Surviving PARKING IN ITALY: Crucial TIPS when renting a car
Renting a car in Italy and exploring the picturesque countryside and vibrant cities is an enthralling experience.
However, parking in Italy is not always straightforward and first-time visitors may find it a little bit challenging.
In Italy, parking regulations are specific and can sometimes vary from city to city. A lack of knowledge about these rules can lead to unnecessary fines or worse towing of the vehicle
But fear not, as this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the necessary information about parking in Italy, helping you to navigate the landscape like a local.
From explaining the different parking zones and useful Apps to offering tips on avoiding fines, we’ve got you covered.
General Overview of Parking in Italy
In Italy, the curbs are colour-coded, and each colour signifies a different parking rule. The three main colours are blue, white, and yellow.
- Blue zones are typically pay-and-display parking areas, usually found in city centres.
- White zones denote free parking but often come with a time limit, especially during the day.
- Yellow zones are reserved for special vehicles or for disabled drivers.
However, these rules are not carved in stone and can vary regionally.
That is why I always suggest checking the parking signs. Some might indicate the parking rules applicable during different times of the day or on different days of the week.
Paid Parking in Italy
Paid parking is common in Italian cities, especially in busy centres and tourist hotspots. These areas are marked with blue lines.
You need to purchase a ticket from a nearby machine and display it on your dashboard. Usually, these zones operate from Monday to Saturday, and the payment is required between 8 am and 8 pm, but these times can vary.
The machines typically accept coins, and some may accept cards.
If you overstay your paid parking time, you risk getting a fine, and in some cases, your vehicle might even be towed away.
Nowadays, most towns and cities have implemented an App that you can use for parking your car. They are very straightforward and almost a lifesaver.
They are essential to extend the stay, for example, when you are still at the restaurant, without worrying to get a fine and ruin the night.
Parking in Italy with an App. Easy-peasy
These apps not only help you locate available parking spaces but also allow you to pay parking fees electronically, saving you the inconvenience of carrying coins or visiting a parking meter.
Let’s look at some of the popular parking apps in Italy.
EasyPark: This is probably the most popular parking App in Italy. It allows you to find, pay, and manage parking in numerous cities across Italy. EasyPark offers a smooth experience by letting you pay for the exact parking time, thereby avoiding overpayment or fines due to overstays. Furthermore, it enables you to extend your parking session remotely, which can be particularly helpful when your plans change.
MyCicero/MoneyGo: MoneyGo (formerly MyCicero) offers more of an integrated platform, however, it is not as popular as EasyPark. With this App, you can pay for the actual parking time and public transportation too. It works well when you park outside a city and you need to pay for the tickets to go to the historic centre. You will have all in one app, and wallet.
Telepass Pay: Primarily known for enabling electronic toll payments, Telepass Pay also offers parking services. You can use this app to pay for blue-line street parking in many Italian cities. It provides an option to start a parking session and then stop it when you’re ready to leave, charging you only for the actual parking duration.
SostaPark: Particularly handy in Rome, SostaPark allows you to pay for parking in the city’s blue-line spaces without the need for physical tickets. You won’t need it if you do not plan to drive to Rome.
ParkVia: ParkVia is a useful tool for reserving parking spaces at major transport hubs like airports and train stations. You can pre-book your space, saving the worry of finding a spot when you’re on a tight schedule.
TIP It’s crucial to enter the correct vehicle registration number in the App, as parking wardens can issue fines for incorrect information.
Overall, EasyPark is a must-download, in my opinion. It is widely available and you will not need to carry around coins and look for ticket machines. If you are thinkin of renting a car in Italy then make sure to download it on your mobile.
Once you open the account with your credit card, paying for parking becomes a matter of a few taps.
This app can save you time, reduce stress, and help you avoid fines, making your Italian road trip more enjoyable.
I usually rent my cars on the DiscoverCars website, a rental aggregator that compares the prices of local and global operators providing the best deal around, with the possibility to add full insurance for just 7 Euros/day, such a great peace of mind.
Free parking, denoted by white lines, can be a godsend, especially in residential areas or smaller towns.
However, these spaces can be limited and may come with a time restriction. The time limit is usually indicated on a nearby sign.
During restricted hours, you must move your vehicle after the maximum allowed time.
Once you rent a car in Italy, make sure to have inside a parking disk. This is a small clock disk (7-10cm wide) that you can use to indicate when you started the parking.
