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    Car rental in Italy at the best price

    Sharing its borders with six other European countries, Italy is the fifth must visited country and is packed with rich historical, cultural and culinary delights. From the Roman Empire, to the Vatican City, Pompeii to the Sistine Chapel, Italy has so much to offer. From north to south, you’ll find a country full of friendly people, delicious cuisine and crammed full of remnants from famous architects, artists, painters and sculptures. Pick up a car rental in Italy and explore every inch of the mainland. If your car rental supplier allows, you may even be able to head over to one of its islands – Sicily or Sardinia.

    With over 60 years of car renting industry experience, Auto Europe is here to help you plan your car rental in Italy. We have partnered with local, national and international car hire suppliers to provide you with the largest vehicle fleet to choose from – all at unbelievable prices and at various locations. Contact one of our reservation agents and they will guide you through the whole process and provide impartial recommendations.

    What are the most important driving rules in Italy?

    Many cities in Italy have adopted a “Zona Traffico Limitato” (ZTL) – in essence this is a designated zone that limits the traffic entering it to residents and essential services only. These zones are located mainly within city centres and have the sole purpose of reducing pollution, congestion and improving pedestrian safety. Entry and exit points are clearly marked and are electronically monitored.

    Anyone unauthorised caught entering these zones will receive a hefty fine. With any fine being passed on from the car hire supplier directly to you. Entry signs are red and clearly state the times of operation. Generally, ZTL’s are not active on Sundays and during public holidays, but we advise always confirming before entering. Central Rome, Milan, Florence and Pisa, all contain these zones. If you’re staying in a hotel that is located within one of these zones, then your hotel needs to inform the local police of your vehicles number plate. Following are some useful driving rules and regulations for Italy:

    • Cars in Italy drive on the right-hand side and overtake on the left-hand side
    • The legal minimum driving age for Italy is 18. Car rental suppliers can impose their own age restrictions and charge accordingly
    • Whilst driving on two lane motorways, headlights must be dipped
    • Seatbelts are compulsory for drivers and passengers
    • Cars approaching from the right have right of way
    • Yellow high visibility vests must be worn if you breakdown or are involved in an accident
    • It is illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving unless via a hands-free kit
    • Beeping is prohibited in built up areas, unless you’re in danger
    • Blood Alcohol limit is 0.05% for drivers who have held their licence over three years. For those holding their licence less than 3 years then an alcohol blood limit of 0.00% is enforced
    • Petrol stations are available along motorways and in cities. Petrol stations in rural locations may not accept credit cards.

    What to do in Italy

    Italy is a treasure trove of things to see and do, from historical monuments dating back to the Roman Empire, to modern tourist attractions such as Aqualandia. These are our top suggestions for when you’re next in this wonderful country:

    • The Colosseum: The largest oval amphitheatre which was completed in 80 AD needs little introduction. As one of the most famous sites in Rome, the Colosseum is a must see. The Roman Emperor Titus ordered its construction for the sole purpose of hosting public spectacles and gladiatorial events. It is said to have had a capacity of 80,000, including chambers for exotic animals, such as tigers. Make sure you pre-book via their website to avoid queues.

    • Florence Bike Tour: A wonderful bike tour in the city of Florence is a great experience whilst in Italy. This four-hour guided tour will take you through the streets of Florence, its historical quarters and vibrant social districts. With an itinerary that includes Mount Fiesole – to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Tuscan countryside – to the Ponte Vecchio, Brunelleschis’s Dome, Sanata Croce and Michelangelo’s Piazzale.

    • Sistine Chapel: Within the Vatican City, central Rome, you’ll find one of Michelangelo’s greatest works – the Sistine Chapel. This famous Italian architect, sculptor, poet and painter, put his skills to work painting the ceiling of this exquisite chapel which forms part of the Apostolic Palace. This Renaissance building is also famous for the place where new popes are appointed, during the summer months it can become extremely busy.

    • Bologna Food Factory Tour: Italy is the ideal setting for any food lover, and as such a visit to one of Bologna’s food factories makes for an interesting experience. From family run food establishments, to multinational factories, a visit will introduce you to centuries old Italian food preparation techniques. Travel through the Emilia-Romagna’s countryside; savour some balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano cheeses or Prosciutto on this exquisite tour, in which you’ll also be able to take some food home.

    • Teatro Olimpico: Established in 1585, the Olimpico Theatre’s opening act was that of “Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus”. This UNESCO theatre, which is located in Vicenza, north Italy, is one of three surviving Renaissance theatres and contains the oldest surviving stage. The stage itself consists of three-dimensional streets and finely crafted sculptures, all designed to draw you into the magical world of theatre.

    Road trips with my car rental in Italy

    It really is irrelevant what kind of holiday experience you are looking for, Italy has it all and much more for the adventurous amongst us. With collection points at major airports, main train stations and city centres, a car rental for Italy is a logical choice. Discover the “Dolce Vita” - Italian Good Life – by driving leisurely around this magical country. With our one-way rental offers, you can also collect your car in one location and leave it in another, allowing you to explore further.

    • Amalfi Coast: When visiting Italy, the Amalfi Coast should always be high on your list of road trips. This timeless coastline is a UNESCO heritage site and offers postcard perfect picturesque landscapes. Head to Positano and take a glimpse of the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, or just spend a lazy day wandering through the town and savouring the local Italian cuisine.

