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, but from 14 years up you are permitted to drive a moped under 50cc (for which you don't need a licence). Up to 125cc you must be 16 years or over, and for above this you need a motorcycle licence. EU nationals taking their own vehicle will need an International Insurance Certificate, also known as a Carta Verde (Green Card), issued by your car-insurance company. Automobile Club Italia (ACI) (tel: (06) 491 115; www.aci.it) provides further information.