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Italy Transport

Italy Transport

Italy counts on a total of 29 international airports. Italy is the base of Alitalia, the flagship carrier, as well as a number of smaller airlines such as Meridiana, Air Dolomiti, Air One, Alpi Eagles, Clubair, Eurofly and many others. The Italian airline, Alitalia, fly daily to Italy from numerous international destinies. Along with a great number of other regular and low-cost carriers, they create a dense network of affordable connections enabling travellers to reach Italy from virtually any corner of the world. The largest airports are located in Milan (Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo), Rome (Fiumicino and Ciampino), Bologna, Turin, Naples, Pisa, Venice and Palermo. Domestic flights constitute a very popular way of travelling around the country.

Travel throughout Europe can be relatively simple by using the continent's extensive rail networks. The Italian railway features 16,000 kilometres of tracks serviced by national operator Trenitalia. Train travel is reasonably priced and a lot of the country is crisscrossed by tracks, making it easy to get from A to B. There are five different types of trains: Pendolino, interurban service of trains of first category; Eurostar, which connect the main Italian cities with Barcelona, Hamburg, Vienna, etc. and need previous reserve; InterCity, that connects the main Italian cities to each other; Expresso, trains of long distance with stops in almost all the stations, and Diretto, with some intermediate stops in its route.

It's said that it's best to approach Italy from the sea, as this way of travelling provides a truly breathtaking perspective on the unique beauty of the country. There are many private companies operating ferry and hydrofoil services between the Italian mainland and the islands. The most popular routes are those connecting Italy with the luxurious yacht harbours of the French Cote d'Azur, the picturesque resorts of Croatia and the Greek islands.

There's no national bus company, so each part of the country is served by one or several independent bus carriers. Bus travel throughout Italy isn't as popular as travelling by train, mostly because train travel is so cheap and convenient. But buses have their advantages too - they can be the perfect way to reach somewhere off the beaten track not covered by the main rail networks.

Italy boasts a well-developed system of modern motorways in the northern part of the country. In the south, the situation is visibly worse, both for the quality and efficiency of the network. The main national highways that traverse Italy are called the autostrade. The A1 runs from Milan to Naples, and then changes to the A3 between Naples and Reggio de Calabria on the southernmost tip of Italy's boot. The autostrade is wide, well maintained, and quick, with a maximum speed limit of 130 kilometres (just over 80 miles) an hour. However these roads are littered with toll booths, so if you have a little more time on your hands try navigating the toll free dual carriageways or the strade provinciali, which wind their way through country towns and villages.
Citizens of all EU member states can drive in Italy with their driver's licence from home, but to drive your own car you'll need to get an International Insurance Certificate, or Green Card, from your insurance provider. But be warned, the rate of car accidents and thefts is very high in Italy.

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