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How to move around Italy

Italy has a funny shape. It is long and narrow plus it is surrounded by the sea. 

There are many good and easy ways to move around Italy. Choose depending on what your aim is, which way of traveling you like the most, and what is the comfort you need.

1. CAR

Italian roads are quite good in Northern Italy but not so good in the South (for the difference between Northern and Southern Italy click here). You should be able to travel easily using Google maps or a good Gps. Some places in southern Italy or in the countryside might be a little bit hard to find. If you are going there, ask for suggestions before you leave. 

Highways 

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Italian highways

Highways are usually very good and fast. You should travel by highways if you want to get from a city to another quickly. You always have to pay a toll and you won’t see many parts of the Italian beautiful landscape, but you will have an easy and mostly straight drive. Signs for Highways are always green.

State roads 

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State road in the mountains

In Italy you can drive on almost every road with a normal 2wd car (except for the countryside). State Roads are easy to drive, but also quite slow. I love state roads because they often allow you to see beautiful landscapes and stop in nice places. No Toll. Signs for state roads are always blue.

2 – TRAIN

There are many kind of trains in Italy and they are famous to bee always a little late (or very late). So do not fear or panic if your train gets into the station 15 minutes after its scheduled time.  Let’s start from the best and the most expensive one:

Freccia Rossa (Red arrow)

This is a high speed train, traveling from Naples (South) to Turin (North) at 300 km/h. These trains are brand new and very comfortable. They do not make many stops so they are the best solution if you want to travel from one city to another. Tickets are pretty expensive compared to other train options, but still affordable if you book in advance. Freccia Rossa and Italo (another high speed train) usually travel on time.

Freccia Bianca (White Arrow)

Freccia Bianca is the slow cousin of Freccia Rossa. It travels at normal speed and it stops pretty often. Freccia Bianca allows you to enjoy the landscape and it is a bit cheaper. It can be late. 

Intercity 

These are long range trains, usually quite old. They’re not very comfortable and clean and they are often late. I use this kind of trains the less I can. I won’t use them if I’m on vacation. It is definitely better to choose Freccia Bianca or Freccia Rossa.

Regionale

These are the smallest and slowest trains. Nevertheless, I like them, because they remind me of an old, slow way of traveling. On Regionale you can find all kind of people and travelers.  They include a lot of stops in very small cities, and on average they move on short distances. Some are old, some are brand new, but they are truly important if you want to reach small and uncrowded towns. They are often 15 or 20 minutes late, but rarely more. Some of them are featured with Toilets.

3 – FLIGHTS 

Internal flights in Italy are not very common. High speed train are a better and cheaper solution. Only chances you’ll have to to take a flight is if you want to visit some amazing island (very big ones) like Sardegna (Sardinia) or Sicilia (Sicily). 

4 – BUS

Taking the bus is sometimes a good solution. There are many companies traveling around and buses are usually clean and quite cheap. I’d rather choose a train if I have to move between big cities, but this might be a great solution for some kind of travel (for example if I want to go to Rome from Le Marche, trains are very slow and the Bus is the best option).

5 – BLA BLA CAR 

Ever used this Car Sharing App before? If not, download the APP as fast as you can. In Italy Bla bla car is a very good way of traveling and it can be a great solution to reach your destination. Usually, is also the cheapest option.

6 – NCC

This could be the most expensive solution, but it might fits your needs. NCC are cars and vans accompanied by a driver. You can use it for small tours around little towns or for long trips. NCC are usually beautiful black cars (BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi) driven by professional chauffeurs.

A good way of using the NCC is to book a van with a group of friends and go on a tour on vineyards during spring or fall. 

This is the service I use the most when traveling to and from Bologna Airport (fares are quite cheap and the service is amazing), but also to other cities: https://www.cosepuri.it

Hitch hiking is not very common.

Still don’t know which is the best way to get from Rome to Venice, or from Florence to Bologna? Write us in private and we’ll try to help you for FREE.

Have you found another great way of traveling around Italy? 

Share the experience in the comments below to help other travelers and become one of our community contributors. 

Have a nice trip!

Andrea (yes, it is a male name in Italy)

Andrea

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