Tips for Driving on the Auto Strada

By: George Adelman
Mature man behind the steering wheel of a car with a mobile phone on the dashboard. Cropped shot of a businessman driving the car. Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

The Autostrada refers to various roads forming the national motorway in Italy. With a length of 6,758 KM, the magnificent road system is mainly built on tollways. The motorway system has been constructed quite efficiently and allows for a speed limit of 130 km/h for cars. The speed limit is lower for other vehicles, though.

There are a couple of driving tips that everyone should know before considering driving in Italy. The following tips might come in handy if you are planning to go on a drive on the Autostrada:


Toll Booths

There is a ticketed toll system on the Autostrada. In order to drive here, you need to enter via a toll booth and exit through a toll booth as well. The important thing to remember here is to collect the ticket at the entrance from the toll and present it at the exit. If you do not have a ticket, you will be charged a certain amount of money.

In order to get the ticket, all you have to do is push the relevant button on the ticketing machine and wait for the ticket to come out. Another important point to note here is that you should not drive into the tele-pass lane. This lane is only for the ones who receive a ticketing bill every month. If you enter this lane, you might later receive one too!


Toll-Free Roads

There are a few toll-free roads which you can take on the Autostrada. These routes will take you through the countryside, however, so it will take longer than usual to reach your final destination. But on the plus side, you will save all of your toll money. Another con of taking a toll-free route is that there are a lot of turns along the way, whereas the highway is a straight road, which is more convenient.

Moreover, if you do not know your way around the toll-free routes, the chances are that you will get lost. This will not only be unsafe, it will also cost you a lot of gas.


Follow the Road Signs

The signs available on roads are very important for directions. If you follow the path to the green signs, you will be led to a route with tolls. However, if you choose to follow the blue signs, you will be led to a path without tolls. The road signs can be pretty confusing, so make sure you do a little research before driving on the Autostrada.


Watch Out For Roundabouts

Aerial view of single car in traffic circle, summertime, Reykjavik, Iceland. Image shot with a drone.
Getty Images / Ragnar Th Sigurdsson / ARCTIC IMAGES

The roundabouts can be super confusing. You will find around five to six exits at one roundabout. If you make the wrong turn, you will have to drive several kilometers before circling back.


Petrol Stations

Beautiful girl stopping with her car at the fuel pump
Marisa9 / Getty Images

The petrol gas stations in Italy work a bit differently than the ones you may be familiar with. They use a two-tier pricing system for gas, which means that if you fill up more gas than the required limit, you could get charged a lot more extra!

Driving on the Autostrada is not such a bad experience. You might make a couple of rookie mistakes along the way, but that is how you will learn. Just keep the above tips in mind in order to avoid any problems.