Area C Milano

areac

Where and What is Area C?

Area C is an 8.2 square kilometer (3.2 square mile) congestion charge zone and limited traffic zone (in Italian: Zona a Traffico Limitato - ZTL) in the central Cerchia dei Bastioni area of the city of Milan with restricted vehicle access. To enter this area with a vehicle you have to pay a congestion charge by purchasing a special entrance ticket.

Click here to see a map of Area C.

How much do I have to pay?

Starting from October 2023 the price of a standard ticket, valid for one day, is 7.5 euros. You can also purchase multiple access tickets or top-up the PIN associated with your car's license plate with 45 or 90 euros, so you can enter the area multiple times until your credit runs out.

How and where do I pay for the entrance ticket?

You can pay for the entrance ticket in parking meters, ATMs from the Milan Transport Company, ATMs of Intesa Sanpaolo, in garages, at tobacconists, over the phone, or online. Please note that as of July 2023, the sale of paper tickets has been discontinued. Existing paper tickets are still accepted and can be used until the 29th of October, 2024.

Here is how to pay for the entrance ticket online.

Payment Methods

Various payment methods are available. You can pay with a credit card when you pay online, on the phone, in parking meters and in Intesa Sanpaolo. You can pay with a debit card when you pay via Telepass for a vehicle that is registered in Italy. You can pay cash when you pay in parking meters and retailers. Pagobancomat can be used when you pay in Intesa Sanpaolo or in parking meters. You can also use Paypal when you pay online.

Do I have to purchase an entrance ticket if I don’t have a car?

You need an entrance ticket only if you plan to drive into the restricted area by car. If you’re planning to walk, no ticket is required. Additionally, if you plan to enter by public transportation, you do not need to purchase a ticket.

Do I have to activate the ticket?

Yes! Once purchased, you must activate your ticket.

Here is how to activate your ticket.

Do I have to pay each time I enter?

Your entrance ticket is valid for one day only, but you can enter as many times as you want while your ticket is still valid.

How can I enter?

After you’ve purchased and activated your ticket, you can enter Area C through 36 of 43 access points. Six are used exclusively for public transportation and one is used for special access permission, so you can choose one of the other 36 access points.

How are the restrictions enforced? Can’t I just drive through?

The restricted zone is monitored by cameras to make sure that no one enters the zone without a proper ticket.

What are Area C Operating Hours and Days?

Restrictions are only active on weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM. On public holidays, the area is open free of charge. The weekends (Saturday and Sunday) also offer access without a ticket.

Are certain types of vehicles forbidden from entering, even with a ticket?

Access is currently prohibited for petrol vehicles classified as Euro 0, 1, 2, and diesel vehicles classified as Euro 0, 1, 2, 3. Additionally, Euro 4 diesel vehicles without a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) face restrictions, unless exempted on an individual basis. Motorcycles using two-stroke engines classified as Euro 0.1 or those using diesel fuel classified as Euro 0.1 are also barred from entry. Furthermore, any vehicle longer than 7.5 meters is not permitted to enter the area.

Does every car have to pay? Who can enter for free?

Entrance is free in any of the following cases:

  1. When accessing the area with electric vehicles, hybrid and biofuel vehicles, or scooters
  2. If you’re entering the area with public transportation
  3. If you’re traveling through the area to go to hospital (for first aid or life-threatening medical situations)
  4. If you’re transporting someone with a disability

Do foreign cars have to pay too?

Yes, the rules apply to them too.

Do residents have to pay this fee?

Residents of Area C have to pay the vehicle access fee, but benefit from reduced ticket prices, decreasing from 7.5 to 3 euros. Additionally, they are entitled to 42 free vehicle entries per year.

What are the parking options in and around Area C?

Parking directly within the area can be challenging and expensive due to limited availability. It's often more practical to consider parking outside the zone boundary where options are more plentiful and rates are generally lower. For a comprehensive overview of the best parking strategies and locations, refer to our expert guide on parking in and around Area C.

Is it possible to enter the area using public transport instead of a car?

Absolutely! The zone is accessible by several public transportation options including buses, trams, and the metro. For detailed information about navigating Milan's public transportation, check out our expert guide on Milan's public transport.

Is this scheme permanent? When was it introduced?

Area C, initiated as a trial for 18 months following a June 2011 referendum, addressed Milan's high vehicle pollution. Despite a suspension from July 25th to September 17th, 2012 due to protests, the program proved successful and was made permanent on March 27th, 2013.

What is the purpose of Area C?

There were three main reasons for the introduction of the scheme.

  1. The first goal was to reduce traffic jams that occurred daily in the central section of Milan. Traffic problems had long plagued the area, mostly caused by transportation of various goods in large trucks.
  2. Next, the special zone served to promote sustainable transport and public transport in a hope of reducing negative cultural and environmental impact.
  3. The third hope was that the existing levels of smog, which had become a concern for the 77,000 residents of the affected area and Milano as a whole, would be reduced.

With these restrictions, quality of life has risen. The number of accidents, noise caused by large trucks and vehicles, and uncontrolled parking has also fallen. The air is cleaner and pollution is less rampant.

What happens to the money I pay? What is it used for?

The collected funds are reinvested in mobility infrastructure, including the development of bicycle lanes, pedestrian areas, and designated speed zones.

Does it work?

According to recent data, the initiative has significantly decreased the number of vehicles entering the zone, ensuring that those that do are less polluting. This has led to a marked reduction in area pollution. For a detailed look at the statistics and full impact of Area C on traffic and pollution, visit our in-depth article.