Many tourists to Italy and Stresa rent cars at an airport and then drive them to their destination. There are several rental car choices at most of the largest airports.

One of the biggest issues, however, with renting a car in Italy, is that many people from foreign countries (such as the United States), are not familiar with Italian rules of the road. Driving in Italy is very different from driving elsewhere, and it’s important to be knowledgeable about what to expect prior to getting behind the wheel. Not driving according to Italian rules of the road can be hazardous and may even cause an accident.

A few rules of the road:

  • Italians tend to drive very close to the car in front of them.
  • Italians regularly cut off other cars on the road.
  • Stop signs and traffic signals are often ignored.
  • There is often no place to park a car.
  • Speed limits – especially on highways – are usually ignored.

Due to the fact that it’s difficult to adjust to driving in Italy, and also because rental cars can be quite costly because of Italy’s VAT (value added tax), it may be smarter to take a train to Stresa and get around town using public transportation and taxis.