive on them. This guide looks at what you will need to be prepared for your Italian journey.

If this is the first time that you are driving in the country, the guide on travelling across Italy is a great place to start.

From the roads through the Alps in the north, to the sun-baked seaside towns in the south, to the sprawling cities filled with history and culture – Italy has a lot to offer on your next holiday.

Driving in Italy – what will you need?

Before you get in your hire car, or travel across the border in your own vehicle, make sure that you have these important items and documents with you.

In your vehicle, you will need to have a full, valid UK driving licence, proof of ID (passport), motor insurance certificate, and your V5 registration document. You must also be over the age of 18.

If you are driving your own vehicle, then you will need to have a UK sticker on the rear of your vehicle. GB stickers are no longer used when driving on the continent.

Before you head off, make sure to check out RAC’s European Breakdown Cover, which provides a wide range of benefits should you break down in Italy to ensure you stay safe.

To supplement this, RAC also offers travel insurance. Cover will include medical expenses, baggage, personal money, and belongings, among many other benefits.

In addition to required documents above, travellers in the country are required by law to carry the following items in their car. You will need reflective jackets, a warning triangle, headlamp beam deflectors, and even crash helmets (if you are going to be using a motorbike or moped).

With everything now prepared for your journey – it is important to know the rules of the road.

This guide to driving in Italy explains the keys to overtaking, priority of road users, towing, traffic laws, and so much more.

Finally, make sure that your car is packed for a European road trip – and enjoy your time in Italy!

Where are the tolls in Italy?

Now that you are ready and raring to go – be prepared for Italy’s toll roads.

Below is a map showcasing all Italian toll roads in the country. Many of them are run by different operating companies, so checking your route before leaving and seeing if you will be using any of these motorways is important.

Here is the complete list of motorways that use toll booths:

  • A1: Milan – Bologna – Florence – Rome – Naples
  • A2: Salermo – Cosenza – Reggio Calabria
  • A3: Naples – Salermo
  • A4: Turin – Milan – Venice – Trieste
  • A5: Turin – Aosta – Monte Bianco
  • A6: Turin – Savona
  • A7: AC Milan – Genoa
  • A8: AC Milan – Varese
  • A9: Lainate – Switzerland A2
  • A10: Genoa – France A8
  • A11: Florence – Pisa
  • A12: Genoa – San Pietro in Palazzo, Tarquinia – Rome
  • A13: Bologna – Padua
  • A14: Bologna – Ancona – Bari – Taranto
  • A15: Parma – Spice
  • A16: Naples – Canoza
  • A18: Messina – Catania – Syracuse – Rosolini
  • A19: Palermo – Catania
  • A20: Messina – Palermo
  • A21: Turin – Brescia
  • A22: Modena – Trento – Austria A13
  • A23: Palmanova – Austria A2
  • A24: Rome – Aquila – Teramo
  • A25: Torano – Pescara
  • A26: Voltri – Gravellona Toce
  • A27: Mestre – Pian di Vedoya
  • A28: Portogruaro – Conegliano
  • A29: Palermo – Mazara del Vallo
  • A30: Caserta – Salerno
  • A31: Badia Polesine – Piovene Rocchette
  • A32: Turin – Bardonecchia
  • A33: Asti – Alba, Cerasco – Cuneo
  • A34: Villesse – Slovenia
  • A35: Brescia – Liscate
  • A36: Cassano Magnago – Lentate sul Seveso
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Toll roads in Italy

In total, Italy has 35 motorways that use tolls – and they can vary in price depending on the region, who runs the tolls, length of the road, and what type of vehicle you have.

According to Autostrade, it costs a standard family car around €9 per 100 km travelled on a toll road. Drivers are encouraged to check their official website ahead of the journey to get an exact amount before reaching the motorway.

Vehicles on Italian toll roads are split into 5 categories:

  • Category 1/A: Motorcycles and vehicles with a front axle height of less than 1.3 meters
  • Category 2/B: Motor vehicles with two axles and a height on the front axle exceeding 1.3 m
  • Category 3/C: Motor vehicles with three axles
  • Category 4/D: Motor vehicles with four axles
  • Category 5/E: Motor vehicles with five or more axles

When you are on the motorways, you will need to look out for signs marked ‘Alt Stazione’ – this is where you make the payment at the toll booth. All payments are made in Euros at either a manned or electronic booth – however, they do accept debit cards from other countries.

