Map of the autostrade of Italy

The autostrade (Italian: [ˌautoˈstraːde]; sg. autostrada [ˌautoˈstraːda]) are roads forming the Italian national system of motorways. The total length of the system is about 7,016 kilometres (4,360 mi), as of 30 July 2022.[1] To these data are added 13 motorway spur routes, which extend for 355 kilometres (221 mi).[2]

In particular, 1,870.2 kilometres (1,162.1 mi) of the Italian motorway network have three lanes per carriageway, 129 kilometres (80 mi) km have four lanes per carriageway, 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) have five lanes per carriageway, while the remaining part is two lanes per carriageway.[3] The density is 22.4 kilometres (13.9 mi) of motorway for every 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi) of Italian territory.[4]

Italy was the first country in the world to build motorways reserved for fast traffic and for motor vehicles only.[5][6] The Autostrada dei Laghi ("Lakes Motorway"), the first built in the world, connecting Milan to Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, and now parts of the A8 and A9 motorways, was devised by Piero Puricelli and was inaugurated in 1924.[6]

In North and Central Italy, the Autostrade mainly consists of tollways managed by Autostrade per l'Italia, a holding company controlled by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.[7][8] Other operators include ASTM, ATP, and Autostrade Lombarde in the north-west; Autostrada del Brennero, A4 Holding, Concessioni Autostradali Venete [it], and Autovie Venete [it] in the north-east; Strada dei Parchi [it], SALT, SAT, and Autocisa in the center; and CAS in the south.

On Italian motorways the toll applies to almost all motorways not managed by Anas. The collection of motorway tolls, from a tariff point of view, is managed mainly in two ways: either through the "closed motorway system" (km actually travelled) or through the "open motorway system" (flat-rate toll).[9] Given the multiplicity of operators, the toll is only requested when exiting the motorway and not when the motorway operator changes. This system was made possible following Article 14 of Law 531 of 12 August 1982.[10]

History

The King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy inaugurated the Autostrada dei Laghi ("Lakes Motorway"; now parts of the Autostrada A8 and Autostrada A9), the first motorway built in the world,[5][6] on 21 September 1924, aboard the royal Lancia Trikappa
Toll gate of the Autostrada dei Laghi ("Lakes Motorway") in Milan in 1924
Autostrada dei Laghi ("Lakes Motorway") in 1925
Foundation stone laying ceremony for the Florence-Mare motorway (the current Autostrada A11) in 1927
The President of Italy Antonio Segni inaugurated the Autostrada del Sole ("Sun Motorway"; now called Autostrada A1), on 4 October 1964, aboard the presidential Lancia Flaminia.
The construction of one of the many viaducts of the Autostrada A22 in the 1970s
Inauguration ceremony of the Autostrada A35 on 23 July 2014

The term "autostrada" was used for the first time in an official document from 1922 in which the engineer Piero Puricelli presented the project for the Autostrada dei Laghi ("Lakes Motorway"); with that term, it indicated those roads characterized by a straight path (as far as possible), without obstacles, characterized by a high achievable speed, passable only by motor vehicles (Italian: autoveicoli, hence the name) aimed at the rapid transport of goods and people.[11]

Italy was the first country in the world to build motorways reserved for fast traffic and for motor vehicles only.[5][6] The Autostrada dei Laghi ("Lakes Motorway"), the first built in the world, connecting Milan to Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, and now parts of the Autostrada A8 and Autostrada A9, was devised by Piero Puricelli and was inaugurated in 1924.[6] Piero Puricelli, a civil engineer and entrepreneur, received the first authorization to build a public-utility fast road in 1921, and completed the construction (one lane in each direction) between 1924 and 1926. Piero Puricelli decided to cover the expenses by introducing a toll.[12]

It was a futuristic project, because there were few cars in circulation in Italy at that time. In 1923 there were a total of 53,000 cars circulating on Italian roads (between 1928 and 1929 there was a significant increase, as they went from 142,000 cars in circulation to 173,000 respectively).[13] In 1927 there were 135,900 cars circulating in Italy, corresponding to one vehicle for every 230 inhabitants, while today the ratio is 1 car for every 1.6 inhabitants.[13] The most motorized Italian regions were those of northern Italy and central Italy, with Lombardy at the top of the list with over 38,700 cars in 1923, while at the bottom of the list was Basilicata with 502 cars.[13] Milan was the Italian city in which the most car licenses were issued annually (12,000 in 1928), while the Italian region where the fewest licenses were issued was Sardinia, with only 632 new licenses.[13]

