Posted Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:07AM
I just got a souvenir from our vacation in Italy in October of 2012-a $135 fine for driving in a restricted bus zone. We had rented a car and were leaving Florence for San Gimignano. The route out of town was highlighted by the rental car company but somehow we missed a turn and wound up in the bus zone. Maybe the town of Florence could put up signs directing people to the proper route to get out of town without ending up in the bus zone were your car will be photographed and fined. A sign with an arrow saying San Gimignano, Siena etc. this way would help. Seven months later we got the fine in the mail with instructions to pay by credit card. The only way out of a ticket is to prove that you were not driving the rental car at the time. Appeal is possible but if you lose the appeal the fine will double. Italy has lots of cameras and some people have returned from their vacations with is much as 300E fines or $500 US. There are restricted zones as well as Autovelex speed cameras on the Autostrada every 10KM. Renting a car in Italy might not be a good idea though some of the quaint towns and villages can only be reached by car. Use public transportation if you can. Most of the larger cities like Venice, Florence and Rome can be reached by public transportation. Too bad such a nice country to visit has such stiff fines. An interesting thread is below. Florence seems to be the most likely place to get one of these fines. If your hotel is in a restricted zone you need to get a pass ahead of time before driving there. A Presto!
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:39AM
If you dont plan on going back, what happens if you dont pay the fine?
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:38PM
What I have heard is that if you do not pay the fine they will turn it over to a international collection agency which can then assess a judgement against your estate. The rental car agency may go after you charging your credit card since they do not want to get holding the bag. Not really sure though I know if you do return to Italy they can revoke driving privilages or prevent you from entering the country. BTW the town of Florence collects about 25 million euros in restricted transit zone fines each year. Never mind other types of violations. Restricted transit zone fines are a top money maker for practically every city in Italy.
Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:35AM
Italy is covered with restricted zones... I drove into the centre of Sienna looking for a hotel, only to be told by one of the hotels that I should have not driven into the centre of the old town, and expect an 30Euro fine... well, never received it... guessing that their cameras spied me entering a hotel and waivered it due to access allowed to hotels and hire car on German plates :P