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I received a traffic ticket from Florence

I received a traffic ticket from Florence

Apr 14th, 2010, 07:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I received a traffic ticket from Florence

My wife and I enjoyed our honeymoon in Italy this past August. We rented a car in Florence and traveled throughout Tuscany for a while. This week, I received a letter from EMO (European Municipality Outsourcing) noting a traffic violantion- apparently the vehicle "circulated in limited traffic area without authorization."

Is this common? I certainly was not aware of making a traffic violation while I was there. I'd hate to fall for a scam. Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation?

Thank you.
DanandAndrea is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 07:21 PM
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It's not a scam. You took the vehicle into a limited traffic area without authorisation. They are poorly sign posted - but exist, none the less.

It happens frequently, and a search on Fodors will bring up many such instances.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Very common. You will find constant warnings on this site to avoid driving into the center of Florence. There are signs posted for ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato) where only local license plates can drive, a category in which a rental car would not fall. Some people report receiving two or three tickets from a simple drive across town as they passed various cameras. The cameras record your license, verify a violation, and send the violation to your rental car company who then pass it on to you.

If you drove through Florence instead of quickly getting out of the city, you probably violated the zone. Many recommend getting their rental car at the Florence airport to avoid this issue.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 07:27 PM
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There are a hundred or more postings on the Rick Steves site on the same subject. Very common and very expensive. Florence is one of the worse areas because almost all of Florence is restricted. Sometimes your hotel will be in a restricted zone and the hotel is required to tell the police that you have a vehcile. And there is a good possibility that you will receive more tickets. You may be lucky that the rental car company didn't charge your credit card.
fmpden is online now  
Apr 14th, 2010, 11:37 PM
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Those zones of limitation have been in use for some 20 years, so this is no news at all.
quokka is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 12:44 AM
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If they charged your credit card via the rental company, then it's tough. Howeever, if they merely forward the ticket and ask you to pay it, don't.
Lifeman is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 04:23 AM
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RE: Lifeman's advice

There may be two fees: one to your credit card for giving the bureau your information. It ususally runs $60-70. You have no choice but to pay it. It isn't going to be reversed.

Two cliches: You did the crime, pay the fine. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

A thought: if you got a traffic cam ticket in a US state would you ignore it?
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 04:27 AM
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One thing to consider is if your hotel was in the zone you may be able to get them to verify your stay and it may be possible to avoid the fine.
buongiorno is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:30 AM
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Tacking on to Ackislander's excellent advice..

Most rental agreements have in the fine print that no one reads something to the effect that you agree to operate the vehicle in a legal manner and will pay the fines if you don't. There is also probably a clause that says the rental folks will charge your credit card for the fines if you don't pay.

Obviously the rental company has your credit card info and they are not going to pay the fine from their profits.
notbob is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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We are picking up a rental car at the Florence airport, driving to the Cinque Terre and returning the car to the Florence airport. Is there a reasonable risk we will encounter this restricted district? What do the signs look like?
Thank you.
cmcfong is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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Here's a Slow Travel article that features photos of the signs:


These zones are in city centers. If you pick up at the Florence airport and head to Cinque Terre, there will be no reason for you to pass through the center. You may come across these zones in other town centers so watch for the signs.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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My husband and I also received one of those souvenirs.

The car rental company drew a very straightforward route for us to follow on leaving the city; our misstep occurred on a return daytrip when we got a bit lost upon leaving the Porto Romano parking lot.

The experience has left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, I have to admit. My enthusiasm for returning to Italy any time soon has diminished.

I need to read up on driving in France.
pavot is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Thank you, Ellen, your response is helpful.
cmcfong is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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cmcfong - Here's the ZTL map for Florence. Click autovelox for camera locations. You can zoom in a bit for better views of zones and cameras. Not all cameras are for ZTL. Some are for speeders.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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I made a statement here on Fodor's once and got blasted but I DO wish that the rental car companies in Italy would give the customers that rent their cars a brochure that would give them a warning about the ZTL zones in Florence and other cities although it seems that visitors receive the most citations when they have been in Florence.
LoveItaly is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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I think so many people get fined in Florence because the historic center is quite small and both major rental locations (Santa Maria Novella and Borgo Ognissanti) are right at the edge of the ZTL. One wrong turn and you're sunk.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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Oh what a great link, kybourbon, thanks a million!
cmcfong is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 07:57 PM
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Pavot, sure one traffic violation won't stop you from returning to Italy??
cathies is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 07:58 PM
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Oops, meant to write 'surely'.
cathies is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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I came on here to look, because just today we got a ticket from Florence too -- same reason given and it's $105 Euro. This is the third thing we've received since our return in September. One is being fought by AMEX - - the rental car company left the car in the street long after we dropped it, and it was ticketed. The other, which we have already paid, is a "toll booth violation" and it was $23 Euro. We got lost getting back to our rental car place in Venice, so apparently we drove where "only locals can go". What a fabulous revenue stream for the Italians. This was our first trip to Italy. Nowhere else we've traveled have we had "gifts" like these flowing in for months afterwards. Italy is officially off the list, which is sad, as we'd love to see more of it, but this is just insanity. Expensive insanity.
NancyD9393 is offline  

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