Autostrada A3 (Italy)

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A3 Motorway shield}}

A3 Motorway
Autostrada A3
Autostrada Napoli-Reggio Calabria
Route information
Length: 494.9 km (307.5 mi)
Existed: 1974 – present
Major junctions
North end: Naples
South end: Reggio Calabria
Regions: Campania, Basilicata, Calabria
Highway system

Autostrade of Italy

A1 A4

The Autostrada A3 Napoli-Reggio Calabria is a motorway in the south of Italy, which runs from Naples to Reggio Calabria via Salerno. It runs through three regions: Campania (171 km), Basilicata (30 km) and Calabria (293,9 km).

Due to sections not being originally constructed to anywhere near Motorway standard and to the notoriously poor conditions of maintenance, and also to the extremely difficult terrain along some of the route, EG Sfalassa Gorge, the motorway has been often taken as a symbol of the backwardness and economical problems of southern Italy. Italian historian Leandra D'Antone has defined it "a true Italian shame".[1] The European Union declines to classify the road as a “motorway” due to the decades-long roadwork restrictions on a supposedly modern road[2] and seeks recompense for its financial contributions.[3]


The first stretch of the road to be completed was the Naples-Pompeii section, finished on 22 June 1929. The connection onward to Salerno was completed on 16 July 1961.

In 1964 the Italian government decided to build a motorway which connected the rest of Italy to Calabria, so far considered a kind of "Third Island" (together with Sicily and Sardinia), due to the nature of its terrain, which made it problematic to reach the region. The new motorway was built in a total of 8 years, the works being delivered on 13 June 1974.

The road built by 1974 is more similar to a sub-standard freeway (Italian: strada statale, "state road") than to the other autostrade (motorways) in Italy.[4] Queues became a common feature, especially in summer. To solve the situation, the Italian government funded renovation works in 1997. As of 2010, many of them are still ongoing, despite it being announced in 1993 that the works would be completed by 2003.[5] but the EU antifraud investigation of works undertaken between 2007 and 2010 together with the repayment of over €300m to the EU in July 2012 have delayed completion of the upgrade works even further.[3][6]

The cost of the upgrade to date (August 2013) is projected to reach over €10bn by the time it is eventually completed, perhaps by 2018. The section from Salerno and Reggio Calabria alone, 442 km long, will cost €10bn with the rest spent on widening/upgrades already completed between Naples and Salerno. €7.443 Bn has been spent so far on parts of the 442 km section beteeen Salerno and Reggio Calabria [7][8]


The entire road was a substandard freeway[9] when the upgrade programme from Naples to Reggio Calabria started in the early 1990s. The only sector with three lanes has a length of 50 km. The section of the road from the interchange with the A1 motorway in Naples to the Pompeii exit, built during the 1920s, originated as a local turnpike and only later was retrofitted to motorway standard. Many of the junctions along the route have very tight corners and extremely limited deceleration fields; this is especially significant on the now at least 50 year old Naples - Salerno section, where at some junctions there are stop-signs for traffic entering the motorway.[4] Hard shoulders are only recently apparent along the entire route, with only occasional emergency bays at infrequent locations on the sections that have not been upgraded yet. Generally speaking, most of the route is often congested even where upgraded.[10]

The southern segment (Salerno-Reggio Calabria) is toll-free and is maintained by ANAS, the state agency for public routes. Located in a mountainous area, it is famous for being prone to very high levels of traffic (especially at the start and at the end of vacation periods) and for the bad state of maintenance compared to other Italian motorways.[9] ANAS has been slowly upgrading this segment for the better part of the last three decades.[9]

Upgrade Progress[edit]

The motorway is currently undergoing heavy modernisation, in many cases a completely new parallel motorway is being built alongside the original A3 and involving in most cases a complete rebuilding or replacement of the road where the alignment is retained.[11]

In July 2011, works on 237 km of the road (53%) were completed with 25 km opening in July 2011 alone. 147 more km of rebuilding/modernization was then due to be completed.[12]

By November 2012 the completed sections totalled 272 km and [13] with a further 93 km then under construction and tenders requested for another 20 km. This totalled 385 km of road completed or under way or tendered out of an intended 433 km

In August 2013 that situation had changed again with 322 km now complete, 50 km since November 2012.[14]

The last few Km at the end of the current Motorway in Reggio Calabria are not to be upgraded and the new sections are frequently straighter than the old thereby reducing the intended motorway length between Salerno and Reggio Calabria to 433 km from the original 442 km overall upon eventual completion of the upgrade in 2017 or 2018.

Of the intended 433 km the completed (as of August 2013) 322 km represents a linear 73% of the overall planned upgrade to the road with 27% remaining to open, some of which 27% or 111 km is currently under construction and some not yet tendered.

A number of new junctions are also to be constructed, in some cases to service certain towns with no direct access at present.[13]


