Italy has, and needs, a successful transport network. It is a long country and relies on millions of tourists arriving in the country every year. However, many of the visitors who visit wish to see a variety of attractions up and down the country, so Italy has needed to provide a network of transport that has been able to take people from the north to the south both quickly and safely.
The road transport network of the country is both fast and reliable. There are more than 6400 kms of motorways with speed limits generally set at 81km per hour. Italy has one of the highest car ownership per head ratios of population anywhere in the world, and is home to many famous car manufacturers.
The quality of the roads is maintained by the fact that may are toll roads and the income gained from the tolls is reinvested into the upkeep and maintenance of the highways. The greater concentration of fast roads is found in the north of the country where the major industrial cities are connected to each other.
The speed taken to travel within Italy is also helped by the rail system which is the 13th largest in the world. The Italian government the subsidizes railways to the tune of 8 billion euros every year which keeps the service well maintained and also makes it affordable for the average customer.
There are a number of high speed trains that operate within the country. Milan is particularly well serviced, and it is possible to reach Rome which is 580 km away, in under 3 hours. Turin although 180km away takes 1 hour by train and Bologna 22okm away is reached in 55 minutes. The success of these services means they are well used by the population taking the strain off the roads.
Many tourists who arrive in Italy do so by plane and the country is well served by the 130 airports that operate within the country serving both foreign and domestic travelers. By far the busiest airport in the country is Rome Fiumicino which serves over 40 million passengers each year.
There are more airports in the north of the country and this means that they are not as busy as Rome. The capital serves the whole of the south whereas business in the north is shared between the airports at Milan, Bergamo and Venice.
The national airline of Italy is Alitalia which was privatized in 2008. It has survived in the 21st century while many other European countries airlines have folded, as a result of the huge numbers of tourists that are attracted into the country both in summer and winter.
Many of the summer tourists arrive by sea as a result of cruise ships touring the Mediterranean. The most popular ports are in the south of the country with Messina on Sicily serving more passengers than any other port. However there are other busy ports at Reggio de Calabria, Capri and Naples.
The success of Italy’s transport network is that there are a wide variety of different methods to travel and they are all well-organized. This makes getting around this large country relatively easy.