Italy is notorious for its unfriendly VFR airspace. Most CTR’s are unnecessarily large and often extend over many hundreds of miles and many of them are active from surface. You can of course ask for a clearance but certain CTR’s don’t allow any VFR traffic such as Linate.
Then there are the class A TMA’s - Rome and Milan, there are 21 different TMA sectors! This is after the “reform” of the airspace in 2015. At the same time, lobbying by the the Italian aeroclub has resulted in some restructuring of Italy’s northeastern airspace. This allows for a bit more freedom of movement with an allowance for microlights to fly legally within the airspace, but only at weekends. Thus expect to be doing a lot of flying at below 1500agl (not really a problem for helis) and the ATC work load will at times be heavy.
Radio coverage can be patchy in the mountains so asking for clearances can be problematic. But landing off-airfield is fine provided you have the landowners permission. Helipaddy has a number of hotels which will grant permission for landings.
Although paper charts are issued yearly, reports state that they are often out of date and therefore electronic nav aids might be a better bet. For additional guidance find the Italian Aerotouring Guide. Additionally, find here a good guide to the smaller airfields in Italy with very little bureaucracy. You will just need to translate the German.
An interesting fact relating to GA in Italy is a comparison of active airports 99 for Italy, 297 for France, 322 for Germany and 272 for the UK. Italy is saved by the high number of the small aviosuperfici some of which have fuel, no landing fees and no ICAO. There is no AIP to help with location but they can be found here. Very few have emails and reports say that emails are considered too impersonal and won’t be respected - only a phone call will do. Some landing sites will require forms for clearance from the Police. This can be found within the website for the Aeroclub Italia here.
Where to land in Italy and surrounding countries
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