Transport in Italy trains, buses car hire information

Italy's Transport System Rail Travel, Buses Car Hire

Italy, Busses In Messina Square 

With so much to see and do in Italy, it can be important for tourists to get around the country in a quick, easy, and relatively simple way. There are a number of means by which you can transport yourself from picture perfect vista to sun drenched coastline with a minimum of fuss and bother.

By train

Travel throughout Europe can be relatively simple by using the continent's extensive rail networks, and Italy is no exception. Train travel is reasonably priced and a lot of the country is crisscrossed by tracks, making it easy to get from A to B.

The national state train system, Trenitalia, is partially privatised and runs most of the trains throughout Italy. A second class ticket will see you travelling in relative comfort, with first class tickets and sleeping berths will cost you more.

Train travel is so commonplace within the country that travel passes and discounts are easy to get, among them the following:

  • Trenitalia's Carta Verde offers a 20% fare discount for 12 26 year olds for one year.
  • Carta d'Argento offers the same deal for those aged 60 plus.
  • A number of rail cards like those available through InterRail allow you to travel for a certain number of days within a restricted time period within Europe. InterRail has no age restrictions and you can ride high speed or sleeper trains, although some supplements for upgrades are payable. For more information see www.interrailnet.com. www.interrailnet.com.
By Bus

Bus travel throughout Italy isn't as popular as travelling by train, mostly because train travel is so cheap and convenient. But buses have their advantages too they can be the perfect way to reach somewhere off the beaten track not covered by the main rail networks.

Where national carriers among them SITA, Autostradale and Lazzi finish their services, regional lines step up and offer smaller, more inaccessible areas. Bus timetables should be available from local tourist offices and travel agencies.

By Car

The main national highways that traverse Italy are called the autostrade. The A1 runs from Milan to Naples, and then changes to the A3 between Naples and Reggio de Calabria on the southernmost tip of Italy's boot. The autostrade is wide, well maintained, and quick, with a maximum speed limit of 130 kilometres (just over 80 miles) an hour. However these roads are littered with toll booths, so if you have a little more time on your hands try navigating the toll free dual carriageways or the strade provinciali, which wind their way through country towns and villages.

To get away from it all and have the freedom and flexibility to forge your own holiday itinerary, car hire is the way to go. All the usual suspects like Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz can be found in major Italian towns and cities. Some of Italy's loveliest landscapes can't be reached by the country's main hubs, and with a hired car the world (or more specifically, Italy) is your oyster.

To hire a car you'll need to be aged at least 21 (and over 25 with some hire firms), and have a credit card, valid driver's licence and passport. Insurance on hired cars is also compulsory.

Citizens of all EU member states can drive in Italy with their driver's licence from home, but to drive your own car you'll need to get an International Insurance Certificate, or Green Card, from your insurance provider. But be warned, the rate of car accidents and thefts is very high in Italy.