In 1927 the Milan-Bergamo motorway was opened (part of the current Autostrada A4) whose concessionary company was owned by Piero Puricelli. In 1929 the Naples-Pompei motorway (part of the current Autostrada A3) was inaugurated, while in 1931 the Brescia-Bergamo motorway (part of the current Autostrada A4) was inaugurated. In 1932 the Turin-Milan motorway (part of the current Autostrada A4) was opened. In 1933 the Florence-Mare motorway (the current Autostrada A11) and the Padua-Venice motorway (part of the current Autostrada A4) were opened. In 1935, after 3 years of work, the Genoa-Serravalle Scrivia (the current Autostrada A7) was opened.[14] However, the first regulatory definition dates back only to 1933 with Royal Decree no. 1740 of 1933 which defined autostrade as roads reserved for motor vehicles only.[15] In 1939, a year before Italy entered into the World War II, the construction of the Genoa-Savona motorway (the current Autostrada A10) was approved.

Legislative decree 17 April 1948, n. 547 defines motorways "as those communication routes reserved for paid transit of motor vehicles, built and operated by the A.N.A.S. or by private individuals, with or without State contributions".[16] In 1955 the Romita law was promulgated which provided that the motorway network must be present in all regions, work began on the Genoa-Savona and the doubling of single carriageway motorways began with financing law no. 1328/1955. The law of 7 February 1961, n. 59 defines motorways "as those communication routes exclusively reserved for the selected transit, usually for a fee, of motor vehicles and motorbikes, without level crossings or in any case unattended, which are recognized as such by decree of the Minister for Public Works".[17]

In 1961, by Law 24 July 1961 n. 729, the construction of the Adriatica (Autostrada A14), Naples-Canosa (Autostrada A16) and Caserta-Salerno (Autostrada A30) motorways was approved.[18] The same law provided for the construction of motorway junctions. Also in the 1960s, the first automatic pay stations were introduced for paying tolls only with coins.[19] In 1964, the Autostrada A1 Milan-Rome was completed, the first dual carriageway motorway in the world with sections also in the mountains.[20] In 1973 the first motorway in Sicily (the Autostrada A18) was inaugurated. In the 1970s the Grande Raccordo Anulare was classified as a motorway.

In 1975, law 492 was promulgated (in force until the 1990s) which provides for the blocking of motorway construction due to the oil crisis. Since 1981, toll tickets with mechanical perforation have been replaced with tickets with a magnetic stripe.[19] Meanwhile, construction work continues on the motorways already under construction, which had not been affected by law 492. In 1984 the Viacard began to spread, followed in the following years by the Telepass introduced in 1990.

In 1997 work began on the modernization of the Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway. Completed in 2017, it was then renamed Autostrada A2, to replace the old name which then remained only for the Naples-Salerno section. In 2001, with the doubling of the Autostrada A6, all motorways in Italy are dual carriageways.[21] In 2009 the Mestre bypass was opened (classified as Autostrada A4). Between 2014 and 2015, the Autostrada A35, Autostrada A36, Autostrada A58, Autostrada A59, and Autostrada A60 motorways were opened. In March 2022, the 3-lane section of the Autostrada A1 southbound between Barberino di Mugello and Calenzano was opened, which - although not officially - constitutes the natural continuation of the Variante di Valico; in this stretch the Santa Lucia tunnel is crossed which, at 7.724 kilometres (4.799 mi), is the longest 3-lane tunnel in Europe.[22]

Characteristics

Autostrada A14
Autostrada A11
Autostrada A12

In order for a road to be classified as a motorway, various geometric and construction conditions must be satisfied and these, although very similar in basis (for example the width of the travel lanes must be 3.75 metres (12.3 ft)) are not constant: there are different technical-legal regulations for motorways built in urban or extra-urban areas.[23]

The Italian traffic code defines the motorway as follows:

extra-urban or urban road with independent carriageways or separated by an impassable traffic island, each with at least two lanes, possible paved shoulder on the left and emergency lane or paved shoulder on the right, without at-grade intersections and private accesses, equipped with a fence and user assistance systems along the entire route, reserved for the circulation of certain categories of motor vehicles and characterized by specific start and end signs; must be equipped with special rest areas and parking areas, both with accesses equipped with deceleration and acceleration lanes.

— Art. 2 Italian traffic code[24]

These characteristics, however, may not be respected (for example in the application of the dynamic lane) by virtue of the exceptions provided for by the Italian traffic code itself:

when particular local, environmental, landscape, archaeological and economic conditions do not allow adaptation, provided that road safety is ensured and pollution is in any case avoided.

