If you are coming to Italy on your holidays this summer, then watch your speed, otherwise you will end up on film. This vacation snapshot taken by one of Italy’s speed cameras will result in a fine dropping through your letterbox at some time in the future.
This post also contains information on the ‘Tutor‘ anti speeding system and speed limits for certain sections of Italy’s autostrada.
The term for speed camera in Italy is ‘autovelox‘, and the Italian police use both fixed and mobile speed cameras to check that you are staying within the speed limits. In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about Italian speed limits.
To help you watch your speed, here are some photographs of some of the types of speed camera you will see around Italy.
Driving Rules in Italy
Unclear Speed Limits
Note that speed limit signs in Italy are not always too easy to see. On motorways/freeways you may not be able to see a speed limit sign owing to the presence of high sided vehicles in inside lanes. If in doubt keep your speed at the same level as other traffic, but this is only a general rule.
When the traffic around you slows down for no apparent reason, do the same. Be gung ho and you’ll go sailing past a speed camera or speed check far too fast and the Italian authorities may well end up sending you an extra holiday snap accompanied by a request for payment.
Alternatively, if you ignore the slowing traffic, you may end up htting one of the cars in front of you. As with other major roads around the world, traffic levels in Italy can cause slow downs for no apparent reason. Be patient and after a while the traffic should speed up again.
When driving in Italy, if you see this one armed, hand-less policeman, or something like it, watch out because the traffic police are watching you.
Types of speed camera in Italy
Some way down the road, and the picture above shows a freeway/motorway or autostrada, as they are known in Italy, there will be a traffic cop with a mobile speed camera device. The device may look like this:
However, Italy has other types of speed camera, such as the fixed speed camera shown in the picture below:
Here is another example of an Italian roadside speed camera. These units are often found on all roads in Italy, not just on motorway/freeways:
Also visible in the picture above is a good example of what an Italian road speed limit sign looks like. Watch out for these, because certain sections of motorways in Italy have different speed limits. The reason why the speed limits suddenly change is not always that clear.
Yet another type of speed camera you may encounter in Italy is the variety which hangs beneath autostrada bridges. These cameras are not easy to see when you are driving towards a bridge, although if you see something similar hanging from the bridge in the other direction, it is likely that these speed cameras will exist on your side of the road too – so keep to the speed limit.
These little bridge hung speed camera devices often look like this:
Speed Camera Map – Italy
OK, so now you know what Italy’s speed cameras look like, but maybe you would also like to know where the fixed speed cameras. Well, here is a map of speed camera locations in Italy, but be careful, as it is not clear how up to date it is, although this map was accurate in May 2007, I understand. Once a fixed camera has been installed, it is unlikely to be removed.
Even so, use this map as a general guide only please (speed camera detectors and up to date GPS maps should be more reliable – see the next section for some info on them):
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
For your information, ‘postazione visibile‘ means the speed camera can be seen, whereas ‘postazione nascoste‘ indicates that the speed camera is hidden. The 200km numbers indicate at what position the speed cameras are on the road on which they are located. For example, if the road is from Milan to Rome, and the camera is at 200km, then means the speed camera is 200km from Milan. A1 indicates the route on which the speed camera is located. A map or GPS system will help you identify Italian route numbers.
Where the Speed Cameras Are in Italy?
What you need to know about Italian speed limits
iPhone users might be interested to hear of an iPhone application which can warn you of the presence of speed cameras in Italy- it’s called iSpeedCam Italy, and can be found here for a couple of dollars: iSpeedCam Italy on Apple’s iTunes store.
For everyone else, try Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk for GPS speed camera detectors – but before you buy something, make sure it will work in Italy. Note that the older type ‘radar detectors‘ are illegal in most European countries, and you will be fined if you are caught using one.
GPS navigation systems do sometimes include speed limit warnings and some ‘know’ where the speed cameras are located – but beware – camera positions can change and new speed cameras are being added all the time. Keeping to the speed limits should keep you out of trouble fine-wise.
The Tutor System
One some Italian motorways, the ‘Tutor‘ is operating and what it does is track your average speed over various tracts of Italian highways. The system, which has been in place since 2005, has, apparently, so far been located in accident black spots.
Although I have had a look at the Italian police site sections on the Tutor system, it is not clear just what the consequences are of exceeding what is considered to be the correct average speed for a Tutor monitored tract of highway.
However, it is likely that drivers exceeding average speeds will receive a fine, or that speeding drivers will find a police patrol car on their tails. Note that the Italian police do use unmarked cars too, so slowing down may not help. And it is worth bearing in mind that the consequences of infuriating the Tutor system may not be known until a traffic violation notification drops silently through your letterbox, and such notifications are sent to all corners of the world, most often by registered mail.
