Italy has an excellent selection of autostrade (A) (motorways), the main north-south link being the autostrada del sole, which links Milan with Naples in the south of Italy. Speed limits on motorways are 130kph (81mph), while on non-urban highways it's 110kph (68mph). In built-up areas it's 50kph (31mph). Motorways are tolled, so travellers on a budget might prefer the strade statali (SS), which are often fast, multi-lane carriageways that are toll free. Strade provinciale are perfect for exploring Italy's hidden countryside.
By law, both driver and passenger must wear their seat belts, if fitted, or face an on-the-spot fine. Speeding and driving through a red light also incur fines. Car lights must be switched on at any time on autostrade and strade statali. All those not in possession of an EU licence must carry an International Driving Permit alongside their national licence.
The minimum age for driving a car is 18. You must carry proof of insurance; a Green Card is useful, but not compulsory if you're bringing your car from within the EU.
Automobile Club Italia (ACI) (tel: +39 06 491 115; www.aci.it) can provide further information on driving in Italy.