Italian traffic bans: who, when, where, why?

Italian traffic bans: who, when, where, why?

Traffic restrictions in Italy concern around 1.1 million vehicles. We help you to understand whether or not you can drive your car.

Who: the vehicles affected by these measures are category N1, N2 and N3 Diesel cars and commercial vehicles, Euro 3 or earlier, with some variations: in Lombardy, the bans also apply to Euro 2 petrol vehicles.  In Emilia Romagna, Euro 4 Diesels are also affected. These are vehicles registered between 1993 and 2005, roughly.

When: In Lombardy the bans – also extended to Euro 2 and earlier petrol vehicles – apply from 7.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. every day, except Sundays and holidays. In the Veneto region the restrictions run from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Monday to Friday, but Euro 2 petrol vehicles are not affected. In Emilia Romagna, finally, the bans apply from 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. on working days plus the first Sunday of each month, and also apply to Euro 4 Diesels and petrol vehicles up to and including Euro 1.

Where: on the Po Plain, in other words the Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont regions, although restrictions in the latter region only affect Turin. In Emilia Romagna, on the other hand, they extend through to Euro 4.

Why: it is necessary to lower the PM10 or nitrogen dioxide (NO2) values in urban areas with more than 30,000 residents, where one or more limit has been exceeded.

Exceptions: those with an ISEE (Indicatore della Situazione Economica Equivalente, a parameter quantifying the household’s financial situation) of 16,700 Euros or below can continue to drive by carrying a certification with them, along with those aged over 70, those who cannot reach their work by public transport, and those who need their vehicles to reach public transport stops.


In order to find out which Euro category your vehicle belongs to, and whether you’re allowed to drive, you can visit the website “Il Portale dell'Automobilista� and enter the plate number: you will receive an immediate response. The information is also contained in box 3 of your vehicle registration certificate.

On the older style registration documents, this information is somewhat “hidden� at the bottom of box 2, and includes the complete name of the directive.

Here, for convenience, you will find a summary table with the list of directives – i.e. the codes you need to look for in the registration documents – and the corresponding classes.

You may like