More speed, say Italians


Claudio Castiglioni and friends

Speed limits in Italy are already high compared to Canadian standards, but the government there says they may not be high enough.

For big-engined cars, that is. Motorcycles and cars with small motors are already going fast enough, the Italian government seems to think.

Most autostrada routes in Italy currenly have a 130 km/h limit, but some have an experimental 150 km/h rating.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s parliament is, according to Carole, considering making 150 a national standard for most two- and three-lane autostradas this year.

The limit would apply when roads are dry and traffic is light. And for vehicles with motors of greater displacement than 1900 cc.

The boss of MV Agusta, Claudio Castiglioni, understands the need for speed. He told Motociclismo magazine that modern sportbikes are hobbled at speeds of 130 km/h. "A modern sportbike travelling at 130 km/h is a distraction; it is a speed limit which exists just to promote fines and speeding taxes. Today’s motorcycles are safe at 170, even 180 km/h in light traffic. I would personally back a campaign to raise the limit to this level alongside keeping the existing limits in urban areas — they should be sacrosant."

Castiglioni is urging Italian motorcyclists to pressure the government to change the speed limit for large motorcycles to 180 km/h.


  1. I was in Italy this summer, and drove a few hundred kms worth. I agree with the earlier statement, that, certainly on the freeways, Italians seem to have better control and awareness about their vehicles and road positioning. I almost would go so far as to say they ‘enlightened’ to compared to drivers here, on the whole.

  2. We were just over there for vacation and there was no indication that they were more skilled. The only real difference is by Canadian standards they were constantly cutting each other off.

    We drove upwards of 130 km/hr but you still run the same risk of all the traffic suddenly coming to a stop with little warning and the faster you go the less time you have to stop, likewise for the guy behind you.

  3. They’ve got a general public with real passion and pretty goood skill toward driving; we’ve got too many people on the road who ought not to have a license. Witness orientals in Markham, barely see over the steering wheel… True, that insinuation about Fanatico, though.

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