Getting around Italy

How to get around in Italy: trains, plane, automobiles, buses, and ferries—plus money-saving transportation tips

Getting around Italy by train

In Italy, the shortest (and cheapest) distance between two points is usually lined with railroad tracks. The train is the preferred mode of travel by everyone, from farmers and grannies to businesswomen and visitors. Italian trains run on time, are clean and comfortable, and have a vast network that covers almost every minor city... » more

Getting around Italy by rental car or scooter

The wind in your hair, the autostrada stretching before you, the freedom to explore at will, the fact that speed limits are fairly optional. A car is the only way to see all of Italy's nooks and crannies... » more

Getting around Italy by plane

The days of high plane fares are over, my friends, as are the days of having to spend 20 hours on a train just to cross a country cheaply. Thanks to no-frills airlines and low cost carriers, you can often now hop a plane for considerably less than it costs to take the train—and for bucketloads less than the former regular fare on most established airlines—while at the same time save dozens of hours on travel. Cheaper, easier, faster—what more could you want?... » more

Cruising around Italy

From transatlantic cruises to arrive in Italy old-school style to Mediterranean cruises that let you visit the highlights of Italy from the comfort of your stateroom, here's everything you need to know about cruising Italy—and plenty of pointers to help you save money and have a better time along the way... » more

Getting around Italy by bus

All things being equal (and with a few notable exceptions, like the Amalfi Coast or some Tuscan hilltowns), to connect any two reasonably-sized towns or cities in Italy, the trains will be faster, more frequent, and more convenient than the buses, and will cost about the same, on average (which is to say: sometimes less, sometimes more). In other words: unless you're trying to get to a tiny town off the beaten path (and off the rail lines), it makes far more sense to take the train... » more

Getting around Italy by ferry

Italy has 5,275 miles of shoreline, a whole passel of islands—from giants like Sicily and Sardegna to smaller, popular vacation islands like Capri, Elba, and the Aeolians—some world-famous coastal regions (Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre), and several large lakes. That means, at some point, you will likely have to get into a boat to explore the best bits of Italy... » more

Saving on transportation costs

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  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA):
  • ZTLs: (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
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