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At a glance: With the caravan and motorhome in Italy
At a glance: With the caravan and motorhome in Italy

At a glance: With the caravan and motorhome in Italy

Good to know, traffic rules and special features

Author: Freeontour, Photos: Etrusco, iStock

Travelling to Italy

Entry requirements for German nationals

German nationals require a (provisional) passport, a (provisional) identity card or a child’s passport to enter as a tourist for up to 3 months.

Travelling to Italy with children
If you are travelling with friends under the age of 18, you do not require a letter of consent from the legal parent of guardian. To avoid problems in cases of emergency, we recommend you carry an officially certified letter of consent for children under 15 years of age. 

Travelling to Italy with pets 
Dogs and cats that are younger than 3 months old and have still not received a rabies vaccination cannot travel with you. Otherwise, dogs require an EU pet passport with, among other things, veterinary certification that the animal has received an anti-rabies vaccination, with the first vaccination at least 21 days prior to arrival, and a microchip. Dogs must be on a lead no longer than 1.5 metres and you should have a muzzle with you which can be required in certain public spaces. Cats also require a microchip or tattoo that is clearly legible and pre-dates 11.07.2011. A maximum of 5 pets per person is allowed, otherwise the rules for animal trade apply.

The most important traffic regulations for motorhomes and caravans in Italy

Speed limits on Italian roads in km/h

      Urban areas      Non-urban areas     Dual carriageway      Motorway
      50     90     110     130
Car and trailer      50     70      70      80
Motorhome up to 3.5 t GVW      50     90     110     130
Motorhome exceeding 3.5 t GVW  
      50     80      80     100

The fine for exceeding the speed limit can be over 1,300 Euros, depending on the speed.
Fines should be paid locally if possible, because payment outside Italy will incur an additional fee. 

Drink-drive limit in Italy

This is generally 0.5 ‰. The limit for drivers who received their driving licence within the last 2 years and drivers under the age of 21 is 0 ‰.

Driving licence and vehicle registration documents for the holiday in Italy

To drive a motorhome or car with caravan in Italy you require your national driving licence and the vehicle registration document Part 1. A green insurance card is also recommended.

Car child safety seats

Children under the age of 12 or 150 cm tall must be secured using a restraint system appropriate for their weight and height.

High-visibility vest requirement on Italian motorways and main roads

In the case of a breakdown or accident outside urban areas, the driver must wear a reflecting high-visibility vest if he leaves his vehicle, e.g. to put up a warning triangle and is present on the carriageway. If this is done by a passenger, he is subject to the high-visibility vest requirement. Non-compliance costs at least 35 Euros.

Telephoning while driving

You are only allowed to use a telephone with a hands-free set. Non-compliance does not only result in a fine, an immediate driving ban is also possible.

Parking in urban areas in Italy – ‘No-drive’ zones

Coloured markings on the side of the road indicate where you can park in Italian urban areas:

  • White = free parking
  • Blue = parking disc or paid parking at certain times of day (parking tickets available at a ticket machine, often requiring the car registration number)

  • Yellow = reserved for taxis and buses
  • Green = no parking on workdays at specific times in some towns
  • Black-yellow = no parking

Disabled motorhome or caravan drivers can park in spaces marked with the wheelchair.

Many towns and communities have blocked off their (historical) centres to tourist vehicles or allow only very limited access. These areas are signposted as ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato). Unauthorised vehicles are not allowed access or have limited access only during specific times.

Requirements for marking overhanging loads in Italy

Loads overhanging the back of the vehicle must not extend by more than 3/10 their total length, and must be marked by a red-white reflecting metal or plastic warning sign (50 cm x 50 cm).

Additional information for caravan and motorhome drivers in Italy

Petrol stations – opening times and payment

Motorway petrol stations are open 24-hours and are not allowed to strike.
The majority of the others are open from about 7 am to 1 pm and between about 3 pm and 10 pm at the latest. You can pay using Euros, by credit card or EC/bank card, or after-hours at a self-service machine, although many of these only accept cash, not bank or credit cards.

Tolls in Italy

You must pay a toll to travel on the majority of motorways in Italy. Italy has a route-dependent toll system, which means that you are charged according to the actual number of kilometres you drive. The toll can be paid at toll stations, which accept either cash, cards or the toll box Telepass. The Telepass is a small appliance, which is attached to the interior of the vehicle and automatically opens the toll station barriers. There are often lanes reserved at toll stations specifically for Telepass holders - these are marked with a “T”.

The Telepass has another advantage on the new Autostrada 36 at Milan, which has a new fully automatic toll system called Free Flow. This system records of the number plates of the vehicles passing through. However, the drivers must ensure that the toll is paid themselves by, for instance, registering online, otherwise they face large fines. But you are on the safe side with the Telepass on Autostrada 36 because it records these toll fees as well, so you don’t need to worry about registering separately.

Non-Italians can find out more using the link Telepass (Source: tolltickets GmbH)  

Toll according to vehicle category 

The toll rate depends on the length of the route and the vehicle category:

  • Category A: Vehicles with two axles and up to 1.30 m height (measured at the front axle)
  • Category B: Vehicles with two axles and exceeding 1.30 m height (measured at the front axle)
  • Category C: Vehicles and those towing trailers with 3 axles
  • Category D: Vehicles and those towing trailers with 4 axles
  • Category E: Vehicles and those towing trailers with 5 or more axles
  • Double-axle vehicles count as 2 axles.

There are also additional toll charges for tunnels, passes and the Brenner motorway (Austrian side toll for the route; Italian side a separate toll charge). In Milan, Bologna and Palermo, you need to buy tickets to enter traffic-restricted zones in the city centre.

Main roads – avoiding tolls the attractive way

If you want to avoid a toll road, you can enter this into your navigation system (avoiding toll roads). This will cost you more time but takes you through the beautiful Italian countryside, and shows you a much more attractive side of the country than the ring of industrial areas found around the majority of the larger towns and cities. 

Caution cyclists! 
If you fancy swinging yourself onto your bike, then you will find you are joined in many places by the locals at the weekend. Often perfectly styled, they travel alone or in groups along the country lanes with sporty racing bikes. Cycle paths are still few and far between, but are on the increase. When cycling in tunnels or at night outside urban areas you must wear a high-visibility vest. Wearing a bicycle helmet is compulsory for children up to the age of 14.

Important addresses and telephone numbers for holidaymakers in Italy

European emergency number: 112
With this central emergency number, which can be dialled using a landline or a mobile telephone without a dialling code, you will receive assistance from the local police, fire brigade, an emergency doctor or ambulance. Generally, you will also have access to an interpreter via this number.

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