The provision of infrastructure has a significant impact on the economic development of the country. The proposed indicators relate to motorway and rail infrastructure, major transport flows, road accidents and motorisation rates. Transport and infrastructure also play a key role in their impact on the environment, safety and quality of life of the population.
In 2019, the railway lines in use, managed by RFI S.p.a., extended for 16,708 kilometers (28.0 km per 100 thousand inhabitants). The high-speed rail network accounted for 6.0% of the overall track length. In 2019, passengers travelling by train were 898 million, and each of them travelled for an average of 63.0 km. The internal freight transport by railway developed a traffic of about 10.8 million tonnes-kilometers, showing a moderate increase compared to the previous year (+3.2%).
In 2019, the air transport of passengers and freight has mainly been international. In fact, passengers on international flights were 128.3 million, while passengers on domestic flights were 64.6 million. Europe was the main destination. In 2019, the trend for the air transport of passengers was increasing, also thanks to the upturn in low-cost flights, while a slight decline in the freight transport was observed. Instead, in 2019, the increasing trend of the air transport of goods showed a slight contraction in the transported tons of goods, due to the increase in electronic components, which weigh less.
In 2019, data on maritime transport were collected in 130 statistical seaports distributed along the Italian coasts and localized in 14 regions. These included, 18 ports specialized in freight shipping, 20 ports in passenger transport and 24 ports, which operates both in freight and passenger transport. In 2019, freight sea transport (international transport) registered a rise of + 3.1 %, compared to 2018, while cabotage recorded less than 200 million tonnes (-1.7 % compared to 2018). In 2019, the Italian seaports specialized in container handling are the Port of Genoa, Gioia Tauro, Livorno, La Spezia and Trieste; they accounted for 78.7% of the total containerized freight tonnage.
The Italian motorway network in 2019, had an extension of 6,966 km, a value almost unchanged compared to 2017. Similarly, in 2019, the length of motorway network (km) for 10 thousand cars was almost stable.
Road freight transport services carried out in 2019 amounted to 21.9 million tonnes-km (Tkm) per 10 thousand inhabitants (+ 11.6% compared to 2018).
In 2019, the car ownership rate exceeded 663 cars per thousand inhabitants, increasing for the sixth consecutive year.
In 2019, 72.5% of students and 88.0% of employees used a means of transport to reach the place where they study or work. The car confirmed itself as the most used vehicle: 36.9% of students as passengers and 69.7% of employed as drivers. Students moved more frequently on foot (27.5%) or using public transport (32.4%) than the employed (12.0 % and 10.1%, respectively).
In 2019, 3,173 deaths in road accidents were recorded; showing a decrease, if compared to the previous year (-4.8%). The road mortality rate showed a decrease too: indeed, deaths in road accidents per million inhabitants decreased from 55.2 victims, in 2018, to 53.1 victims, in 2019.
Although over the years, the mortality from road accidents has been marked by a sharp reduction, since 2014 there has been an oscillating trend, with an average of 9 deaths per day.
In 2019, the number of cyclists (253; +15.5%) and motorcyclists (698; +1.6%) victims increased. Instead, the number of pedestrians (534; -12.7%), mopeds (88; -18.5%), truck occupants (137, -27.5%) and motorists (1,411, -0.8%) victims decreased.
In 2019, strong inequalities were observed in the extension and technical characteristics of the railway network. In the South and Islands of Italy, the density of the network related to the resident population was similar to that of the Centre-North; however, unlike the Centre-North, more than 41% of the lines was not electrified. The length of the high-speed tracks represented 24.1% of the overall regional network in Emilia-Romagna, 13.7% in Lazio, 10.4% in Campania, 8.7% in Lombardia, 8.5% in Piemonte and only 1.7% in Toscana. There were no high-speed tracks in the remaining 14 regions.
In 2019, more than 50% of the air transport of disembarked and boarded passengers in Italian airports was concentrated in Lazio (Fiumicino and Ciampino airports) and Lombardia (Malpensa, Linate, Orio al Serio airports), 49,2 million and 49,1 million, respectively. The airports of Sicilia, Veneto, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Sardegna, Puglia, Toscana and Piemonte followed in the ranking.
