Milan‘s Ecopass congestion charge, or congestion fee, is going to be put on hold between the 2 and 24 August 2008, Milan’s Mayor Moratti has recently promised. Note that this promise has not yet been turned into an official change in Ecopass policy.
This means that those coming to Italy who wish to visit Milan by car will probably not have to worry about how and where to pay this charge.
Be wary, though, of camera controlled areas in the centre of Milan that may well still be restricted to traffic, Ecopass or not.
If you do decide to spend a couple of days in Milan, and you stay in a hotel in the central part of the city, do remember to ask the hotel staff to report the details of your car, rented or not, to the local traffic authorities. This should help you avoid receiving a nice little fine some time later after your vacation here.
This temporary suspension of the Ecopass is a good idea, seeing as Milan is generally deserted in August, so traffic pollution levels will be at a minimum anyway, and not having to worry about these passes may encourage a few tourists to drop in, and maybe check out the vibrant night life down in the Navigli – Canal – area, which is just south of Milan city centre.
Nice move Mrs Moratti!
Milan’s Ecopass also took a break in 2009, for information, please see this post: Milan’s Ecopass on Holiday
Update: Milan’s Ecopass was officially suspended for most of August 2008 – the reason given by Milan’s official responsible for Mobility Edoardo Croci was that traffic levels in August are lower than in other months.
Source: Press Release, in Italian, from Milan Council: Ecopass sospeso dal 2 al 24 agosto – Translation: Ecopass suspended from the 2 to 24 August 2008