A map of the location of Tutor systems can been seen here: Electronic Speed Monitoring – the information is in English.
And before you start chasing that fast moving Ferrari in your Cayenne Turbo, be aware that the heavy footed Italian Ferrari owner in front of you probably has friends in high places. Such is Italy.
Dealing with speeding fines received after a trip to Italy can be complex and fiddly, not to mention potentially expensive.
To help keep you away from the attention of speed cameras, here are the speed limits you need to respect on Italian roads:
General Road Speed Limits
- Built-up and urban areas 50 kph (31 mph) – BUT NOTE: areas in Italy – some villages and towns for example, now have areas with speed limits set at 30 kph (18 mph)
- Secondary Roads 90 kph (56 mph)
- Main Roads 110 kph (68 mph)
- Motorways/Freeways/Autostrada 130 kph (81 mph) – but limits can and do change on different sections of this type of road.
- (Italian Highway code revision July 2010) Motorways/Freeways/Autostrada 150 kph (93 mph) – but only on certain sections. 150 kph speed limit signs will be in place – but do not assume you can travel at 150 kph.
With Trailer or Caravan
- Built-up areas 50 kph (31 mph)
- Secondary Roads 70 kph (44 mph)
- Main Roads 70 kph (44 mph)
- Motorways 80 kph (50 mph)
Motor caravans/Camper Vans more than 3.5 tonnes but less than 12 tonnes
- Built-up areas 50 kph (31 mph)
- Secondary Roads 80 kph (50 mph)
- Main Roads 80 kph (50 mph)
- Motorways 100 kph (62 mph)
Freeway/Motorway/Autostrada Fine Levels
- Up to 147 km/h (130 km/h + 10 km/h + allowing for a 5% tolerance): a 35 Euro fine – no points deducted for holders of Italian driving licences
- Between 148 and 178 km/h (130 km/h + 40 km/h + allowing for a 5% tolerance): a 143 Euro fine and 2 points deducted for holders of Italian driving licences
- Over 179 km/h: fine of 357 Euros, and 10 points deducted for holders of Italian driving licences and licence suspended for between 1 and 3 months.
With a little luck, the information here will help you avoid having a speeding fine drop through your letter box after your vacation in Italy.
Whereas plenty of people do get caught by speed cameras, even more seem to be caught by restricted traffic zone – ztl- cameras in Italy, as my post Speeding, and other traffic fines in Italy with nearly 700 comments will clearly demonstrate to you. Leaning tower town Pisa is a fine hotspot, by the way.
Driving in Italy as an American
The difference in driving norms, road signage, and traffic patterns can be a significant adjustment from the American driving style. Italians are known for their assertive driving behavior, which might seem chaotic at first to someone accustomed to more structured and regulated traffic in the United States.
Understanding the nuances of Italian driving etiquette, such as the frequent use of horns and swift lane changes, can assist American drivers in acclimatizing to the Italian driving experience. Moreover, familiarizing oneself with the local road signs, speed limits, and the prevalence of speed cameras (autovelox) becomes crucial to avoid fines and navigate the diverse terrains, whether in the bustling cities or picturesque countryside.
Driving in Italy: Which Side
Driving in Italy, much like the majority of Europe, follows the right-hand side of the road system. American visitors accustomed to driving on the right side will find Italy’s road infrastructure relatively familiar in this aspect. However, while the driving side aligns with the American system, the driving culture and behavior on the road might starkly differ. Italian drivers display a more assertive driving style, with a propensity for quick lane changes and sometimes fast-paced driving, especially on highways and urban roads. Therefore, understanding the driving practices unique to Italy, despite the shared side of the road with the US, remains essential for a safe and seamless driving experience in the country.
Map of speed camera locations in Italy: Updated information
Accessing updated information on speed camera locations in Italy can significantly enhance your driving experience and help you avoid potential fines. While the accuracy of maps detailing speed camera locations may vary, staying informed about the latest updates can assist in navigating Italy’s roads more cautiously. Utilizing GPS navigation systems or specialized smartphone applications, like iSpeedCam Italy, provides real-time alerts and information about autovelox locations. However, it’s essential to remain vigilant, as new speed cameras can be installed, and existing ones might be relocated. Utilizing these resources as general guidance, alongside observing speed limits and traffic regulations, can contribute to a smoother and law-abiding driving journey in Italy.
You might find this post interesting too: How to Avoid Fines While Staying in Italy
Tips for drivers in Italy
While every effort has been make to ensure the information in this post about speed cameras and speed limits in Italy is accurate, laws change, new cameras are added and new local speed limits may be applied – please bear this in mind.
If you want to help keep this post up to date, you can. Please leave new information in a comment and always add a link to the source of your information as this will help keep this post an accurate and useful resource for those wishing to drive in Italy. Many thanks.