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Driving In Italy - Essential Information: Part Three

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If you're going to vacation in Italian Villas, then you need to know the essential information when it comes to driving in Italy! Check out part three of these tip guide for driving in Italy.

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Driving In Italy - Essential Information: Part Three

  1. 1. Driving in Italy Essential Information: Part Three •
  2. 2. Rest Areas When you're driving along the Autostrade and need to take a break, you'll be pleased to know there is a chain of highway rest stops called the Autogrill. The Autogrill started in Italy in 1946 and has spread to 43 countries around the world, so you know they are a trusted rest stop chain you can take a break at.
  3. 3. Quick Meal If you get hungry during your drive, look for and follow the signs that have a knife and spoon symbol. The best time to stop for a bite at the Autogrill to eat is between 1 pm and 8 pm. The most popular Autogrill rest stops will be noticeable by the number of big rigs in the parking area.
  4. 4. Cafeteria Style All the food at the Autogrill is served cafeteria style, which makes it quick and easy to load up the items you want to eat. When it comes time to pay, you can stop by the register, which accepts credit cards. If the cashier says “caffe” and you agree, you’ll be charge for an espresso and you can pick it up at the bar area on your way out the door.
  5. 5. 7-Days A Week The Autogrill stays open 7-days a week and has late operating hours. Additionally, some are open 24-hours a day! If you miss your chance to pull off at an Autogrill, don't worry because there will likely be another one just a few miles down the road. Plus, there are other smaller chains of rest stops but their quality and selection may differ.
  6. 6. Quick Stop If you aren't looking for a hot meal and just need a snack or a cup of coffee, look for signs on the highway with a coffee cup symbol. These symbols mean there's a smaller rest area with coffee, restrooms, fuel, snacks and cold beverages. Additionally, there may be a gratuity plate or cup with an attendant by the restroom who keeps the laboratory clean. So if you can, leave them a few cents because it's their job to maintain the rest rooms.
  7. 7. Gassing Up More than likely, you'll have to stop for fuel while driving around Italy and it's hard to find a gas station that doesn't accept major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express. For a better exchange rate, use your ATM card as a credit card, providing it bears the Visa/MC logo. Also, leave your mainstream gas credit cards at home because even if the same company operates in Italy, it likely will not be honored.
  8. 8. Full Service Italy offers two different types of gas stations, self-service and full service. Self-service is as it sounds, you're responsible for fueling up. Full service is where the attendant will gas up your vehicle and submit the payment for you. Full service may be more beneficial, especially when you're unsure as to how, where and when to insert money or cards for fuel. Look for the word "Servito" for full service, where as "Fai da Te" is self-service. Say the words "il peno per piacere" that translates into fill'er up please.
  9. 9. Liters Vs. Gallons Fuel sold in Italy is sold by the liter and that rate winds up being four liters for a little over one US gallon. By fuel standards, gas in Italy is expensive, so you may need to figure about $6 US for one US gallon. Don't fret too much over the cost of fuel because Italian cars are much more fuel efficient than their American counterparts.
  10. 10. Rental Cars Gasoline powered rental cars will use unleaded gas ("senza piombo") or "verde" which means green. Sometimes you'll get a diesel powered car that runs on "diesel" or "gasolio". Avoid using high octane fuel or eco-diesel to save money. Additionally, it can be hard to reserve a diesel rental car since they are more fuel efficient, so don’t be surprised if the rental company supplies you with a gasoline powered vehicle. Keep in mind: "chiuso" means closed and "Aperto" means open – comes in handy when looking for gas stations.
  11. 11. Parking Parking spaces in Italy are color coded White spaces – FREE Blue spaces – PAID Yellow spaces – Reserved for handicap permits, taxis or official vehicles Pink spaces – Reserved for expectant mothers or moms traveling with infants
  12. 12. White Parking Spaces Free, white parking spaces may come with some restrictions that can be a little confusing if you aren't paying close attention to the signs. Sometimes they may have restrictions on certain days or times of the day, however, there are obvious signs that designate the restrictions.
  13. 13. Disco Parking If you see the icon above, it means disco parking. Disco parking is a thumbwheel timer disc that all Italian cars have – it's either pasted on the windshield or in the glove compartment. All you have to do is set the current time you are parking and leave it on the dashboard. Ensure you are back by the time the street sign indicates.
  14. 14. Paid Parking Paid parking is similar to how the system works in America – you either pay an attendant to park or you use a parking meter that accepts coins or credit cards.
  15. 15. Parking Garages Some cities around Italy feature garage parking and you can find them by following the blue P signs around the area. They can be moderately priced to overpriced, so be aware of how much it'll cost before pulling in. Most will accept credit card payments and makes sure you check the closing time of the garage! And one final tip, don’t leave valuables out in the open of your parked car. While Italy is a safe country, it doesn’t mean the possibility of your items being stolen is completely ruled out.
  16. 16. Driving in Italy Driving, getting gas and parking in Italy isn’t too hard to handle as long as you have the right tips on mind before you vacation in Italian Villas! Get even more travel tips from Parker Villas at 1-800-280-2811!

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