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Europe >> Italy >> Getting around in Italy

Getting around in Italy

By Air

Milan, Rome, Bergamo, Verona, Genova, Pisa, Venice, Florence, Naples, Turin, Palermo and Bari all have domestic airports. Air travel is on the expensive side but is fast and reliable.

By Road

The Italian superhighway or autostrada has an extensive network: be prepared for hefty toll rates. You could purchase a Viacard, which is an automatic toll card that saves you the trouble of looking for change every time you hit a toll post. There is a system of minor highways that fall into the categories of ‘national’ (strade statali), ‘provincial’ (provinciali) and municipal (communali) that are toll free. Driving in some cities though, is hardly for the faint hearted!

Drive on the right. Keep to the speed limit. This is the home of the fiery scarlet racecars, and Italians aren’t too happy trundling at 90 kph when they could be zipping at 110! At many gas stations business stops on Sundays and pauses at siesta time everyday and most don’t accept credit cards. 113 is the phone number for the highway police and ambulance. 116 will get you towing and repair services.

Buses have an even more extensive network than the railways. They are swift and efficient.

By Train

Eurostar trains are the fastest of the Ferrovie dello Stato services. Intercity (IC) trains are fast as are Eurocity (EC) trains. Interregionale trains are slower and trains marked Regionale are local trains serving only a single region. The network is extensive and trains are a popular mode of transport in Italy. That makes prior reservations almost mandatory. You can book up to 2 months in advance and do get the date of travel endorsed on the ticket before you get into the train. Italian Rail Passes and Eurail passes are accepted but since tickets are relatively inexpensive anyway, these are not all that cost-effective.

By Waterways

You can reach the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Ponza, Capri and Elbi by ferry and can even transport your vehicle across the water on these. The mainland lakeside towns of Como, Garda, Iseo and Maggiore are also connected by ferry service.

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