Driving into the old city centre of Bologna can be rather complicated if you are a non-resident. Most of the busiest areas are watched over by a system of cameras that monitor the accesses to the Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL). Moreover, some of the areas of the city centre are completely closed to traffic.
How can you park your car without getting fined?
There are two possibilities.
1. Parking in a street on the blue lines, after having bought a pass
The cars of non-residents can be parked in the streets, in parking spaces marked with blue lines, where you may park against payment of a fee. But first you must buy a pass; or you must enter the city centre through one of the routes that are not monitored by cameras. In any case, you must pay for parking on the blue lines.
In the website Comune di Bologna, Mobilità e Strade section, you can find all the information on Bologna’s Limited Traffic Zone and a map of the cameras of SIRIO, the “electronic policeman” that stands guard at the accesses of the ZTL of the old city centre. There is a considerable number of cameras, and they are active on all days from 7 AM to 8 PM. So we advise you to read the information in this website very carefully, in order to avoid getting fined!
2. Parking your car in one of the private paying car parks in the old city centre
If you are worried you might get a parking ticket, the easiest and safest way of getting into the ZTL of Bologna is to park your car in one of the many attended paying car parks of the city – some underground and some outdoors – because many of them send the number of the license plate of a car that cannot enter the ZTL to the Comune, so as to prevent its being charged with a fine. If you choose one of these services, there is no need for you to buy the pass ahead of time, because the managers of the garage will take care of that. You will therefore be allowed to come into the ZTL and get out of it, but not to stop in the street.
In the Parkopedia website you will find a map of all the car parks of Bologna, with detailed information about the fees, types of payment, hours, positions and height limits, and with comments by people who have been there.
Important: in any case, we advise you to call or write to the paying car park you have chosen and to make sure ahead of time that their service includes the pass for the ZTL!