Road signs in Italy

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An example of a directional road sign in Italy, in this case near Rieti.

Road signs in Italy conform to the general pattern of those used in most other European countries, with the notable exception that the background of motorway (autostrada) signs is green and those for 'normal' roads is blue. They are regulated by the Codice della Strada (Road Code) and by the Regolamento di Attuazione del Codice della Strada (Rules for the Implementation of the Road Code) in conformity with the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.


Distances and other measurements are displayed in metric units.

Warning signs are usually placed 150 metres before the area they're referring to; if they're farther or nearer, an additional sign displays the actual distance in metres. Prohibition signs and mandatory instruction signs, instead, are placed exactly at the beginning of the area of validity.

Colours and shapes[edit]

Signs follow the general European conventions concerning the use of shape and colour to indicate function of signs:

Type of sign Shape Border Background colour
Warning Triangular Red White
Prohibition Circular Red White
Mandatory instructions Circular White Blue
Supplementary Rectangular Black White
Information Rectangular White White (urban)
Blue (other roads)
Green (motorway)

Colours of directional road signs[edit]

  • On motorways, directional signs are green with white lettering.
  • On main roads, directional signs with more than one destination are blue with white lettering.
  • Within cities, directional signs with more than one destination are white with black lettering.

On main roads and within cities, the colour of a directional sign with a single destination depends on the type of destination:

  • if the destination is a city that is reached by means of a motorway, the sign is green and carries the motorway name as well as the destination
  • in the other cases when the destination is a city, the sign is blue
  • if the destination is a city district, a hospital or an airport, the sign is white
  • if the destination is a tourist attraction, the sign is brown


Example of directional road sign with multiple destinations. It is blue because it is on a main road (not a motorway) outside a town. The indication to a motorway is in a green box, and the indication to a tourist attraction is in a brown box. It uses both allowed fonts: the words VIAREGGIO and Marina di Vecchiano are in Alfabeto Normale, and the word autostrade is in Alfabeto Stretto

A version of the Transport typeface employed on road signs in the UK, called Alfabeto Normale, is used on Italian road signs. A condensed version, called Alfabeto Stretto, is also used for long names that wouldn't fit. Each name uses one font, but names in Alfabeto Normale and in Alfabeto Stretto can co-exist on one sign.

The font is officially regulated by the 1992 Codice della Strada, article 39 section 125.[1] It defines both Alfabeto Normale and Alfabeto Stretto for uppercase letters, lowercase letters and digits, "positive" (dark on light background) and "negative" (light on dark background). However, there are regulations about the use of Alfabeto Normale dating back to 1969.[2]

Uppercase is used in most cases. Lowercase is sometimes used for city districts and tourist attractions.


The standard language is Italian. In some autonomous regions or provinces bilingual signs are used (mainly Italian/German in South Tyrol, Italian/French in Aosta Valley and Italian/Slovenian along the Slovenian border, but also Italian/Friulan in the Friuli historical region and Italian/Sardinian in Sardinia).
These are some examples of the italian sign "Passo carrabile" (No parking in front of vehicular access to the side properties) in the bilingual variants:


Warning signs[edit]

Temporary signs[edit]

Regulatory signs[edit]

Priority signs[edit]

Prohibition signs[edit]

Mandatory signs[edit]

Indication signs[edit]

Additional panels[edit]

Complementary signage[edit]

Obsolete signs (No longer used)[edit]


  1. ^ Art. 125 - Iscrizioni, lettere e simboli relativi ai segnali di indicazione
  2. ^ Nuovi segnali "nome-strada"
  3. ^ a b See the article 59 of "Decreto Del Presidente Della Repubblica 30 giugno 1959, n. 420". Gazzetta ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana (in Italian).
  4. ^ This road sign is not regulated by the Highway Code: it had been designed by the Ministry of Public Works in order to prevent the launch of objects from bridges
  5. ^ This sign has been introduced in 2019
  6. ^ Saturday is considered a working day if it isn't an official holiday
  7. ^ See the article 61 of "Decreto Del Presidente Della Repubblica 30 giugno 1959, n. 420". Gazzetta ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana (in Italian).

External links[edit]