If you cannot find it, write on a piece of paper the time you started parking there (“Sorry I don’t have the parking disk. I started my parking at xx:yy on dd/mm/yy”,”Scusi non ho il Disco Orario. Ho iniziato il parcheggio alle ore xx:yy il giorno dd/mm/yy“) and leave it on the car dashboard. Usually, it works.
In saying that, once again, make sure to have the parking disk when you rent the car.
Outside the restricted hours, you can leave your vehicle for an unlimited period.
Special Parking Rules
Italy has special parking rules that you must be aware of.
For example, on certain days or hours, parking can be prohibited due to street cleaning. A sign will usually indicate this.
Additionally, many historical city centres in Italy have Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL), or Limited Traffic Zones.
These are restricted areas where non-resident vehicles are not allowed, except at certain times
In this case, park your car outside the ZTL area and walk inside.
Sometimes the parking is connected by an escalator to the Historic Centre, like in the beautiful Perugia, other times you need to either catch a bus or the Metro, like in Milan. You will find below a full table of the major Italian cities with the best parking areas
Parking in the main Italian cities
I personally do not suggest driving inside a major city for a day trip.
You will get stressed looking for parking, you will get stressed in the chaotic traffic, and you will get stressed to find the car back with all those similar streets.
If you stay overnight, ask the hotel, and they will recommend the best place to leave the car.
I have organised this table with the suggested parking where you can leave your car.
|City||Parking||Distance to Centre||Public Transport||Cost per Hour||Cost per Day|
|Turin||Park Dora||2 km||Bus (€1.70)||€1.00||€12.00|
|Milan||Lampugnano M1 Parking||7.7 km||Metro (€2.00)||€1.60||€16.00|
|Genoa||Parcheggio Saba Porta Principe||1 km||Metro (€1.50)||€2.50||€20.00|
|Verona||Parcheggio Piazza Isolo||1 km||Bus (€2.00)||€2.00||€15.00|
|Bologna||Parcheggio Tanari||4 km||Bus (€1.30)||€1.00||€12.00|
|Florence||Parcheggio Villa Costanza||8 km||Tramway (€1.50)||€2.00||€12.00|
|Siena||Parcheggio Della Stazion||2 km||Walk – Part with escalators||€0.50||€2.00|
|Perugia||Parcheggio Pian di Massiano||4 km||Minimetrò (€1.50)||€1.00||€6.00|
|Rome||Parcheggio Villa Borghese||2 km||Metro (€1.50)||€2.50||€18.00|
|Naples||Brin Parking||3 km||Metro (€1.30)||€1.50||€10.00|
|Palermo||Parcheggio Gregorio VII||1 km||Bus (€1.40)||€1.00||€8.00|
|Catania||Parcheggio Giovanni XXIII||1 km||Bus (€1.00)||€1.00||€10.00|
|Cagliari||Parcheggio Stazione FS||1 km||Bus (€1.30)||€1.00||€10.00|
It is a very handy table, however, I highly recommend checking these details closer to your travel dates for the most accurate information and prices.
Parking in Venice
I am sure you already know that Venice was built around islands and canals.
There are actually 117 islands and the only way to get around is either walking or by ferry/boat.
If you are driving to Venice for a day trip, you will find all kinds of suggestions on where to leave the car.
Most say that it is better to park the car in Mestre and take the tram/train to the city.
This may work if you plan to stay for 3 or more days in Venice, and only if you carry a light carry-on bag (it’s quite a hassle to carry a big bag on public transport).
The problem is that the commuting to Venice takes a long time, chewing up precious time from the city exploration, especially on a day trip.
I have visited Venice on multiple occasions (my dad’s family is from there) and I suggest parking instead in Venice itself.
My go-to place is Park 280. It is in a great location, right at the start of the historic centre, and it is a real bargain for Venice, at 2 Euro/hour or 20 Euro/day.
There is a drawback, though, it is very busy. I highly suggest getting there as early as you can. Sometimes you need to queue up for 10-20 minutes but, in my opinion, it is totally worth it, considering the great advantages.
Parking in Siena
If you follow my blog, you may have already noticed how much content I have on Tuscany.
The main reason is that I have a small home in a medieval village close to Siena, one of my favourite cities in the area and certainly one of the best places to stay in Tuscany.
If you are renting a car in Tuscany and you are planning to visit Siena with the car, then you should read my Essential guide to parking in Siena where you will find all details for parking free or at a bargain price of 50c/hour, capped at 2 Euro/day.