— Art. 13 paragraph 2 Italian traffic code[25]

In the event that, [...], particular local, environmental, landscape, archaeological and economic conditions do not allow full compliance with these regulations, different design solutions may be adopted provided that they are supported by specific safety analyses and subject to the favourable opinion of the Superior Council of Public Works for motorways, main extra-urban roads and urban thoroughfares, and of the Regional Authority for Public Works for other roads.

— Art. 3 "Functional rules for the construction of roads provided for by the Italian traffic code"[23]

In any case, some standards are applied in all newly built motorways. For example, the interchanges must be accessible by ramps (acceleration and deceleration lanes) set aside from the main traffic flow, the carriageways separated by continuous median strips. There may be traffic lights intended only for emergencies, while emergency telephones (SOS columns) must be positioned with a certain frequency in emergency parking spaces. The beginning and end of a motorway must be marked with appropriate signs.

Extent

The total length of the Italian motorway system is about 7,016 kilometres (4,360 mi), as of 30 July 2022.[1] To these data are added 13 motorway spur routes, which extend for 355 kilometres (221 mi).[2] In particular, 1,870.2 kilometres (1,162.1 mi) of the Italian motorway network have three lanes per carriageway, 129 kilometres (80 mi) km have four lanes per carriageway, 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) have five lanes per carriageway, while the remaining part is two lanes per carriageway.[3] The density is 22.4 kilometres (13.9 mi) of motorway for every 1,000 square kilometres (390 sq mi) of Italian territory.[4]

Nomenclature

Italian motorways follow a single numbering, even if managed by different concessionaire companies: they are all marked with the letter "A" ("RA" in the case of motorway junctions, with the exception of the Bereguardo-Pavia junction numbered on the signs as Autostrada A53, and "T" for the international Alpine tunnels) followed by a number. Therefore a motorway with the same numbering can be managed by different concessionaire companies (for example the Autostrada A23 is managed for a stretch by Società Autostrade Alto Adriatico [it] and for the remaining stretch by Autostrade per l'Italia[26][27]).

In road signs the alphanumeric acronym is enclosed (not in the case of the 16 junctions) in a green octagon with a white acronym. The numbers of motorways and tunnels are assigned with a circular from the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport to be published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale.[28]

Motorway concessions

The current law (Legislative Decree no. 50/2016) provides that the operational risk is transferred from the contracting authorities to the private economic operator. It also includes traffic risk, i.e. the manifestation of demand for motorway services that is lower than market forecasts and to such an extent that it does not guarantee coverage of the investments and costs of managing the works and the service. Public administrations remain responsible for risks on the supply and demand side that can be attributed outside the scope of normal operating conditions due to the existence of unforeseen and unpredictable events.[29]

Examples of the latter case include the unavailability of the infrastructure due to the failure to carry out scheduled and breakdown maintenance by the concessionaire if it has been deprived of the necessary administrative authorizations and, in particular, of the cost variations borne by the Italian State, which in any case could have been anticipated by the private economic operator, only to then exercise the right of compensation against the public administration. A second example, on the demand side, derives from the unpredictability of demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the randomness of the choices made by the public administration to restrict citizens' freedom of movement.

The only exception to this financial scheme is represented by the contractual instrument of the public–private partnership.[29] However, it ordinarily - but not necessarily exclusively - identifies the public administration itself, and not the citizens, as the main user-customer of the service provided by the concessionaire's infrastructure and the user of the granted work. However, it contemplates the granting of ownership or right of enjoyment of a work that is:[30]

Management

Autostrada A1
Autostrada A24

Italian motorways are mostly managed by concessionaire companies. From 1 October 2012 the granting body is the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and no longer Anas[31] and the majority (5,773.4 kilometres (3,587.4 mi) in 2009[32]) are subject to toll payments. The motorways are managed either by Anas or by companies that have signed agreements with Anas itself.

Until September 2012, Anas controlled the operations of the concessionaire companies through the IVCA (Supervision Inspectorate for motorway concessions) equipped with an autonomous organizational structure. Starting from 1 October 2012, the functions were then transferred to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport,[33] which exercises them through the General Directorate for Supervision of Motorway Concessions.

