Mainland Italy is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea and shares borders with six other European countries. Being the 5th most visited country; Italy provides plenty of beauty, which comes in the form of varied landscapes, friendly people, culture and undeniably delicious cuisine. From north to south, including its islands, the country has much to explore and do. Why not pick-up your car hire in Italy and take a road trip through this majestic country, where history is around every corner.
Auto Europe is a car hire broker with over 60 years industry experience. Through its large partner network of known and trusted brands, Auto Europe provides a large selection of vehicles to choose from. With pick-ups at airports, train stations and many city centres, finding the perfect solution for your holiday is easy. If a motorhome is your preferred option, then we are also able to provide this, and much more, such as luxury car hire and even a chauffeur service. Contact us today to find out how we can help
Many Italian cities operate "Zona Traffico Limitato" (ZTL) zones. These are designed to reduce congestion and cause less pollution. There are heavy fines if you drive into one of these zones without authorisation, with fines being generated automatically once you're caught on camera. The zones are clearly marked with a red circle, with the applied time restrictions directly underneath. Sometimes you will also see a crossed hammer next to the times indicated, this means that the ZTL isn't enforced on Sundays or Public holidays. It is generally advised to not drive within city centres as sometimes you may not realise you are entering a ZTL until it's too late. Popular Italian cities with ZTL zones include Rome, Milan, Pisa and Florence. If you happen to be staying in a hotel within the ZTL zone, the hotel in question should report your licence plate number to the local police. It is also recommended to keep your hotel receipt for future proof that you had reason to be within a ZTL area.
Following are some useful things to be aware of whilst driving in Italy. For more information, please visit our driving in Italy page.
Italy has much to offer those adventurous souls amongst us. Simply collect your car rental in Italy from one of the airports, main train stations or city centres, and take to the open road to discover the true Italian "dolce vita". Rome is an ideal place to set off from and with our one-way option, you may collect in one location and drop off at a totally different one.
If you wish to explore Italy's scenic landscapes, then a drive towards the UNESCO Amalfi Coast is a great option. Drive up to Positano and visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral or just spend some time in town admiring the local architecture. This coastline is not to be missed.
Explore central Italy, its idyllic landscapes and historic areas with a drive to Lazio Sabina or head towards Stelvio Pass and take in the wonderful views of the alpine. If you love nature, greenery and beautiful rolling hills, then a trip through the Tuscany region is a must. Lose yourself in this romantic region of Italy. A road trip from Veneto - Lake Garda, is perfect for those wishing to explore the north of Italy. On your way, you can stop off at Venice, one of the most visited cities in Italy. If islands are high on your agenda, then Sicily is the perfect place in which to discover southern Italy and take on all the island living has to offer.
There are endless road trips options to choose from. For further information pay a visit to our road trips in Italy page for inspiration!
The minimum age to drive in Italy is 18 years old. In order to rent a car in Italy, you must have held your driver's licence for a minimum of 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 may be subject to a young driver surcharge. For more information about driving a car hire in Italy, please see our driving information guide.
There are many toll roads in Italy, which makes the Italian toll system somewhat confusing to understand and not very streamlined. Each individual route section is monitored by a different toll company. The toll amount depends on the distance travelled. You can pay by credit card in some but not all places, so it is better to ensure that you also always have cash available for paying. An alternative would be to register for a Telepass or ViaCard. A Telepass is a small transponder that attaches to the inner windscreen of your car. It is then linked to an Italian or non-Italian bank account of your choosing. Once activated you simply pass through the toll booth using the Telepass or ViaCard lanes. More information on specific routes and associated toll costs can be found here.
Italian history is long, complex and marked mainly with periods of division. For many years, numerous cities functioned as individual city-states, with their own laws, taxes, culture, foreign policies and alliances. Some, such as Venice, Florence and Genoa even emerged as very powerful trading hubs. During these times, war and skirmishes were often the case between city-states as many competed for vital resources. It wasn't until they started to unite, that Italy as a whole began to flourish.
One such period of unity was under the Roman Empire. This period saw the Romans conquer much of Western Europe and the Mediterranean, influencing Europe's culture, language, legal system, politics and societies until present day. During the 5th century the Roman Empire fell into decline and eventual collapse. Italy still contributed much to the modern western culture and ideology. The Renaissance period emerged from within Italy and over time spread all over Europe, drastically shapping western culture.
After Napoleon's invasion, in 1861 a unification movement emerged and by 1870, much of what we know now as modern day Italy was unified. The Kingdom of Italy took on an active role during World War I. However, the Kingdom did not last long and was eventually overthrown by the dictator Mussolini - whom in turn also took Italy into World War II. Eventually through its involvement in the war, the public became very discontent and the end of the dictatorship swiftly followed with the assassination of Mussolini. By 1948 a new constitution came into effect and a unified Italy found a new purpose. Nowadays, Italy has the third largest GDP output in the Eurozone, a high level of life expectancy and is both a regional and global power. Italy is part of the EU, NATO, G7 and G20, amongst many others. As a testament to its cultural heritage, Italy has the most world heritage sites of any nation and is one of the most popular destinations to visit.
Italy is part of the Eurozone and, therefore, the currency used is the euro. You are able to exchange your currency for euros at any currency exchange bureau, which can often be found at airports or main train stations. You may also be able to withdraw cash (euros) from any of the local ATMs that can be found throughout the city centre. Credit cards may be accepted as a form of payment in some locations, however we would advise you to check the fees with your card provider beforehand.
The time zone in Italy is GMT +1, making Rome one hour ahead of London, for example. This time zone also includes Italian islands, such as Sicily and Sardinia. Daylight Saving Time applies to all of Italy, from the last weekend in March to the last weekend of October.
Hello - Ciao
Good morning - Buongiorno
Good afternoon - Buon pomeriggio
Good evening - Buonasera
Where is the closest police station? - Dov'è la stazione di polizia più vicina?
Where is the closest hospital? - Dov'è l'ospedale più vicino?
Where is the closest ATM machine? - Dov'è il bancomat più vicino?
Where is [location]? - Dov'è [location]?
Can I pay by credit card? - Posso pagare con la carta di credito?
Can I pay by debit card? - Posso pagare con la carta di debito?
How much does this cost? - Quanto costa?
Thank you - Grazie
Keep the change - Tenga il resto
The electrical voltage in Italy is the same as in the UK, 230 volts alternating at 50 cycles per second. However, wall sockets are different from those used in the UK, so you will need an adaptor if using British appliances. The adaptors used in Italy are type C, F and L.
Italy is part of the European Union and, therefore, British Citizens do not need a visa to travel there. Should you need assistance from the consulate during your travels, please see below for the location of the British Embassy in Rome.
British Embassy Rome
Via XX Settembre 80/a
00187 Rome, Italy
Telephone: +39 06 4220 0001
Italy is a country like no other, offering so many cultural and scenic delights that visiting only one destination simply won't do it justice. By booking a campervan in Italy you can maximise your time in this beautiful country, making your way from Lake Garda to Tuscany, then Rome and all the way down to Sicily in the south, for example. Auto Europe offers a great selection of vehicles and pick-up locations, including Rome, Milan, Pisa, and Palermo.