Sorry for being ignorant but just what is the dreaded "ZTL"?
Most cities in Northern Italy, from Small to Large, in an effort to reduce traffic in the city center have set up ZTLs, basically Limited Traffic Zones. The idea is only permitted cars can travel in these areas during certain times or at any time. Most of these areas also rely on cameras to enforce the law, so you driving around pass a point, picture is taken, you will be ticketed. Of course, with Italian Govt. efficiency, weeks later they review, they pass on to a third party collection agency, which eventually contacts your rental car agency. The agency charges you $50 to fork over your name and address, the third party some months later sends you a letter saying you owe 150 euro for the infraction, you don't pay, they up it to 250 euro, then you get another 3 violations in the mail, and then you ask boards like this what the implication is if you ignore all the notices. Not to be harsh, but that seems to be story line for most posts. General advice, know where you are going, assume with any town you will park in the outskirts and walk or bus in. If you are driving to your hotel in a ZTL, make sure you inform them that you have a car and assure that they contact the police to register your car, otherwise,
Thanks, Paul. Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with the Italian process of sending one a ticket long after one has returned to the US. Italy being Italy, I paid the ticket. There was some information, in Italian, of course about being able to dispute it but about how the fine would be doubled if you are found guilty. Once again, Italy is Italy. I have not yet encountered the "ZTL". I assume this must be posted on or near the zone. Then again, it's Italy. (Don't get me wrong, I love Italy and am going back this fall. But it's not the US. Customs are different.) I will watch out for the "ZTL" zones. Although I may not encounter them as I will be starting in Rome and going south from there. Again, my thanks for your explanation.
ZTL is just the Italian term for streets that are pedestrian only, with some exceptions e.g. for deliveries. You find them in pretty much all towns and cities in Europe that try to limit vehicular traffic in traditional city centres. So yes, you will see them in Rome as well as in Southern Italy. And you see them in Germany, France, Spain .... oh and London has some as well with very expensive fines. What's unique in some Italian cities like Florence, Pisa or Siena is the way these ZTLs are enforced. With the use of cameras there is no way of sneaking in and avoiding a ticket. In other towns you might be in violation of a ZTL but enforcement is not as stringent.
"Zona traffico limitato," I believe, if you're looking for the translation.
Kay, this article - about the ZTL's in Rome - has pictures, maps, and some more info on how to avoid these costly areas. It also has some video of how locals "avoid" the ZTL's! Rome has one of the largest ZTL areas in Europe - and Florence may have one of the most confusing. So be careful.