    • Central Italy: With idyllic landscapes, historical monuments and quaint villages, a drive through central Italy is both a relaxing and pleasant experience. Take your vehicle to Lazio Sabina, or head to Stelva Pass and admire everything the Alps has to offer. For nature lovers, consider a drive through the beautiful Tuscan region. Lose yourself in the lush rolling hills and exciting wildlife.

    • Northern Italy: From north to south, Italy is a country full of contrast. Explore the city of Milan which contains the Duomo di Milano and is the seat of the Italian Stock Exchange. If you’re looking for something more leisurely, then consider the beautiful Lake Como or Lake Garda. A drive from Veneto to Lake Garda, passing through numerous Italian towns, is perfect for those wishing to discover exactly what north Italy has to offer. For something extra special, head to Venice, one of Italy’s most visited cities.

    • Italian Islands: The Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia are a world onto their own. If you’re looking to experience a traditional southern Italian laid back way of life, then these two islands are perfect. With hot summers, golden sandy beaches, an abundance of history and great Mediterranean food, you’ll return home with a craving to return to these islands for more.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in Italy?

    You have to have a minimum age of 18 to legally drive in Italy. If you’re planned to rent a car in Italy, car rental suppliers can impose their own age restrictions and charge accordingly. In general, drivers under the age of 25 may have to pay a young driver surcharge upon collection of their vehicle.

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car hire in Italy?

    Italy has multiple toll companies operating many of its tolled motorways. This makes for a rather confusing toll system with varying payment styles. Toll amount is determined by the total distance travelled, and it is safer to always carry cash as not all toll roads accept card payment. A good alternative would be to opt for an electronic toll pass – Telepass or ViaCard. The e-toll is registered to your bank account, with the amount being deducted accordingly once you pass through the e-toll lane. You simply attach the provided transponder to your vehicles windscreen before you travel. For more information on e-tolls visit autostrade.

    A bit of History

    The history of Italy is extremely divided and complex, with a united Italy being relatively recent compared to other European countries. For numerous centuries, many Italian cities functioned as city-states, each with their own taxes, foreign policies, alliances and laws. Many city-states, however, such as Venice, Florence and Genoa, where so successful that they grew into powerful maritime traders, acquiring extreme wealth.

    During this era, many city-states had skirmishes for local resources. Culturally the city-states weren’t too dissimilar from each other, which ultimately helped to create a united Italy. A particular period of unity was under the Roman Empire – which saw Rome conquer much of Western Europe and spread as far as the Middle East and North Africa. The Roman Empire flourished, gained dominance over the Mediterranean and ultimately influenced European culture, language, legal systems, social infrastructures and politics.

    Like many empires, the Roman Empire eventually fell in the 5th Century. But the influence over European society didn’t end there. Throughout the centuries Italy provided us with the Renaissance period, and played a major part in shaping European arts, architecture, poetry, food and music. With the invasion of Napoleon in 1861, a new unification movement came to light and in 1870 much of modern day Italy united into the Kingdom of Italy.

    During the First World War, the Kingdom of Italy joined the central European powers against the allied forces and played an active role throughout. The Kingdom of Italy however was short lived and eventually it was overthrown by the dictator Mussolini. Under Mussolini’s guidance, Italy again played an active role in World War Two on the Axis side. Mussolini’s reign eventually came to an end with his assassination in 1945.

    In 1948 a new constitution was created and Italy has till present day remained united. Currently, Italy is a local and global power, part of the Eurozone and an active European Union member. Italy has the third largest GDP in the EU and is a member of NATO, G7 and G20, amongst others. Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations boasting the most world heritage sites.

    What is the currency in Italy?

    Italy is in the Eurozone and has adopted the Euro as its currency. If needed, currency exchange bureaus are available throughout many cities and at airports or seaports. ATMs can also provide euros however be aware of additional charges imposed by your bank.

    What time zone is Italy in?

    Italy’s time zone is GMT +1 for the mainland, the island of Sicily and Sardinia. Daylight Saving Time applies from March to the end of October.

    Which are the most common phrases in Italy?

    When visiting Italy it is always nice to know some basic phrases. This will more than likely be welcomed by locals. Here are a few common sentences to learn:

    Hello - Ciao
    Good morning - Buongiorno
    Good afternoon - Buon pomeriggio
    Good evening - Buonasera
    Where is the closest police station? - Dov'è la stazione di polizia più vicina?
    Where is the closest hospital? - Dov'è l'ospedale più vicino?
    Where is the closest ATM machine? - Dov'è il bancomat più vicino?
    Where is [location]? - Dov'è [location]?
    Can I pay by credit card? - Posso pagare con la carta di credito?
    Can I pay by debit card? - Posso pagare con la carta di debito?
    How much does this cost? - Quanto costa?
    Thank you - Grazie
    Keep the change - Tenga il resto

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in Italy?

    Electrical volts in Italy are 230 volts, at 50 cycles per second. The sockets are type C, F and L. Depending on your country of origin, an adapter may be required.

    Do I need a visa to travel to Italy?

    If you have EU citizenship a visa is not required for Italy. You will however be required to carry on your person at all time’s a valid identification. This cannot be in the form of a driving licence. Please contact your consulate before travelling for further information and up-to-date advice. Consular help should also be available whilst in Italy from your home countries consulate. If you are a non-EU citizen, please contact your consulate for visa advice.

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