Point of advise for driving in Italy.
We give way to cars on the roundabout, the Italians don't. They give way to cars coming onto the roundabout!
So if your on one then cars entering have right of way!
Bear that in mind...
What you say is absolutely NOT true. Here in Italy our rotundas are all marked with an appropriate blue sign (it looks like a circle of curved arrows) as you approach and a second Yield sign with the circular arrows plus a series of "yield triangles" painted on the road just as you enter. You yield to the cars already in the rotunda and/or the car on the right. (remember, we circulate counter clockwise). I believe our rotundas are just like the U.K. roundabouts except for the direction of rotation.
Having said that, it is common when a rotunda controls a main road crossed by a minor road for the traffic on the main road to more or less "take" the right of way, especially if they're traveling in a line. For example, if you're waiting on the minor road for main-road-traffic coming from your left to clear the roundabout, the law says that you can go next if the subsequent cars from the left haven't yet entered the rotunda. But if they have a head of steam on and they're traveling as a group, expect them to keep coming. You should wait for a moment. It's all about momentum. You're already stopped and they're rolling along at a good clip. It all works out in spite of being technically not quite in compliance with the law.
On the other hand, when it's safe to do so, give 'er the beans and get going immediately or risk the wrath of the guy waiting behind you. In other words, try not to sit around wondering what to do.
True, we're aggressive here, but almost everyone pays attention which is why Italy is one of the very few places I'm willing to ride my motorcycle.
Our little, under powered cars don't have much passing power, yet we're constantly in a hurry so we often pass when we're technically not supposed to. We are in a rush to get to the next place where we can practice "Dolce far niente", the beauty of doing nothing, which is to say, we like time to relax. But don't worry. Since everyone is paying attention, when things get tight the car being passed moves over to the right, the opposing traffic moves over to their right also, and everyone gives the car hung out in the middle just enough room to squeeze through the gap. Nobody honks the horn, nobody hits the brakes, and nobody gets mad. Just go with the flow and everything will be OK.
There is no minimum tailgating distance, only a requirement to keep a safe distance. If the guy behind you hasn't hit you hard enough to cause damage, he's "safe", right? NASCAR style "bump drafting" is not normal, but almost. The slightest gap is an invitation for a car in the rear of a pack to move up one place, so expect most people to stay right on your rear bumper. If you leave a gap in front of you, expect to see someone fill it, even in no passing zones; i.e. keep checking your mirrors.
PLEASE watch out for motorcycles, especially ones lane splitting and "filtering". It might be me. Nobody gets mad at motorcycles when they go to the head of the line at a red light; you shouldn't either.
Contrary to myth, we use our turn signals so you should too.
is a good reference for driving here in Italy.
In addition, if you're visiting historical areas and/or large cities pay attention to restricted traffic laws. They WILL arrest you for driving in the wrong area with the wrong kind of car at the wrong time of day. Sometimes traffic is restricted based on your vehicle smog rating.
Most of all, have fun and enjoy our great roads, good food, and friendly people.