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Driving on the Autostrada is very different from driving on our US Interstates. Most roads other than the Autostrada are only one lane in each direction, so passing cars and being passed is a part of every driving experience. The roads can be very narrow and winding.

There are four types of roads in Italy.

Types of Roads

Comparable to the US interstate system. (Shown on the Touring Club Italiano (TCI) road maps as black).
Major roads:
Roads that may have more than one lane in each direction or if only one lane in each direction are still fast moving, good roads. (Shown on the TCI road maps as red).
Minor roads:
Roads that can be narrow, slow and winding. They are usually one lane in each direction. (Shown on the TCI road maps as yellow).
Dirt Roads:
Narrow, dirt roads going through the countryside.(Shown on the TCI road maps as white lines). The Italians call these strade bianche, which translates to white roads. The strade bianche are actually white - they are made of light colored gravel. White roads are often good for hiking because they usually have little traffic. Be careful on white roads. Some are in good shape, but some are barely drivable. Look carefully at the map. White roads are shown in white, outlined in black. If the black line is a dotted line, this means the road is not in good shape. These dirt roads can be very dusty in summer and muddy in winter.