Fill your tank, Italian style

An entire article on pumping gas in Italy?

You’ve probably never stopped to ask yourself how to pump gas in Italy. In fact, I would bet on it. You probably assume it’s just as easy as pumping gas at home.

  • Swipe bank or credit card.
  • Pump gas.
  • Drive away.

Well, it’s nowhere near that easy here! If I have learned anything in these past 5 years, it’s that if there is an easy and straightforward way to do things; Italy will find a way to complicate it. We can talk about the ‘Self Serve’ checkouts later. I’m going to make a few assumptions here myself.

1. You are already aghast at the cost of gas in Italy.

2. You already know how to pump your own gas.

Ok, now that I’m done making an ass out of you and me I’ll get on with the tutorial.


1. Find a gas station with the type of gas your car needs. Don’t forget that not every station will have Diesel, or GPL, or Metano.

2. Pull up and walk to the pay station. From here, select your method of payment – may I suggest cash? You can use a credit card or bancomat but this service is usually ‘closed’ after hours. So if you’re here at night with no one around pull out a twenty



3. After you’ve fiddled around with your euro note (or card) putting it in this way and that – face side up, face side down, to the left, to the right, and finally, whichever way seems to be accepted (I swear it changes!) you’ll need to select the pump you want to pump gas at. This is labelled “Lato” with a number beside it, one for each pump. The green light means it’s available. The pump number will be listed on the actual pump where you have parked your car. In my case, it’s number 1! 20130817-100938.jpg


4. Go back to your car and unscrew the fuel cap. Now – check out the color of the gas tank – is it green? Yellow? Blue? Beige?  20130817-101039.jpg


5. It’s a good thing you checked the color because each pump has its own corresponding color, so if you put a BEIGE pump in a GREEN tank, you’ve got problems.  20130817-101027.jpg


6. Now’s the time for the tricky part. You’ve successfully matched your colors and are ready to select just how much gas you want! From the top to bottom we have the following options: Pieno (Full), Canc. (Cancel), 20, 5. Of course, you don’t have to select one of these options, you are also free to do what you like. 20130817-100951.jpg  


7. After you’ve filled up your tank (or limited yourself by one of the super handy buttons to 20 or even 5 euro) you are completely free to gape at how few liters actually made it into your tank for such an exorbitant amount of money. Did anyone notice I got less than 12 liters for ā‚¬20? 20130817-101013.jpg  


8. So, now with a somewhat filled tank  – you’re ready to hop in your trusty Fiat Panda and get oot and aboot (please don’t mind the dust specks, photos are for educational purposes only!)




My tank runneth over. šŸ˜‰

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