Transport and infrastructure in Italy

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of Italy with the average of all countries in Europe. Overall, the main traffic and transport routes are well developed and in comparatively good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Italy ranks 54th in the world with 0.28 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 16,779 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 24.26 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 27.69 billion passenger-kilometers in 2021.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 7,600 km of coastline. In 2021, about 11.30 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in Italy

Back to overview: Italy

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 487,700 km. For each of the country's 59.11 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 8.25 meters. This puts Italy in 64th place in the global ranking. However, the country's size and population density of around 196 inhabitants per km² must also be taken into account. Countries with fewer inhabitants in the same or even larger area naturally achieve quite different values here and have to connect remote areas to the transport network despite a smaller population.

With an average of 3404 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in Italy is considered relatively safe. This corresponds to 5.7 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In Italy, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This regulation was enforced on October 20th, 1924. Regionally, this also applied before, now it exists for all parts of the country. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways487,700 km8,250.77 km1,618.44 m
Railroads16,800 km283.86 km55.68 m
Waterways2,400 km40.60 km7.96 m
Commercial harbors1,29621.930.004


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways6,708,900 km11,154.38 km1,111.71 m
Railroads258,600 km429.97 km42.85 m
Waterways54,800 km91.17 km9.09 m
Commercial harbors15,27325.390.003

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Italy: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in ItalyThe 30 biggest airports and 5 airlines in Italy with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
Italy: ClimateClimate and temperature development in ItalyA climate analysis for Italy incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing