Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.
For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.
Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat – Italians love their cars and driving whether it's on a flat, fast motorway or a challenging, winding Tuscan back road.
However, the Italians' love of speed can be deadly and Italy has one of the highest road death tolls in Europe – 6.1 per 100,000. The capital Rome is rated as the worst European city for traffic accidents. In 2014, the Italian government declared the national road toll "an emergency".
The SS 106, the highway spanning the Ionian coast from Reggio Calabria to Taranto, is among Europe's most dangerous roads. And this little beauty pictured below, the Stelvio Pass in the Alps, is one of the most dangerous roads in the world. For obvious reasons, it's best to back off the throttle and take it easy.
Contributing to the road toll is the fact many Italian drivers speed and may cut you off or act aggressively. Trucks, even the 18-wheeler kind, exhibit the same behavior. Be prepared, allow extra room for emergency maneuvers, and resist the temptation to follow suit.
Other contributing factors:
Like any major city around the world, traffic in Rome and Naples can be heavy with many drivers disobeying the road rules. Avoid the temptation to follow suit, as some Italian highways have automated ticketing systems that will also fine rented cars for offenses such as speeding.
Another thing to watch for when driving in the city is zona a traffico limitato or ZTL. These are reduced traffic zones designed to ease congestion and pollution in city areas. If you are photographed driving into a ZTL, you will receive a fine.
As with most major cities, congestion is bad during rush hour, in popular places such as Florence, with one-way streets and restrictions, it's not much better the rest of the day. Parking can be a challenge, too. Drivers will fill any spare space, so if you plan to hire a rental, make sure it has insurance to cover possible dents and dings.
If you are driving around in the major cities, do so with caution especially when approaching pedestrian crossings. They are everywhere and not all are marked with a flashing light. Throw in the confidence of the Italian locals who will walk out even with traffic going by and you can see how some folks end up being a part of the annual road accident stats.
The legal drink driving limit in Italy is 0.05%, so watch how many vinos you have at dinner. However, if you have less than 3 years' experience, your limit is 0.00%.
Be careful while walking around town, pedestrians make up many of Italy's road fatality statistics. Pedestrians and cyclists often hit or are hit by scooters and cars.
Traffic will speed by without stopping, offering few safe chances to actually cross the road. Motorbikes or mopeds, which are very popular in Italy, do this as often as cars, buses and trucks. Because sidewalks can be narrow, it's tempting to walk in the road. Don't.
The cultural approach taken by Italians to crossing the road is to wait for a gap in the flow of cars and start crossing. Watch the locals and follow their lead. Some nominally one-way roads let buses travel in the opposite direction, so you should still look both ways before crossing.
Carjacking often occurs in Catania, Sicily, and break-ins at gas stations and rest stops are common.
Ignore anyone who tries to flag you down to point out a flat tire, even if it's true: he or she will try to rob you once you stop. Try to keep driving to the next rest or gas station and get assistance there.
Never leave the car unlocked, lest you are looking for someone to relieve you of your luggage and if you have valuables with you, never leave them in the car or in full view of potential thieves.
Fire Brigade 115
Highway code: www.aci.it
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.
What are the most common scams happening in Italy? Here's how to avoid rip offs, con artists and scammers on your trip.
Despite the language hurdle most travelers face in Italy, it's an easy country to visit, even if you've never been outside your home country before. Here are a few things handy to know before you step out of the airport.
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.Get a quote