In North and Central Italy, the Autostrade mainly consists of tollways managed by Autostrade per l'Italia, a holding company controlled by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.[7][8] Other operators include ASTM, ATP, and Autostrade Lombarde in the north-west; Autostrada del Brennero, A4 Holding, Concessioni Autostradali Venete [it], and Autovie Venete [it] in the north-east; Strada dei Parchi [it], SALT, SAT, and Autocisa in the center; and CAS in the south. . In 2009 the entire sector generated a turnover of 5,250 million euros (of which 4,600 million euros in tolls). 50% of the turnover was allocated to investments and maintenance.[32]

The art. 27 of the legislative decree of 21 June 2013, n. 69 - converted into law 9 August 2013, n. 98 - modified the procedure for the approval of annual adjustments to motorway tariffs, abolishing the provision (dictated by paragraph 5 of art. 21 of legislative decree 355/2003) which regulated, within the scope of the procedure, the relationship between companies grantor and Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Now the proposal relating to the tariff changes that the concessionaire intends to apply is formulated to the grantor (therefore to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport), by 15 October of each year and that this proposal is approved or rejected by 15 December, by decree reasoned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (in agreement with the Minister of Economy and Finance).[34]

Traffic laws

An autostrada regulation sign along an entrance ramp to the Autostrada A91

Italy's motorways must not be used by:[35]

The movement of pedestrians and animals (if supervised) is permitted only in service and rest areas. Pedestrians can also travel in the emergency lane only to reach an aid station (for example an SOS column). In service and parking areas, vehicles cannot remain parked for more than 24 hours except for the parking areas of motorway hotels (or similar commercial establishments).[37]

Safety

Speed limits

Italy's motorways have a standard speed limit of 130 km/h (80 mph) for cars. Limits for other vehicles (or when visibility is poor due to weather) are lower. Legal provisions allow operators to set the limit to 150 km/h (95 mph) on their concessions on a voluntary basis if there are three lanes in each direction and a working SICVE, or Safety Tutor, which is a speed-camera system that measures the average speed over a given distance.

Unlike the normal speed camera, which measures the instantaneous speed of vehicles in a certain road section, the Safety Tutor instead measures the average speed between two sections even several kilometres away, in order to provide a reliable and indisputable measurement for detecting infringements, without penalizing those who exceed the speed limit for short distances such as, for example, when overtaking. One year after the introduction of the Safety Tutor (which took place on 23 December 2005[38]), important benefits were found in reducing accident rates (-22%). In the first year of use, the death rate decreased by 50% and the injury rate by 34% in the areas where the device was installed.[39]

The first speed limit, to 120 km/h (75 mph), was enacted in November 1973 as a result of the 1973 oil crisis.[40] In October 1977, a graduated system was introduced: cars with engine displacement above 1.3 L (79 cu in) had a 140 km/h (85 mph) speed limit, cars of 900–1299 cm3 had a limit of 130 km/h (80 mph), those of 600–899 cm3 could drive at 110 km/h (70 mph), and those of 599 cm3 (36.6 cu in) or less had a maximum speed of 90 km/h (55 mph).[40] In July 1988 a blanket speed limit of 110 km/h (70 mph) was imposed on all cars above 600 cm3 (the lower limit was kept for smaller cars) by the short-lived PSDI government. In September 1989 this was increased to 130 km/h (80 mph) for cars above 1.1 L (67 cu in) and 110 km/h (70 mph) for smaller ones.[41]

Safe design

Autostrada A20

The safety features of the Italian motorways include:

Toll

Toll plaza along the Autostrada A57
Toll station along the Autostrada A9

On Italian motorways, the toll applies to almost all motorways not managed by Anas. The collection of motorway tolls, from a tariff point of view, is managed mainly in two ways: either through the "closed motorway system" (km travelled) or through the "open motorway system" (flat-rate toll).[9]

Given the multiplicity of operators, the toll is only requested when exiting the motorway and not when the motorway operator changes. This system was made possible following article 14 of law 531 of 12 August 1982.[10]

From a technical point of view, however, the mixed barrier/free-flow system is active where, at the entrance and exit from the motorways, there are lanes dedicated to the collection of a ticket (on entry) and the delivery of the ticket with simultaneous payment (on exit) and other lanes where, during transit without the need to stop, an electronic toll system[46] present in the vehicles records the data and debits the toll, generally into the bank account previously communicated by the customer, to the manager of his device. In Italy, this occurs through the Autostrade per l'Italia interchange system.

The Autostrada A36, Autostrada A59 and Autostrada A60 are exclusively free-flow. On these motorways, those who do not have the electronic toll device on board must proceed with the payment by subsequently communicating the data to the motorway manager (by telephone, online or by going to the offices dedicated to payment).

The closed motorway system is applied to most Italian motorways.[47] It requires the driver of the vehicle to collect a special ticket at the entrance to the motorway and pay the amount due upon exit. If equipped with an electronic toll system the two procedures are completely automatic and the driver on the detection lanes located at the entrances and exits from the motorways subject to toll payment must only proceed at a maximum speed of 30 kilometres per hour (20 mph) without the need to stop.[48] The amount is directly proportional to the distance travelled by the vehicle, the coefficient of its class and a variable coefficient from motorway to motorway, called the kilometre rate.