The normal process for tolls in Italy involved getting a ticket at the start of the journey at one of the booths, and then you pay for it at the end. Alternatively, you can pay via a mobile app subscription or have an onboard/wireless unit that recognises when you pass through a toll, and then you make a payment online. This will be shown with a ‘Telepass’ sign – where you will need to slow to less than 30kmph for the camera to recognise your number plate.

Not paying will result in a fine that can rise to €300. Normally, you have up to two weeks to make the payment.

Another method of payment is through a pre-paid ‘Viacard’ which are available at many shops and gas stations across the country. These are then used at the booths. Most of these cars cost between €25 and €75.

Finally, there is an increasing number of subscription-based suppliers appearing across the continent – known as toll tags. These work in the same way as the on-board systems used in many countries, but saves you from sorting it out in each country, should you be on a European road trip.

These are available with a number of independent companies and can also be used if you are travelling to multiple European countries – most notably Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal.

Italian toll road sign

When you are driving along the motorway, or heading towards one, keep an eye out for the signs that you could be entering a toll road.

Signs for tolls, customs checks, and police roadblocks look almost identical. They will be a red circle with a horizontal black line in the middle. Only the worlding will be different.

‘Dogana’ means customs, ‘Alt Stazione’ is used for toll stations and ‘Polizia’ appears before police roadblocks.

Can you avoid the Italian toll roads?

Many visitors to the country may be looking at the toll roads across Italy as a nuisance, and an extra expense.

However, although it is possible to avoid them – these are the quickest, safest, and most well signposted. Many of them surround the major cities and landmarks – meaning that to avoid them is actually a difficult task.

It is therefore advisable to take the toll roads if they are on your journey to your next destination.

Driving from the UK to Italy

Following months of issues with airports in the UK – and summer holidays ruined due to the ongoing cancelations – many holidaymakers are considering driving to their favourite European holiday destination.

With this in mind, many are looking at getting behind the wheel and driving to Italy from the UK.

There are many benefits to taking your vehicle on your next continental adventure.

With rising costs of air travel and disruption showing no signs of stopping – maybe you could take the family on a road trip through Europe to your Italian destination.

Before you set off, read our European checklist guide to be prepared for all eventualities. Driving in Europe has changed since Brexit, so make sure you take your time and read up on what to expect.

Once you are in the country, check out the best road trips in Italy and see all that the nation has to offer.

Italian road signs and speed limits

Whether you drive through Europe or hire a vehicle once you arrive, there are some important things to consider.

Once you have entered Italy, you will need to familiarise yourself with Italian road signs and be prepared for your journey across the country.

Like the majority of Europe, Italy uses km/h rather than m/ph.

When you are on the roads, always follow the road signs for the right speed, however, the general rule for built up areas is 50-70km/h, outside urban areas are 90-110 km/h, and on motorways the speed limit is 130 km/h.

If you are caught speeding, fines range for €40 to more than €5,000. For more serious offenders, you will likely have you licence revoked and even face time in prison.

Italian police are known for being very active on their roads and motorways – so respect the speed limits and make sure you have all the important paperwork to be driving in the country.

Useful Italian phrases

Finally, before you reach your first toll road in the country, we have put together some useful phrases that you can use at the toll booths.

  • Hello! Do you speak English? - Ciao! Lei parla inglese?
  • How much does the toll cost? - Quanto costa il pedaggio?
  • How far until the next toll road? - Quanto dista la prossima strada a pedaggio?
  • Where is the nearest petrol station? - Dov'è il distributore di benzina più vicino?
  • Where is the nearest hotel? - Dove si trova l'hotel più vicino?
  • How do I get to *location*? - Come arrivo a *location*?

We hope these can help you on your Italian adventure – have a great holiday!

Have you recently driven in Italy? Or maybe you have just come back from holiday where you have found an amazing place to visit? Leave your comments and advice below.

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