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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 AutostradeEdit

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 autostradaliEdit

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

  Traforo del Monte Bianco
  Traforo del Gran San Bernardo
  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
  RA1 A1 - A13 - A14

(Tangenziale di Bologna)

  RA2 A3 - Avellino
  RA3 A1 - Siena
  RA4 A3 - Reggio Calabria - SS106
  RA5 A3 - Potenza
  RA6 A1 - Perugia
  A53 (or RA7) A7 - Tangenziale di Pavia
  RA8 A13 - Ferrara - Porto Garibaldi
  RA9 A16 - Benevento
  RA10 Torino - A55 - Aeroporto di Caselle
  RA11 Ascoli - A14 - Porto d'Ascoli
  RA12 A25 - Chieti - A14 - Pescara
  RA13 A4 - SS202
  RA14 RA13 - Fernetti (state border with Slovenia)
  RA15 A18 - A19 - Aut. CT-SR

(Tangenziale di Catania)

  RA16 A28 - SS13 Pontebbana

Strade extraurbane principaliEdit

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 alsoEdit


  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 linksEdit