Unlike the closed motorway system, in the open system, the road user does not pay based on the distance travelled. Motorway barriers are arranged along the route (however not at every junction), at which the user pays a fixed sum, depending only on the class of the vehicle.[47] The user can therefore travel along sections of the motorway without paying any toll as the barriers may not be present on the section travelled.

List of current autostrade

Number Length (km) Length (mi) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Route name Formed Removed Notes
A 1 759.8 472.1 Milan Naples Autostrada del Sole 01964-01-011964 current E35, E45
A 2 202.1 125.6 Rome Naples Autostrada del Sole 01962-01-011962 01988-01-011988 Absorbed into the A1
A 2 442.9 275.2 Salerno Reggio Calabria Autostrada del Mediterraneo 02017-01-012017 current E45, E90, E841
A 3 51.7 32.1 Naples Salerno 01974-01-011974 current E45
A 4 522.4 324.6 Turin Trieste Serenissima 01927-01-011927 current E55, E64, E70
A 5 141.4 87.9 Turin Mont Blanc Autostrada della Valle d'Aosta 01961-01-011961 current E25, E612
A 6 123.7 76.9 Turin Savona La Verdemare 01960-01-011960 current E717
A 7 135.5 84.2 Milan Genoa Autostrada dei Giovi 01935-01-011935 current E25, E62
A 8 43.6 27.1 Milan Varese Autostrada dei Laghi 01924-01-011924 current E35, E62
A 9 30.9 19.2 Lainate Chiasso Autostrada dei Laghi 01924-01-011924 current E35
A 10 158.1 98.2 Genoa Ventimiglia Autostrada dei Fiori 01967-01-011967 current E25, E74, E80
A 11 81.7 50.8 Florence Pisa Autostrada Firenze-Mare 01933-01-011933 current E76
A 12 210.0 130.5 Genoa Rome Autostrada Azzurra 01967-01-011967 current E80
A 13 116.7 72.5 Bologna Padua 01970-01-011970 current
A 14 743.4 461.9 Bologna Taranto Autostrada Adriatica 01966-01-011966 current E45, E843
A 15 108.5 67.4 Parma La Spezia Autocamionale della Cisa 01975-01-011975 current E33
A 16 172.5 107.2 Naples Canosa di Puglia Autostrada dei Due Mari 01966-01-011966 current E842
A 17 242 150 Naples Bari 01969-01-011969 01973-01-011973 Absorbed into the A14 and A16
A 18 76.8 47.7 Messina Catania 01971-01-011971 current E45
A 18 SR-Gela 47.7 29.6 Syracuse Ispica 01983-01-011983 current E45
A 19 191.6 119.1 Palermo Catania 01970-01-011970 current E90, E932
A 20 183.0 113.7 Messina Buonfornello 01972-01-011972 current E45, E90
A 21 238.3 148.1 Turin Brescia Autostrada dei Vini 01968-01-011968 current E70
A 22 315.0 195.7 Brenner Modena Autostrada del Brennero 01968-01-011968 current E45
A 23 119.9 74.5 Palmanova Tarvisio Autostrada Alpe-Adria 01966-01-011966 current E55
A 24 158.8 98.7 Rome Teramo Autostrada dei Parchi 01969-01-011969 current E80
A 25 115.0 71.5 Torano di Borgorose Pescara Autostrada dei Parchi 01969-01-011969 current E80
A 26 197.1 122.5 Genoa Gravellona Toce Autostrada dei Trafori 01976-01-011976 current E25, E62
A 27 82.5 51.3 Venice Belluno Autostrada d'Alemagna 01972-01-011972 current
A 28 48.8 30.3 Portogruaro Conegliano 01974-01-011974 current
A 29 114.8 71.3 Palermo Mazara del Vallo Autostrada del Sale 01972-01-011972 current E90
A 30 55.3 34.4 Caserta Salerno 01975-01-011975 current
A 31 88.7 55.1 Badia Polesine Piovene Rocchette Autostrada della Val d'Astico 01976-01-011976 current
A 32 73.0 45.4 Turin Fréjus Road Tunnel Autostrada del Frejus 01983-01-011983 current E70
A 33 23.0 14.3 Cuneo Carrù 02005-01-012005 current
A 34 17.5 10.9 Villesse Gorizia 02013-01-012013 current
A 35 54.8 34.1 Castegnato Melzo BreBeMi 02014-01-012014 current
A 36 23.0 14.3 Cassano Magnago Lentate sul Seveso Pedemontana Lombarda 02015-01-012015 current
A 50 31.3 19.4 Ring road around Milan Tangenziale Ovest di Milano 01968-01-011968 current E35, E62
A 51 30.7 19.1 Ring road around Milan Tangenziale Est di Milano 01971-01-011971 current
A 52 21.6 13.4 Ring road around Milan Tangenziale Nord di Milano 01994-01-011994 current
A 53 9.2 5.7 Bereguardo Pavia 01960-01-011960 current
A 54 8.4 5.2 Ring road around Pavia Tangenziale Ovest di Pavia 01994-01-011994 current
A 55 57.5 35.7 Ring road around Turin Tangenziale di Torino 01976-01-011976 current E70
A 56 20.2 12.6 Ring road around Naples Tangenziale di Napoli 01972-01-011972 current
A 57 26.7 16.6 Ring road around Mestre Tangenziale di Mestre 01972-01-011972 current E55
A 58 31.8 19.8 Ring road around Milan Tangenziale Est Esterna di Milano 02014-01-012014 current
A 59 2.9 1.8 Ring road around Como Tangenziale di Como 02015-01-012015 current
A 60 4.5 2.8 Ring road around Varese Tangenziale di Varese 02015-01-012015 current
A 90 68.2 42.4 Ring road around Rome Grande Raccordo Anulare di Roma 01951-01-011951 current E80
A 91 18.4 11.4 Rome Fiumicino Airport 01959-01-011959 current E80
  •       Former

