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Getting There By Road

Italy - Getting There By Road

While flights and trains are the most preferred way of getting to Italy, a lot of travelers choose to drive into the peninsula. This is probably because taking a road trip across the country is one of the best ways to see Italy. In fact, during summer, the more adventurous back-packers prefer riding their motorcycles into the country. Many bus coaches also have scheduled services from various countries in Europe, to different Italian cities. While people from different parts of Europe can drive to Italy in about a day or so, travelers from the US, Canada, Asia and Australia need to fly down to Italy. There are many border crossings for cars entering Italy from other European countries.

Depending upon the starting and ending points, it takes about 20 hours or so to drive down from London to Rome (1,760.5 kilometers). The distance between London and Naples is around 1952.5 kilometers, which can be covered in 19 hours or so. Milan is about 1,170 kilometers from London and a normal road trip takes approximately 13 hours. From London, it takes around 15 hours to Florence (1,483 kilometers) as well as Venice (1,438 kilometers) . However, it could take over a day (25 hours or more), driving from London to Sardinia. The ferry services will also need to be used to get to Sardinia or Sicily by car (or bike).

Travelers from Paris can reach Rome relatively sooner, as the distance of 1,430 kilometers can be completed in about 14 hours. Frankfurt to Rome (1,246 kilometers) can also be covered by road in under 12 hours. Many of the People living in Switzerland prefer to drive down to Italy, since they can cover the distance of 840 kilometers and reach Rome in less than 9 hours. However, these times are all calculated without a single stop or break. Crossing the border could also increase travel time significantly because of heavy traffic, customs and documentation checks. The motorways have a good network of petrol stations and refueling regularly in bound to increase the travel time.

When traveling to Italy by road from another Schengen country (Austria, Greece, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, etc) the routine customs and immigration checks do not take place. Passengers driving down to Italy from the non-Schengen countries (including the UK) usually have to go through the standard immigration procedures and selective customs checks. EU citizens need to show just their passport or a national ID, which is valid. Others have to present an accepted travel document or a Visa, which is valid for the entire duration of their planned stay. The documentation required to enter Italy by car is no different from the documents a traveler would need if he were traveling to the country by air. Moreover, the driver of the vehicle needs be above 18 (or 17 in case of parental supervision) and should have a valid Italian or international driver's license. All EU-member states' driving licenses are recognized in Italy.

Cars entering Italy from other countries need to have a valid national license plate as well as an accompanying registration card. In case the car being used has been imported from a country where the Latin alphabet isn't used, the registration card will need to be translated at the nearest Italian consulate, before the car can be brought into the peninsula.

The road speed limits on Italian motorways and highways may be anywhere between 70 km/h and 150 km/h. It is important to check the Speed limit indicators and signs on all roads and stay well within the speed limits.

EuroLines is a well-known coach brand that runs regular services to Italy, from Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Their buses have provisions for the travelers to eat and sleep on board. Though lavatory services are available on all their coaches, the buses halt at regular intervals, so that the passengers can stretch for a bit and buy refreshments, if they wish to do so. Tickets on these services can be booked through any travel agent, or even directly on their website: http://www.eurolines.com. On average, a bus journey from London to Rome could costs anywhere between 60GBP (€74.00) and 100GBP (€122.00).

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