Autostrade of Italy

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Map of the autostrade of Italy
Interactive map of Autostrade in Italy

The Autostrade (Italian: [autoˈstraːde]; singular autostrada [autoˈstraːda]) are roads forming the Italian national system of motorways. The total length of the system is about 6,758 kilometres (4,199 mi).[1] In North and Central Italy, the Autostrade mainly consists of tollways managed by Atlantia S.p.A. (formerly Autostrade S.p.A.), a holding company controlled by the Benetton family[2][3]. Other operators include ASTM, ATP, and Autostrade Lombarde in the north-west; Autostrada del Brennero, A4 Holding, Concessioni Autostradali Venete, and Autovie Venete in the north-east; Strada dei Parchi, SALT, SAT, and Autocisa in the center; and CAS in the south.


Italy became the first country to inaugurate motorways reserved for motor vehicles with A1[4]. The Milano-Laghi motorway (connecting Milan to Varese) was devised by Piero Puricelli, a civil engineer and entrepreneur. He received the first authorization to build a public-utility fast road in 1921, and completed the construction (one lane each direction) between 1924 and 1926. By the end of the 1930s, over 400 kilometers of multi- and dual-single-lane motorways were constructed throughout Italy, linking cities and rural towns.


Autostrada sign

Italy's autostrade have a standard speed limit of 130 km/h (81 mph) for cars. Limits for other vehicles (or during foul weather and/or low visibility) are lower. Legal provisions allow operators to set the limit to 150 km/h (93 mph) on their concessions on a voluntary basis if the following conditions are met: three lanes in each direction and a working SICVE, or Safety Tutor, speed-camera system that measure the average speed. In 2016, no road was utilizing this possibility.

The first speed limit, to 120 km/h (75 mph), was enacted in November 1973 as a result of the 1973 oil crisis.[5] In October 1977, a graduated system was introduced: cars of above 1,300 cc (79 cu in) had a 140 km/h (87 mph) speed limit, cars of 900-1299 cc had a limit of 130 km/h (81 mph), those of 600-899 cc could drive at 110 km/h (68 mph), and those of 599 cc (36.6 cu in) or less had a maximum speed of 90 km/h (56 mph).[5] In July 1988 a blanket speed limit of 110 km/h (68 mph) was imposed on all cars above 600 cc (the lower limit was kept for smaller cars) by the short lived PSDI government. In September 1989 this was increased to 130 km/h (81 mph) for cars above 1,100 cc (67 cu in) and 110 km/h (68 mph) for smaller ones.[6]

List of current Autostrade[edit]

A4 Turin - Trieste

Until 1990, the designation A1 referred only to the Milan-Rome section of the current A1; the Rome-Naples section was known as A2. After a link was built bypassing Rome, the designation A2 was withdrawn and now the A1 designation refers to the whole route. The residual connections to the "Grande Raccordo Anulare" (Great Ring Road, around Rome) were designated as raccordi (see later). Until 1973, the designation A17 referred to the current A16, and the section Canosa-Bari of the current A14.

List of tangenziali (bypass roads around big cities)[edit]

This is a list of tangenziali classified as autostrada.

List of bretelle and raccordi autostradali[edit]

Some autostrade are called bretelle, diramazioni or raccordi because they are short and have few exits.

Bretelle, diramazioni or raccordi are generally connections between two motorways, or connections between motorways and important cities without a motorway.

They have the same number (sometimes with the suffix dir) as one of the two autostrade linked, a combination of the numbers of the two autostrade linked, or the number of the main autostrada.

