Friday, March 23, 2007


I was surfing up the Italian road signs today. I 'm writing a little guide to try and help newbies at the Motogiro. And the Italian road signs are much different than most Americans are used to.

The Slow Travel Italy web site has a very complete listing of the various road signs here.
Here are couple signs I found particularly helpful to remember.

Generally a circular sign with RED is a restriction of some type. It means DON'T do something.
When I started riding in Italy I was confused by two of these "don't" signs. In particular, note the difference between the no entry (one way) and no stopping signs!

No entry, one way street

No stopping at any time

No passing (note the passing car is shown as red in the sign, and thus this means passing is forbidden)

Maximum speed limit (80km/h in this example)

This slash is typically shown over another sign, indicating the previous sign is cancelled. For instance, the no passing sign with a slash over it would indicate passing is now allowed.

A BLUE circular sign with an arrow is telling you to do something. I was confused by some of these blue signs, they often point downward where in the US they would point upward. For instance a blue circular sign with a white arrow pointing downward to the left means "keep left"; it doesn't mean look at the ground here!

Keep left.

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