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Travel Tips for Italy: What I Wish I'd Known Before My Road Trip

Guest Post by Mara Loera

bright yellow old Fiat car parked at a mountain overlook on a sunny day

Last summer I had the fortune to travel around a country that, after those 16 days, became one of my favorite countries around the world; the lovely Italy. But that doesn’t mean everything flowed flawlessly–I learned a lot about taking road trips in Italy that I wish I’d known. In this post, I would like to share my experience as well as some useful travel tips for Italy that will definitely help you avoid some inconveniences.

Travel Tips for Italy: What I Wish I'd Known Before My Road Trip

I’ve always dreamt of taking a road trip through Italy. I guess a lot of movie scenes have stuck with me, so I really wanted to see myself driving a small car on all those narrow streets that seem too charming to be real. So there I was, in Rome's airport, about to rent that tiny car I’d envisioned. It's exactly at this point, standing at the car rental desk, where my travel tips for your road trip in Italy begin:

Tip 1: Get an international license if you plan to drive a car in Italy.

grey convertible fiat car parked in front of a mountain view

If you want to take a road trip in Italy, you'll be able to drive with your country’s driver’s license. However, if for any reason, you get involved with cops and you don't have an international license, you’ll have to pay a hefty fine. It's easy to avoid this stressful situation by visiting your nearest AAA location where they’ll quickly set you up with one. Click here to learn more about how to get an international driver’s permit

Tip 2: Go for all the insurance coverage that the car rental company suggests.

Narrow cobblestone street in Italy with tall stone buildings on either side

Remember the narrow cobblestone streets from my daydream? They’re real–and they’re even narrower than they seem in the movies. The chances of damaging the rental car during your road trip in Italy are, I would say, around 90%. It could easily be your fault, or someone else's, but the point is, sooner or later it's gonna happen. It's better to pay for the insurance in advance and have the peace of mind. Otherwise, you might end up with a surprising bill when you return the car.

Tip 3: Choose a small car and a tiny suitcase.

light blue Fiat car parallel parked in Italy

If you don't want to ruin your road trip in Italy, I highly recommend you think small, starting with the car. I already warned you about the narrow streets, but also think about the parking spaces that measure exactly the same size as your car. You don't want to spend hours of your vacation time looking for a parking spot that you can fit in.

But why a tiny suitcase? Well, first, because if you’re doing things right,