Interactive map

List of bretelle and raccordi autostradali

Some motoways 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 motorways linked, a combination of the numbers of the two motorways linked, or the number of the main motorway.

Number Name length Connection
A1 Raccordo A1-A51 1.7 km (1.1 mi) A1 - A51
A1 Raccordo Milano-Piazzale Corvetto 2.5 km (1.6 mi) A1 - Milano Piazzale Corvetto
A1 Diramazione Capodichino 3 km (1.9 mi) A1 - Aeroporto di Capodichino - A56
A1dir Diramazione Roma nord 23 km (14 mi) A1 - GRA
A1dir Diramazione Roma sud 20 km (12 mi) A1 - GRA
A1var Variante di Valico 33 km (21 mi) A1 - A1
A1 A1 Raccordo Sasso Marconi - SS 64 2.7 km (1.7 mi) A1 - Sasso Marconi - Strada statale 64 Porrettana [it]
A2dir A2 dir. Napoli 2.3 km (1.4 mi) A2 - A3
A2dir A2 dir. Reggio Calabria 9 km (5.6 mi) A2 - Reggio Calabria
A4 Raccordo Chivasso 5 km (3.1 mi) A4 - Verolengo
A4 Bretella Latisana 2.6 km (1.6 mi) A4 - Strada statale 14 della Venezia Giulia [it]
A4/A5 Raccordo Ivrea-Santhià 23.6 km (14.7 mi) A4 - A5
A5 Raccordo A5-SS 27 7.9 km (4.9 mi) A5 - Strada statale 27 del Gran San Bernardo [it]
A6 Diramazione per Fossano 6.6 km (4.1 mi) A6 - Fossano
A8/A26 Diramazione Gallarate-Gattico 24 km (15 mi) A8 - A26
A11/A12 Diramazione Lucca-Viareggio 18.2 km (11.3 mi) A11 - A12
A12 Diramazione per Livorno 5 km (3.1 mi) A12 - Livorno
A13 Diramazione per Padova sud 4.3 km (2.7 mi) A13 - Padova
A13 Diramazione per Ferrara 6.3 km (3.9 mi) A13 - Ferrara - RA8
A14 Raccordo per Tangenziale di Bari 4.6 km (2.9 mi) A14 - Tangenziale di Bari [it]
A14dir Diramazione per Ravenna 29.8 km (18.5 mi) A14 - Ravenna
A14 Ramo Casalecchio 5.5 km (3.4 mi) A14 - Casalecchio di Reno
A15 Diramazione per Santo Stefano di Magra 1.2 km (0.75 mi) A15 - Santo Stefano di Magra
A15 Diramazione per Lerici 3.7 km (2.3 mi) A15 - Lerici
A18dir Diramazione per Catania 3.7 km (2.3 mi) A18 - Catania
A19dir Raccordo A19-Palermo 5.2 km (3.2 mi) A19 - Circonvallazione di Palermo
A21dir Diramazione per Fiorenzuola 12.3 km (7.6 mi) A1 - A21
A4/A26 Diramazione Stroppiana-Santhià 29.7 km (18.5 mi) A4 - A26
A26/A7 Diramazione Predosa-Bettole 17 km (11 mi) A7 - A26
A29dir Diramazione Alcamo-Trapani 36.9 km (22.9 mi) A29 - Trapani
A29dirA Diramazione per Birgi 13.1 km (8.1 mi) A29dir - Aeroporto di Trapani-Birgi
A29racc Bretella aeroporto Falcone e Borsellino 4 km (2.5 mi) A29 - Aeroporto di Palermo
A29racc bis Raccordo per via Belgio 5.6 km (3.5 mi) A29 - Circonvallazione di Palermo
A55 Diramazione per Pinerolo 23.4 km (14.5 mi) A55 - Pinerolo
A55 Diramazione per Moncalieri 6.2 km (3.9 mi) A6 - Moncalieri
A55 Raccordo della Falchera 3.1 km (1.9 mi) A55 - A4 - SR 11
A57 Bretella/raccordo aeroporto 6.7 km (4.2 mi) A57 - Aeroporto di Venezia

Trafori (T)

Entrance to the Frejus Road Tunnel (T4) from the Italian side

Important Alpine tunnels (Italian: trafori; sg. traforo) 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 Apennines, opened in 1971. The T3 tunnel connected Bargagli with Ferriere, in the province of Genoa, for a length of 4.250 kilometres (2.641 mi).[49] It was initially classified as a motorway, but following the decree of 22 July 1989, responsibilities were transferred to Anas, which included the route in the itinerary of the state road 225 of Val Fontanabuona. However, the road maintains all the motorway rules regarding access.

Number Name Route Length Opened Speed limit
Traforo del Monte Bianco Courmayeur (Italy) - Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (France) 11.6 km (7.2 mi) 1965 50–70 km/h (31–43 mph)
Traforo del Gran San Bernardo Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses (Italy) - Bourg-Saint-Pierre (Switzerland) 5.8 km (3.6 mi) 1964 80 km/h (50 mph)
Traforo del Frejus Bardonecchia (Italy) - Modane (France) 12.9 km (8.0 mi) 1980 70 km/h (43 mph)

Raccordi autostradali (RA)

Raccordo autostradale RA3

The acronym RA stands for Raccordo autostradale (translated as "motorway connection"), a relatively short spur route that connects a motorway to a nearby city or tourist resort not directly served by the motorway. These spurs are owned and managed by Anas. 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.

In 1984, by ministerial decree of 20 July 1983, some motorway junctions, already open, forming part of the Italian trunk roads, were defined and classified as such.[50] The legislative decree of 29 October 1999, n. 461, reorganized the road sections classified as motorway junctions, identifying 17 of them. In the following years, the RA7 was classified, in parallel with the name already assumed, in Autostrada A53, maintaining both names in official documents. The RA17, however, in 2013, following modernization works, was completely reclassified as a motorway, changing its name to Autostrada A34. By 2023, 16 Italian road sections were classified with the RA acronym.

Number Length (km) Length (mi) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Route name Formed Removed Notes
RA 1 22.2 13.8 Tangenziale di Bologna 01967-01-011967 current A1 - A13 - A14
RA 2 22.406 13.922 A3 - Avellino
RA 3 56.360 35.020 01964-01-011964 current A1 - Siena
RA 4 5.512 3.425 A3 - Reggio Calabria - SS106
RA 5 51.500 32.001 A3 - Potenza
RA 6 58.470 36.332 A1 - Perugia
RA 7 9.1 5.7 01960-01-011960 current A7 - Tangenziale di Pavia
RA 8 49 30 A13 - Ferrara - Porto Garibaldi
RA 9 12.745 7.919 A16 - Benevento
RA 10 10.650 6.618 Torino - A55 - Turin Airport
RA 11 26.300 16.342 01990-01-011990 current Ascoli - A14 - Porto d'Ascoli
RA 12 14.800 9.196 A25 - Chieti - A14 - Pescara
RA 13 21 13 A4 - SS202
RA 14 1.5 0.93 01997-01-011997 current RA13 - Fernetti (state border with Slovenia)
RA 15 24 15 Tangenziale di Catania 01985-05-281985 current A18 - A19 - Aut. CT-SR
RA 16 3.754 2.333 A28 - SS13 Pontebbana

Strade extraurbane principali

Strada extraurbana principale sign

Type B highway (Italian: 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 motorways.

