Driving in Italy


New member
When I was in Italy years ago, I remember driving to be a harrowing experience! I didn't drive, but the man we hired was a crazy person on the road and it seemed that most drivers were a bit crazy as well. The speeds were extremely fast and of course, not speaking Italian, I couldn't read any of the signs.

I don't believe I can afford to hire a driver anymore... but I'd like to be able to move about if I could.

I'm a lot older now and less of a dare devil... is it difficult to drive in Tuscany and south?



Well-known member
Driving in Tuscany is not that difficult and generally people drive a lot slower due to the Tutor system on the autostrade (motorways) and the installation of many speed cameras.

However, Florence poses 2 problems the ZTL (no entry zone for cars unless they have a permit) and the Circonvalazione (inner city ring road) which can get a bit hairy during rush hour.

Further south is another issue. The traffic around Rome can be terrible especially on the GRA (outer ring road). In the centre the problems are indisciplined drivers, the poor quality of the roads (potholes etc) and finding parking. Naples is another story - best avoided if you are of nervous disposition!


Well-known member
Driving Tuscany


So much has changed over the many years that I have lived in Tuscany - and I would love to say that the crazy driving was one of them :p

However, they aren't as crazy as they first appear. Personally, I think it just "feels" like they are wild drivers. I have spoken to enough Italians to hear them tell me that the States (for example) is a madhouse on the road. :rolleyes: Just remember, these are their roads, they know how to read the traffic signs and when you are talking about drivers for specific zones or areas, they know the roads like the back of their hand.

In any case, if you are looking to enjoy the Tuscan backroads you will find that they are panoramic and in good condition. Drive slow(-er) if it makes you feel more comfortable - believe me, if they want to pass you, they will find a way.

As for the south, my experience has been a bit harrowing (and I say that with a smile). If I could avoid driving south of Tuscany, especially from Rome and down, then I would! There are so many organized and private tours with professional drivers that it just makes sense to let them do all the navigating. Professional drivers in Italy are called NCC - and they go through a pretty rigid test to have the right to drive you around, so I think you will find them to be pretty safe.

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise