Italy is like its cuisine – passionate and vibrant yet simple and rustic. This ridiculously beautiful country is the birthplace of the Renaissance; a country where great minds grove and thrive and home of La dolce vita. Italy has it all: dramatic peaks, picturesque coastal roads, amazing beaches, a vibrant history, arts and fashion, and last but not least, exceptional food and wine.
If fashion is your passion, you can’t pass up the opportunity to visit the capital of fashion and Italian style - Milan. For romantic souls, Venice is a place to be and fall in love with. And let’s not forget about Rome; for those who like digging through history and ruins, Rome is a must visit. And as you know, all paths lead to Rome! The Colosseum, and the Vatican Museum, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona make Rome a capital with the big C.
If wine is your thing, Tuscany is a safe bet, but boy, do you have some serious researching to do, since Italy is home to a broad variety of wines. Vermentino from Sardinia and Tuscany is for those who like it fresh, Barolo’s smell of roses will pair with any dish, but let’s not forget the king – Chianti.
Driving by car in Italy is a real sight for sore eyes, but Sicily and Sardinia – the magic islands with fantastic nature and some of the best cuisines the Italian kitchen has to offer – will take your breath away.
Southern Italy is best known for the spectral ruins of Pompei and the stunning beaches of Calabria. But that’s not all. Alberobello is a place where you will find yourself trapped in a fairytale of Trullo architecture. Sassi di Matera will transport you back to the ancient times. Lecce or the Florence of the South are all places that should be on your bucket list.
For a journey where you'll meet with Leonardo da Vinci 's “Last Supper” or to have a face to face encounter with Michelangelo's famous sculpture of David, it is best to hire a car at the airport. If you’re heading south, car hire at the Naples International Airport will probably be on your itinerary. Northern airports are in Milan, Rome, Trieste, Venice, Genova and many more places.
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Basic info and car hire in Italy
- Location:Southern Europe
- Capital: Rome
- Population: 60.59 million (2017)
- Official language: Italian
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Weather: Very diverse climates. Average temperatures fluctuate around 3 - 6 °C in winter / 21 to 24 °C in summer.
- Holidays in Italy: For public holidays in Italy click here.
- Internet coverage: Numerous places in Italy offer free Wi-Fi. The majority of restaurants, hotels and stores will give you access for free. For more detailed info click here.
- Road conditions: Roads are generally well-maintained.
Driving in Italy
Car hire in Italy is a good starting point. Italy has an excellent network of highways and is one of the most extensive in Europe. However, keep a few things in mind. Italian drivers can be very unpredictable and aggressive, so caution is advised. In most of the major cities, you will find the ZTL sign or Limited Traffic Zone where access is only allowed for certain vehicles and at certain times of the day. Bear in mind that while driving in Italy max BAC level is 0,05%. If you hire a car and are used to an automatic car, it is probably best to request for an automatic when making your reservation.
- Age limits: 21 (In order to hire a car, it is required that the driver has held the license for more than one year).
- International Driving Permit: Yes.
- Additional Papers: A valid ID (passport, a valid driver’s license and a valid proof of insurance).
- Additional Requirements: Warning triangle, reflective vests, first aid kit and hands-free equipment with hearing aid (required if talking on the phone while driving).
- Children in the Car: Children under 3 years must use the correct child seat or child restraint system suitable for their height. Using a suitable safety restraint seat must secure children aged between 4 and 12.
- Driving side of the road: Right.
- Lights: Headlights should be on at all times.
- General speed limits: 50 km/h in urban areas, 90km/h on rural roads, 130 km/h on motorways.
- Parking suggestions: Some city centers (Rome, Florence, Pisa, Milan) may have streets marked with ZTL (Limited Traffic Zone), which means that this is a restricted area and access is only allowed for certain vehicles (or restricted area when ZTL is active). If you hire a car, we suggest you check your parking options.
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What to see in Italy
Our favourite spots
Rome wasn’t built in a day, that’s for sure. Ancient ruins are the first proof of that. Rome is literally covered with Baroque fountains, basilicas, and Renaissance palazzos, which tell a story of its rich history. The biggest challenge you will be facing is what to see first. Numerous cafes and vibrant street life is another thing that will make you feel the La dolce vita vibe.
Venice is an enchanting city built on the water. From numerous wine bars, to Gothic palazzos to vibrant art scene, to pigeons and carnival parties, Venice is one of the world’s most beautiful and romantic cities.
Scenic drives through green vineyards, medieval hilltop villages, cypress alleys and olive groves of this jovial landscape is obligatory. Historic towns such as Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa will take you back in time and bedazzle you, that’s for sure. But trust us, Tuscany is also a paradise for all you foodies out there; a true foodie bliss!
Another postcard material is Sicily, with all its beaches and cultural treasures. This is an island of contractions where turquoise sea and grandiose mountains meet. Stunning architectural masterpieces and unique cuisine make Sicily a true pearl of the Mediterranean Sea.