Heading to Italy: A Crash Course in Traffic Signs

Heading to Italy: A Crash Course in Traffic Signs

Now that I have my International Driving Permit, I thought I should probably get acquainted with the traffic signs that are used in Italy.  I have been searching the web for a comprehensive listing of basic traffic signs. Overall, they seem to be fairly intuitive. Thanks to the all-knowing Wikipedia, I’ve found a good article featuring photos of many signs.

Speed Limit/Advisory Signs

Speed Limits are in KPH.

Italian Speed Limit - Advisory Sign
Speed Advisory: 50kph
Italian End 50kph Speed Advisory Sign
Speed Advisory: End 50kph
Italian Speed Sign
Maximum Speed: 50kph
  • Point of Note: When pulled over in Italy, fines are paid on the spot. You should request a receipt for any fines paid.
    [edit] Some sites I’ve read about traveling in Italy noted that fines are paid on the spot. Thanks to Guidone at Riderpedia for clarifying this is not really the case!

Red Circle Signs are Prohibition Signs – the “No” Signs.

For example: No parking, no entry, no motorcycles.

Italian No Parking Sign Italy - No Entry Road Sign Italian No Motorcycles Sign

Red Triangle Signs are Caution or Warning Signs.

For example:  Caution – road bends to right, caution – road narrows, caution – road has a double bend. Hopefully we’ll see lots of those!

Italian road sign right bend Italian Road Narrows Sign Italian Road Sign Double Bend

Mandatory Action Signs – Blue Circles

For example: Keep Right, Keep Straight or Right Turn Ahead, Right Turn Ahead

Italian road sign keep Right Italian Road Sign Keep Straight of Right Turn Italian Road Sign  Right Turn Ahead

Direction Signs

Blue for secondary roads, green for major motorways.
Sign may contain the road name/number, the town being referenced and the number of kms in distance. The arrow points in the direction to take.

Questionable Signs

I was on a little bit of a sugar-high following a slice of chocolate chip poundcake for lunch when a few of the roadsigns struck me funny. Yes, I know. I’m an idiot.

Italian Road Signs
Hot Chick Ahead!
Italian Road Signs
Not-so-hot Chick Ahead.

11 Replies to “Heading to Italy: A Crash Course in Traffic Signs”

  1. Are you going to Italy? We just came back from there on Sunday and LOVED it! I actually saw some of the “hot chick” signs when we were there and cracked up at ’em.

    Be on the lookout for some signs that give you the impression that there might be a bump or two in the road- that isn’t the case, but it’s the “be careful” sign (one lump) or “be very careful” (two lumps, or as CH said “boobies!”!) – we asked a waiter about them b/c we could find no description of them anywhere and he explained the above to us and added that they were also a “CYA” sign, in case you get in an accident where the signs are posted, it’s like they warned you to be careful.

    Have fun!!

  2. Hi Fuzzygalore, I hope you will have a good time here in Italy.

    Just a clarification, when asked to pull over by police, you don’t have to pay on the spot if you get the ticket. No one will ask money on the road.

    I’ve seen your previous post, my two cents:

    Stelvio: you cannot miss it

    San Bernardino: nice but the road is quite narrow, you could do first Spluga Pass and then come back from Switzerland to Italy with the San Bernardino

    San Marco Pass: near lake of Como

    Grande Strada delle Dolomiti: connects Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo, passing through Dolomiti and some amazing passes like Falzarego (you can many some fortress of the First World War), Pordoi and Tonale

    Hope it helps, have a good ride

  3. Here’s one that made me giggle. It was in Germany, but not all that far from Italy. Oddly enough, one of my blogger buddies posted this picture 2 days after I saw the sign. Funny Deer Warning Sign.

    I am so looking forward to reading about your trip. Where are you getting your bikes? What kind are they?

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