The signage at the beginning and the end of the highways is the same, except the background colour is blue instead of green. The general speed limit on strade extraurbane principali is 110 km/h (70 mph), unless otherwise indicated, for buses with a fully loaded mass between 3.5 and 8 tonnes (3.4 and 7.9 long tons; 3.9 and 8.8 short tons) and for trucks with a fully loaded mass between 3.5 and 12 tonnes (3.4 and 11.8 long tons; 3.9 and 13.2 short tons) it is 80 km/h (50 mph), for trucks with a full load mass exceeding 12 tonnes (12 long tons; 13 short tons) and for vehicles towing trailers it is 70 km/h (45 mph).[51][52]

The stretch from Grosseto to Livorno of the Strada statale 1 Via Aurelia is classified as strada extraurbana principale

Legislative decree 30 April 1992, n. 285, article 2, regarding the "New Italian traffic code", defines strade extraurbane principali in this way:[51]

Road with independent carriageways or separated by an impassable traffic island, each with at least two lanes and paved shoulder on the right, without at-grade intersections, with coordinated access to lateral properties, characterized by the appropriate start and end signs, reserved for the circulation of certain categories of motor vehicles; suitable spaces must be provided for any other categories of users. It must be equipped with special service areas, which include parking spaces, with accesses equipped with deceleration and acceleration lanes.

— Legislative decree 30 April 1992, n. 285, article 2, regarding the "New Italian traffic code"

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. The main strade extraurbane principali do not follow a specific nomenclature. In fact, they can be classified from an administrative point of view as state roads, regional roads or provincial roads.

Regional toll roads

Pedemontana Veneta

In Italy, there is a toll road under a concession from the Veneto region classified with the acronym SPV, with characteristics partly corresponding to a motorway and partly to a strada extraurbana principale, which is defined as a superstrada, i.e. the Pedemontana Veneta.

It is a road that connects Montecchio Maggiore to Spresiano passing through the industrial districts of Malo, Thiene and Schio, through Bassano del Grappa, through Montebelluna and north of Treviso, interconnecting with 3 motorways (from the west: the Autostrada A4, the Autostrada A31 and the Autostrada A27).

Together with the Florence-Pisa-Livorno highway [it] and the Autostrada Catania-Siracusa, it is one of the three roads that has definitively received a classification made up only of letters and not alphanumeric.[53]

Symbol Name Route Manager Length
Pedemontana Veneta Montecchio Maggiore - Spresiano/Villorba Veneto region 94.7 km (58.8 mi)

Expansion and strengthening of the network

The construction of the fifth lane in each direction along the Autostrada A8 by the end of 2023

In July 2020, the Italian government defined a broad investment plan for infrastructure in Italy, including substantial interventions on the motorway network.[54]

Works such as the TiBre are currently under construction, which consists of the natural continuation of the Autostrada A15 from Parma to the Autostrada A22 near Nogarole Rocca,[55] the Pedemontana Veneta (SPV), which will provide an important alternative to the Autostrada A4 between the Autostrada A4 toll booth of Montecchio Maggiore and the Autostrada A27 near Spresiano, the completion of the Autostrada A36, Autostrada A59 and Autostrada A60.

However, the section of the Autostrada A1 between the Firenze Sud toll booth and the Valdarno toll booth, the Autostrada A4 in the section between Venice and the junction with the Autostrada A34 at Villesse and in the urban section of Milan, and the Autostrada A8 between the Milan North toll booth and the junction with the Autostrada A9 near Lainate. On the first, the intervention involves the widening to 3 lanes. In the section between Venice and Villesse of the Autostrada A4, the third lane is under construction, while in the Milan section work is underway to create the fourth lane. On the Autostrada A8, the intervention consists of widening the carriageways in both directions from 4 to 5 lanes plus an emergency lane.

However, interventions such as the fourth lane on the Autostrada A1 between Milan and Lodi are currently being approved; the fourth lane on the Autostrada A14 between the branch for Ravenna and the future Ponte Rizzoli toll booth with the creation of the Northern Complanar between the latter and the Tangenziale di Bologna; the Tangenziale di Bologna which involves the widening of the Autostrada A14 in the urban section from two lanes plus dynamic lane to 3 lanes plus emergency lane and the widening of the adjacent Tangenziale di Bologna to 3 lanes plus emergency lane (4 in the most critical sections);[56] the third lane on the Autostrada A22 between Verona and Modena and the third lane between Bolzano Sud and Verona;[57] the Gronda di Genova [it]; the third dynamic lane on the Autostrada A12 between Torrimpietra [it] and Cerveteri and the third lane on the Autostrada A11 between Florence and Pistoia.[58]

See also

Other Italian roads

References

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