In 2019, almost 37% of the freight transported between Italian ports, (maritime cabotage), was carried out in Sicilia and Sardegna. Compared to 2018, there were significant increases in the quantities of freight transported in Sardegna (+19%) and Sicilia (+6%), while a strong decrease was recorded especially in Toscana (-18%), Veneto (-13%) and Friuli Venezia Giulia (-10%).
Road freight transport was affected by the varied morphology of the country and the location of areas with higher industrial production. In 2019, the freight transport service (measured in tonnes-kilometers to the population) varied from 13.0 in the South and Islands to 34.7 in the North-East.
In 2019, the infrastructure equipment of the motorway network for 10 thousand cars varied from a minimum of 1.5 Km in the Centre and 1.6 km in the South and Islands, to a maximum of 2.0 km in the North-East and North-West.
The rate of motorization was higher in the North-East (695 cars per thousand inhabitants circulated) instead the North-West recorded the lowest rate (638.6 cars per thousand inhabitants circulated). In the central regions, 130.1 motorcycles per thousand inhabitants circulated, in the South and Islands 102.2.
In 2019, in the South and Islands, students and employees moved more frequently on foot to reach the place where they study (31.1%) or work (14.4%), while in the Centre-North the use of means of transport prevailed. In particular, in the North-West, the share of users of collective means of transport was higher (13.8%) and in the North-East the use of cars (74.0%) or other private means (13.6%) was more frequent among employed persons. In the Centre, the use of cars was more frequent among students as passengers (36.9%).
There were significant regional differences in the road mortality. The number of deaths in road accidents per million inhabitants was higher than the national average (53.1) in 11 regions, includingMolise (92.7), Emilia-Romagna (78.9), Veneto (68.8), Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol (66.0), Marche (65.3), Abruzzo (60.1), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (59.6), Umbria (58.5) and Toscana (56.5). It was, however, lower and below the national average in Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste (31.9), Campania (38.9), Liguria (41.9), Sicilia (42.9), Lombardia (43.7) and Sardegna (43.9). In 2019, compared to 2010, which is considered the benchmark year for road safety, in Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Toscana, Umbria, Lazio, Basilicata and Sardegna the number of deaths decreased by more than 30%. In Piemonte, Lombardia, Liguria, Puglia, Calabria e Sicilia the reduction exceeded 20%.
In 2018, in Italy, 27.8 km of recorded railway network per 100 thousand inhabitants was a value below the EU average (42.2 km), while for the electrified double track network, the recorded value equal to 12.7 km for 100 thousand inhabitants was close to the European average (14.7 km).
In 2019, the air passenger transport within the European Union increased in all countries. Comparing passenger data to the resident population Italy and Germany ranked both 16th. In 2019, Roma-Fiumicino ranked ninth for the number of passengers among the European airports; while the Milano-Malpensa airport took up the same position for freight transport.
In 2018, Italy was confirmed as the first European country for passenger transport by sea and ranked fifth for the volume of maritime traffic of containers. The Port of Messina became the first Italian port for passenger transport, moving, in 2018, from the 4th to the first position in the European ranking. The ports of Reggio Calabria and Naples recorded an increase in passenger transport; they moved from the 4th to the 7th place respectively. These two ports together with the Port of Naples accounted for 7.2% of passenger traffic at EU level.
Trieste is the first Italian port for freight shipping among UE ports; it reached the 8 th place in the European ranking, showing 60 million tonnes of freight transported.
In 2018, among the EU countries, Italy showed a lower motorway intensity for cars and circulating vehicles (1.8 km per 10,000 cars), far from the values of Spain, France and Germany which showed respectively 6.5 Km, 3.6 km and 2.8 Km of highway for 10 thousands cars.
In 2019, Poland, ranked first for the road freight transport services (approximately 349 billion tonnes-km); while Italy ranked sixth (about 138 billion tonnes-km, a lower value than in all the major EU countries).
In 2018, Italy was one of the countries with the highest motorization rate (646.4 cars per thousand inhabitants), outstripping Germany (567.3) and Spain (512.9).
In 2019, in Italy, the number of deaths in road accidents, compared to the resident population (53.1 per million inhabitants), was again higher than the EU average (48.1 per one million inhabitants). Italy ranked sixteenth in the European ranking, showing a higher mortality than the large EU countries like the United Kingdom (28.9), Spain (38.7), Germany (36.7) and France (49.9).