Number Name (length) Connection
A1 Raccordo Milano-Piazzale Corvetto (2 km) A1 - Milano Piazzale Corvetto
A1 Diramazione Capodichino (3 km) A1 - Aeroporto di Capodichino - A56
A1dir Diramazione Roma nord (23 km) A1 - GRA
A1dir Diramazione Roma sud (20 km) A1 - GRA
A2 A2 dir. Napoli (2 km) A2 - A3
A2 A2 dir. Reggio Calabria (9 km) A2 - Reggio Calabria
A4 Raccordo Chivasso (6 km) A4 - Verolengo
A4/A5 Raccordo Ivrea-Santhià (23,6 km) A4 - A5
Raccordo Aosta-Gran San Bernardo (7,9 km) A5 - SS27
A6 Diramazione per Fossano (6,6 km) A6 - Fossano
A8/A26 Diramazione Gallarate-Gattico (23,2 km) A8 - A26
A11/A12 Diramazione Lucca-Viareggio (20 km) A11 - A12
A12 Diramazione per Livorno (4,5 km) A12 - Livorno
A13 Diramazione per Padova sud (4,3 km) A13 - Padova
A13 Diramazione per Ferrara (6,3 km) A13 - Ferrara - RA8
A14 Raccordo per Tangenziale di Bari (4,6 km) A14 - Tangenziale di Bari
A14dir Diramazione per Ravenna (29,8 km) A14 - Ravenna
A15 Diramazione La Spezia-Santo Stefano di Magra Santo Stefano di Magra - A15 - La Spezia
A18dir Diramazione per Catania (3,7 km) A18 - Catania
A19dir Raccordo A19-Palermo (5,2 km) A19 - Circonvallazione di Palermo
A21dir Diramazione per Fiorenzuola (12,3) A1 - A21
A4/A26 Diramazione Stroppiana-Santhià (29,7 km) A4 - A26
A26/A7 Diramazione Predosa-Bettole (17 km) A7 - A26
A29dir Diramazione Alcamo-Trapani (36,9 km) A29 - Trapani
A29dirA Diramazione per Birgi (13,1 km) A29dir - Aeroporto di Trapani-Birgi
A29racc Bretella aeroporto Falcone e Borsellino (4 km) A29 - Aeroporto di Palermo
A29racc bis Raccordo per via Belgio (5,6 km) A29 - Circonvallazione di Palermo
A55 Diramazione per Pinerolo (23,44 km) A55 - Pinerolo
A55 Diramazione per Moncalieri (6,18 km) A6 - Moncalieri
A55 Raccordo della Falchera (3,13 km) A55 - A4 - SR 11
A57 Bretella/raccordo aeroporto (6,73 km) A57 - Aeroporto di Venezia

Trafori (T)[edit]

Important alpine tunnels ((in Italian) trafori) are identified by the capital letter "T" followed by a single digit number. Currently there are only three T-classified tunnels: Mont Blanc Tunnel (T1), Great St Bernard Tunnel (T2) and Frejus Road Tunnel (T4). Tunnels that cross the border between Italy and France (T1, T4) or Switzerland (T2), are treated as motorways (green signage, access control, and so on), although they are not proper motorways. The code T3 was once assigned to the Bargagli-Ferriere Tunnel in Ligurian Appennines before it was reclassified as SP 226.

T1 Traforo del Monte Bianco
T2 Traforo del Gran San Bernardo
T4 Traforo del Frejus

Raccordi autostradali (RA)[edit]

RA stands for Raccordo autostradale (translated as "motorway connection"), a relatively short spur route that connects an autostrada to a nearby city or tourist resort not directly served by the motorway. These spurs are owned and managed by ANAS (with some exceptions, such as the RA7 that became A53 when assigned to a private company for maintenance). Some spurs are toll-free motorways (type-A), but most are type-B or type-C roads. All RA have separate carriageways with two lanes in each direction. Generally, they do not have an emergency lane.

Symbol Number
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 1.svg RA1 A1 - A13 - A14

(Tangenziale di Bologna)

Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 2.svg RA2 A3 - Avellino
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 3.svg RA3 A1 - Siena
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 4.svg RA4 A3 - Reggio Calabria - SS106
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 5.svg RA5 A3 - Potenza
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 6.svg RA6 A1 - Perugia
Autostrada A53 Italia.svg A53 (or RA7) A7 - Tangenziale di Pavia
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 8.svg RA8 A13 - Ferrara - Porto Garibaldi
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 9.svg RA9 A16 - Benevento
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 10.svg RA10 Torino - A55 - Aeroporto di Caselle
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 11.svg RA11 Ascoli - A14 - Porto d'Ascoli
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 12.svg RA12 A25 - Chieti - A14 - Pescara
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 13.svg RA13 A4 - SS202
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 14.svg RA14 RA13 - Fernetti (state border with Slovenia)
Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 15.svg RA15 A18 - A19 - Aut. CT-SR

(Tangenziale di Catania)

Italian traffic signs - raccordo autostradale 16.svg RA16 A28 - SS13 Pontebbana

Strade extraurbane principali[edit]

Strada extraurbana principale sign

Type B highway (or strada extraurbana principale), commonly but unofficially known as superstrada (Italian equivalent for expressway), is a divided highway with at least two lanes in each direction, paved shoulder on the right, no cross-traffic and no at-grade intersections. Access restrictions on such highways are exactly the same as autostrade. Signage at the beginning and the end of the highways is the same, except the background color is blue instead of green. The general speed limit on strade extraurbane principali is 110 km/h. Strade extraurbane principali are not tolled. All strade extraurbane principali are owned and managed by ANAS, and directly controlled by the Italian government or by the regions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Benetton Family to Control Italian Toll Road Operator
  3. ^ Infrastructure company controlled by the Benetton family
  4. ^ Service Areas on Motorways in Italy
  5. ^ a b "Disegno di Legge" [draft law], Legislative Decree (in Italian), Senato della repubblica (967), p. 2, 1988-04-07
  6. ^ Novella de Luca, Maria (1989-09-28). "'Via libera ai 130 km/h' la camera aumenta i limiti di velocità" [Green light for 130 km/h: chamber increases speed limits]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-01-18.

External links[edit]