Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In

Tips for Expats Driving in Bologna

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Bologna.
|-Tips for Expats Driving in Bologna

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Bologna, like many Italian cities, can be a bit chaotic for those not used to it. Italian drivers are known for their aggressive driving style, and Bologna is no exception. Be prepared for fast-paced traffic, frequent lane changes, and minimal use of indicators. It’s important to stay alert and cautious, especially in the city center where streets can be narrow and crowded.

2. ZTL Zones

Bologna, like many Italian cities, has ZTL zones (Zona a Traffico Limitato) or Limited Traffic Zones. These zones are restricted areas where only authorized vehicles can enter. If you drive into these zones without a permit, you will be fined. It’s crucial to be aware of these zones and plan your route accordingly.

3. Car Recommendation

Considering the narrow streets and limited parking, a small car is recommended for driving in Bologna. Compact cars are easier to maneuver and park. Also, many Italians drive manual cars, so if you’re not comfortable with this, make sure to request an automatic when renting.

4. Parking in Bologna

Finding parking in Bologna can be challenging, especially in the city center. Most parking spaces are paid, and the cost can add up quickly. There are some free parking areas outside the city center, but these tend to fill up quickly. It’s advisable to use public transportation or walk when possible.

5. Driving License

Foreigners can drive in Italy with an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with their valid national driving license. This is valid for one year. After that, you will need to obtain an Italian driving license. To do this, you will need to pass a theory test (available in multiple languages) and a practical driving test. It’s recommended to take a few driving lessons to familiarize yourself with Italian driving rules and style.

6. Insurance

Ensure that you have adequate car insurance coverage. In Italy, third-party liability insurance is mandatory. Check with your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered while driving in Italy.

7. Road Rules

Remember that in Italy, you drive on the right-hand side of the road. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited unless you have a hands-free system. Also, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, lower than in many other countries.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

International Citizens Insurance

International Citizens Insurance
Get comparison quotes from our broker partner for Cigna, Allianz, IMG, GeoBlue and more.

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal

LoginJoinPlease Login to Continue. New? Join today (it's free).
Since 1997, we've supported millions of people as they explore the world and share the adventures and challenges of living abroad.