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5 Reasons to take a Road Trip in Italy


It’s one of the heritage capitals of Europe, whose historic cities play host to tourists all year round. But there is another way to see the country – and here we present five reasons to rent a car and roam beyond the cultural hotspots. There’s a lot of Italy waiting to be discovered.


The right size for driving – The USA might be the first country that comes to mind when you think about road trips, but it’s actually very difficult to see the whole place that way – unless you’ve got several weeks free. On the other hand, Italy occupies a much smaller land mass, making driving between towns and cities much easier – while supplying just as much beautiful scenery in between. A little research on the internet will reveal many recommended routes, each of which should last one day or two – join a few of these up and you can fill any holiday with both unforgettable journeys and restful stops along the way.

The roads are ready for you – As one of Europe’s leading economies, it should come as no surprise that Italy has a well-maintained road network, but that’s far from the whole story. Autostradas (the Italian version of a motorway or freeway) are privatised, meaning you’ll have to pay a toll – but they do offer an excellent way to make up the miles in a short time, you can also get real-time information on driving conditions over Autostrade.

Besides the bigger roads, there are state, regional and provincial highways – and the good news is that the Automobile Club d’Italia offers assistance to drivers without a subscription (charging instead by the incident).

Relax on the road of Tuscany – One of the most popular road trip routes, the two-day trip from Florence to Orvieto is maybe the most relaxing. You can easily spend a day (or more) sampling the treasures of Florence – with some of the earliest Renaissance architecture plus the Uffizi Gallery’s world-class collection.

Next, ease off north into the Chianti region – where it’s only polite to attend a wine tasting (though, of course, don’t mix this with driving). Once recovered, voyage through a classic Tuscan landscape via the medieval glory of Siena.


Challenging routes at Amalfi – For a real change of pace – and for confident drivers only – the drive along the Amalfi coast is regularly breath-taking. At the same time, keep your eyes on the curves – the EU has managed to cut the number of road deaths on Europe’s roads by 20%, but signage and improved surfaces can only do so much. So expect narrow roads which can turn tightly and often. But those navigating these will be rewarded – Amalfi is a beautiful beachfront destination perfect for drivers to unwind by exploring the alleys, stairways and historic shrines. Further along the coast, Sorrento is a popular tourist destination and a great place to hire a boat, take a hike or simply feast in a trattoria. In the distance is one of Italy’s most famous landmarks – Mount Vesuvius.


Get off the tourist trail at Abruzzo – It’s hard to believe Abruzzo is only an hour’s drive from Rome, such as the quality and depth of unspoilt countryside all around. This is a route through valleys and around mountains – including the highest in the Apennine Mountains, Corno Grande. Continuing on, it’s the perfect region to picnic in nature, or explore some wonderfully off-the-trail villages where you’ll see many more locals than tourists.