Exit ↓km↓ ↑km↑ Province European Route
AB-AS-grün.svg Napoli Centro 2,0 51,6 NA  
AB-AS-grün.svg Napoli San Giovanni a Teduccio 2,5 46,1 NA  
AB-AS-grün.svg Tabliczka E45.svg Autostrada A1 Italia.svg Roma, Firenze, Bologna, Milano 2,5 4,1 NA  
AB-AS-grün.svg Napoli Ponticelli-S.Giorgio Nord 5,5 45,2 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg San Giorgio a Cremano 6,4 45,2 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Portici (Bellavista) 8,0 43,6 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Ercolano 8,5 43,1 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Torre del Greco (Nord) 11,5 40,1 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Torre Annunziata Nord 15,0 36,6 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Torre Annunziata Sud 20,0 31,6 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Pompei Ovest 21,9 29,7 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Castellammare di Stabia 22,5 29,1 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Scafati-Pompei Est 25,0 26,6 NA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Angri 29,7 21,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Nocera Inferiore 36,6 15,0 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Cava de' Tirreni 42,9 8,7 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Vietri sul Mare 48,4 3,2 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Salerno 51,6 0,0 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Salerno Fratte 0,0 442,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svgItalian traffic signs - strada extraurbana principale.svg RA02 Avellino
Autostrada A30 Italia.svg Caserta
Tabliczka E842.svg Autostrada A16 Italia.svg Napoli - Canosa
Autostrada A1 Italia.svgRoma
0,2 442,7 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg San Mango Piemonte 7,3 435,7 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Pontecagnano 13,0 429,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Montecorvino Pugliano 17,5 425,4 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Battipaglia 23,0 419,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Eboli 30,0 412,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Campagna 36,1 406,8 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Contursi Terme-Postiglione 46,0 396,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Sicignano - Potenza
Tabliczka E847.svg Italian traffic signs - strada extraurbana principale.svg RA05 Potenza
54,0 388,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Petina 65,0 377,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Polla 76,0 366,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Atena Lucana 83,0 359,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Sala Consilina 88,0 354,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Padula - Buonabitacolo 104,0 338,9 SA Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Maratea-Lagonegro Nord 124,0 318,9 PZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Lagonegro Sud 126,0 316,9 PZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Lauria Nord 138,0 304,9 PZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Lauria Sud 145,0 297,9 PZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Laino Borgo 153,0 289,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Mormanno-Scalea 164,0 278,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Campotenese 174,0 268,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Castrovillari-Morano Calabro 185,0 257,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Castrovillari-Frascineto 194,0 248,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Tabliczka E844.svg Sibari 208,0 234,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Altomonte 214,0 228,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Spezzano 220,0 222,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Tarsia 225,0 217,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Torano 235,0 207,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Montalto Uffugo 246,0 196,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Cosenza Nord
Tabliczka E846.svg Crotone
253,0 189,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Cosenza 259,0 183,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Rogliano - Grimaldi 273,0 169,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Altilia 286,0 156,9 CS Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg San Mango d'Aquino 294,0 148,9 CZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Falerna 304,0 138,9 CZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Lamezia Terme
Tabliczka E848.svg Catanzaro
320,0 122,9 CZ Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Pizzo 339,0 103,9 VV Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Sant'Onofrio-Vibo Valentia 348,0 94,9 VV Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Serre 359,0 83,9 VV Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Mileto 370,0 72,9 VV Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Rosarno
Italian traffic signs - strada extraurbana principale.svg SGC Jonio-Tirreno: Marina di Gioiosa Ionica
383,0 59,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-Tank.svg Service area "Rosarno" 390,0 56,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Gioia Tauro 393,0 49,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Palmi 401,0 41,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Sant'Elia 408,0 34,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Bagnara Calabra 412,0 30,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Scilla 423,0 19,9 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
Italian traffic signs - divieto di transito.svg Santa Trada of Cannitello (cancelled from 2008) 423,0 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-Tank.svg Service area "Villa San Giovanni" 433,0 10,0 RC Tabliczka E45.svg
AB-AS-grün.svg Villa San Giovanni
Tabliczka E45.svg RWB Fähre(L).svg Car ferry to Sicily
434,0 8,9 RC  
AB-AS-grün.svg Campo Calabro 435,0 7,9 RC  
AB-AS-grün.svg Reggio Catona - Arghillà 436,0 6,9 RC  
AB-AS-grün.svg Reggio Gallico 437,0 5,9 RC  
AB-AS-grün.svg Reggio maritime port - Promenade
RWB Fähre(L).svg Car ferry to Sicily
441,6 1,3 RC  
AB-AS-grün.svgItalian traffic signs - autostrada.svg Tabliczka E90.svg RA04 Reggio Calabria - SS106 442,5 0,4 RC  
Sinnbild Innerorts.svg Reggio Calabria Nord 442,9 0,0 RC  
Reggio Calabria: end of the A3 and beginning of the RA04 that connects with the SS106.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Italian) ...una vera e propria «vergogna italiana», in La storia della Salerno Reggio Calabria, book about Salerno-Reggio Calabria
  2. ^ Organised crime may be behind problems with southern motorway: Awkward questions remain about Italian infrastructure, in [1]
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b (Italian) l'autostrada, completamente statale e senza pedaggio, con le sue due corsie, somiglia più ad una strada statale Salerno-Reggio Calabria: L’autostrada che non c'è, La Soria siamo noi, Rai Educational, in which the A3 is defined "the most devastated motorway stretch in Italy".
  5. ^ Completion of the upgrade work has been, as of 2010, postponed to 2012-2013, see: (Italian)Autostrade: Salerno-Reggio Calabria pronta per 2012-2013, ItaliaInformazione, July 8, 2009
  6. ^ [2] Italy Repays €307m to EU after Road Project Mafia Corruption.
  7. ^ (Italian)[3] Stradaneanas Works Update (in Italian)
  8. ^ (Italian) Around €10bn projected for Salerno = Reggio upgrade 06 March 2011 (in Italian)
  9. ^ a b c Photos and videos of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria "scandal" at A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria:uno Scandalo!,, January 23, 2010
  10. ^ (Italian) Viaggio dall’A3 al traghettamento sullo Stretto,, August 7, 2009
  11. ^ (Italian) Salerno Reggio Calabria ed il General Contractor unico, Le strade, may 2007
  12. ^ (Italian)ANAS Update Summer 2011 as per Internet Archive
  13. ^ a b Pietro Ciucci ANAS CEO Speech in Brussels 14 November 2012 (English)
  14. ^ (Italian)

External links[edit]