Traveling in Italy
Italy is well-connected to the rest of the world via air, as well as by land and sea, with cars, trains, buses and boats large and small making their way to the Peninsula.
Moving within Italy is easy: flights between both principal and smaller cities run daily, if not more frequently. Rail networks extend over 15,000 km (9, 321 mi) and evenly cover the entire country, as do the autostrade, freeways and state highways, allowing drivers and passengers to reach every angle of the “Boot” with speed and ease. Frequent and rapid ferry lines travel between the islands and all the principal coastal and port cities.
Italy’s touristic reception conforms to International standards, but also offers the passion and hospitality for which Italians are known.
The Italian high-speed rail network allows moving easily throughout the peninsula and to reach various Italian cities comfortably in just a few hours, taking advantage of numerous on-board services such as free Wi-Fi, catering service, assistance for the disabled, unaccompanied children’s service, pet and bicycle transport.
You can plan your tourism or business trips by choosing among the more than three hundred daily connections available from the two companies which operate in Italy: Trenitalia and Italo Treno (NTV).
General rules for driving
Driving licences issued by any of the EU Member States are valid throughout the European Union, including Italy.
Drivers with a licence issued by any EU country do not require an international driving permit or a legal translation of their own licence.
To drive in Italy, you must be over 18. Keep right and overtake on the left. Dipped headlights must be used on two-lane motorways. When driving through towns and villages, the horn may be sounded only in the event of an emergency. Trams and trains have right of way.
The use of seatbelts in both the front and rear seats is compulsory, and failure to keep them fastened may result in fines for both drivers and passengers. On three-lane motorways, the lane on the right is reserved for slow vehicles and vehicles that are not overtaking. At crossings, vehicles approaching from the right always have right of way. Seatbelts must be fastened both in the front and the rear (provided the vehicle is fitted with them). Fines may be issued on-the-spot to drivers and passengers stopped by the police and found travelling without their seatbelt fastened.
Mopeds below 150cc may not be driven on motorways under any circumstances. Helmets are compulsory to drive all motorcycles and mopeds, whatever the engine size.
Bevagna, Jewel of Italy
Strategically positioned in the center of Umbria, not far from the region’s major centers of touristic interest, the Medieval village of Bevagna (Province of Perugia) is distinquished for its abundance of monuments, the quality of its historically-artisanal products, and for its sought-out enogastronomic traditions.
Not only, but it is surrounded by its old city walls, in part recalling traces of the Roman Age, and it expresses its own special cultural and recreational vitality. All these aspects have long made Bevagna an ideal destination for Italian and foreign visitors alike that come here seeking authenticity, well-being and the good life.
Its delicious cuisine, and the genuineness of its high-quality products blend with the environmental beauty and pristine landcape, to create a pleasantly-healthy and wholesome place.
The variety of the historic and architectonic monuments from the Roman epoch, those Medieval (even more powerful and striking), and those from the 18th Century, leave travelers content to have found a locality that allows them to live history on a daily basis.
All this is further exalted by the artisan workshops offering excellent goods, made according to ancient techniques and valorized by expert local artisans: products and techniques that they proudly display during Bevagna’s historic event, the Medieval “Market of the Gaite,” a festival of contests between the town quarters.
Yet all throughout the year events celebrate village life, highlighting the particular creative and artistic vein of Bevagna’s inhabitants.
Bevagna, small as it is, is in any case a grand jewel of a city, where every guest is received with a sincere welcome by its inhabitants, who love showing off their hometown.
Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy; in its northwest, it is located between France and Switzerland. At its core are its majestic peaks (the region is, after all, mostly mountainous). Here we can find the highest peaks in the Alps: Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc, which at 15,781 feet is the highest mountain in Europe, the roof of the old Continent.
Those who are not familiar with mountaineering can use the comfortable, yet thrilling, cable car; catch it just a few miles from Courmayeur, one of the most important ski resorts in the world.
In this setting of stately mountains and diverse valleys sits the oldest National Park, the Gran Paradiso, where it is still possible to see animals in their natural habitat – ibex, chamois, eagles and marmots live in vegetation that changes according to the surrounding environment.
Historically, the Aosta Valley has been viewed as land of contact and conjuncture between Italy and France; such is also reflected in its official bilingualism and its special status as autonomous region. The great modern tunnels of Gran San Bernardo and, even more so, those under Mont Blanc – extraordinary engineering masterpieces that run to France – highlight even more clearly this aspect of intersection between Italy and the rest of Europe.
Tuscany is located in central Italy and stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Its landscape, artistic heritage and stand-out cities – first among them Florence – make Tuscany an unquestioned protagonist of international tourism. In this region, nature has many different facets, starting from the coast that alternates long and sandy beaches, like the Versilia beach, with rocky cliffs and steep headlands. The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, a crystal-clear sea and rich seabeds, are peerless.
You can admire sceneries of uncontaminated nature in the Apuan Alps and in several protected areas, such as the Orbetello Lagoon, home to many species of migrant birds, including pink egrets.
However, the most typical sceneries of the region are those that merge the beauty of nature with the millenary work of man. The amazing Gulf of Baratti and the sites of Vetulonia, Vulci and Pitigliano guard necropoli and vestiges of the Etruscan civilization, while Roselle and Cosa evoke memories from the Roman Age.
Medieval villages, historical towns, castles and defense systems, country churches (the so-called pievi) and beautiful abbeys, like the one of Sant’Antimo, are scattered all over the territory and their profiles stand out in the landscapes of the Crete Senesi, Orcia Valley, Garfagnana, Chianti and the Maremma.
Finally, Tuscany is full of spas: Montecatini, Saturnia, Montepulciano, Monsummano and Bagno Vignoni, which offer relaxing holidays thanks to their thermal waters and well-equipped facilities for all types of treatments.