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A3 (Italy)

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From:  Naples
To:  Reggio Calabria
Via:  Salerno
Distance:  494.6 km (307.3 miles)
Traditional Counties

Campania  • Basilicata  • Calabria

Route outline (key)
A3 (Italy) Naples - Reggio Calabria

The Autostrada A3 is a major Italian motorway ("Autostrada") between the cities of Naples and Reggio-Calabria. It forms part of the European Road Network route E45 and E90 and has a length of 494.9 km (307.3 miles).

Also known as the "Motorway of the Sun" (Autostrada del Sole), it could be considered as a southerly extension of the A1 Milan-Naples motorway all the way to the "tip of the toe" on the Italian boot.


The current management of the route is shared between two companies:

  • SAM S.p.A. ("Società Autostrade Meridionali" - "Southern Motorways Company") - sub-contractor granted a concession by Autostrade per l'Italia on the section between Naples and Salerno
  • ANAS from Salerno to Reggio Calabria


The road runs through three Italian regions:

  • Campania for 171 km
  • Basilicata for 30 km
  • Calabria for 293.9 km

The SS18 runs parallel to the motorway on the coastal (western) side of the road for its entire length, serving as an alternative (but slower) alternative route from Naples to the far south of the country.

The start of the motorway in Naples is in the centre of the city, with four feeder roads:

  • Via Reggia di Portici
  • Commercial Port
  • Via Ferraris
  • Via delle Repubbliche Marinare

These points confer on the Barriera di Napoli Sud - Barra - the main toll plaza. The motorway then continues and converses with other feeder routes in the direction of the province of Salerno, at which point management of the road passes from SAM S.p.A. to ANAS.


Naples - Salerno section

The first section to be completed, between Naples and Pompeii, opened on 22 June 1929. The second section between Pompeii and Salerno opened some 32 years later on the 16 July 1961.

Salerno - Reggio Calabria

Funding for the extension of the A3 was approved by the Italian Government in 1964 in order to improve transport links with the Calabria region, so isolated that it had come to be called the "Third Island".

The remaining stretch opened in phases from 1966 to 1972 as follows:

  • 1966: Salerno - Lagonegro
  • 1968: Lagonegro - Cosenza
  • 1969: Cosenza - Gioia Tauro
  • 1972: Gioia Tauro - Reggio Calabria

Despite motorway classification, its appearance was more of a major trunk road with two narrow lanes in each direction with no hard shoulder. Since 1972, every summer has seen numerous tailbacks, blockages and accidents at various points along the road. At the end of the 1980s, the Italian Government realised that the motorway was in urgent need of modernisation, however no action was taken for at least another decade. Only on European Union intervention at the turn of the century, when the Italian Government was obliged to bring the road up to European standards, was significant action taken.

Works began in 1997 with an expected completion date of 2003, subsequently delayed until 2008, and then again to 2013. The project was once again granted a funding extension in 2013 up to 2016, with works expected to continue until at least 2018.

Modernisation Works

Works on improving the ANAS-managed section of the A3 are divided into 12 macro-projects and 57 sub-projects, the access ramp to the Salerno-Avellino motorway, viaduct repairs, as well as 8 new junctions not included in the original plans. The 69 separate roadworks projects are further split into two classes; A - completed, ongoing or to be sub-contracted and B - planned works, the following information was correct according to the November ANAS bulletin (in Italian).

Class A projects

  • 48 projects already completed and open to traffic
  • 6 ongoing projects, of which 2 relative to the opening of the Salerno - Buonabitacolo section featuring an average speed control system "Vergilius".
  • 1 resurfacing works at kilometre marker 438 on the Via Casa Savoia overpass, sub-contract awarded and awaiting start date
  • 1 project financed under the Italian 2014 "Stability Law", contract yet to be awarded, for the renovation of the Stupino-Altilia viaduct (km 280 - km 286), to the value of €340 million
  • 2 works with financing from emergency legislation for the renovation of the Rogliano - Stupino viaduct (€381 million) and a new junction at km marker 377 for Laurenana di Borrello (€38 million)

Class B projects

  • 1 project for the completion of safety improvments and restyling of the stretch from km marker 433 to 442
  • 10 planned projects - modernisation and restlying works of various segments along the route

New Junctions

The following new junctions are planned, ongoing or already open to traffic:

Junction Name / Location km marker Province
Eboli 31.6 Salerno
Sala Consilina Sud / Trinità 95.2 Salerno
Padula-Buonabitacolo 103.2 Salerno
Cosenza Sud 262 - 266 Cosenza
S. Eufemia di Aspromonte 410 Reggio Calabria
Settimo Rende 250 Cosenza
Scilla 423.3 Reggio Calabria

A3 (Italy)
Related Pictures
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300px-Autostrada A3 Italia.svg.png800px-A3 Cosenza.jpg
Italian Autostrade
          A1  •  A2  •  A3  •  A4  •  A5  •  A6  •  A7  •  A8  •  A9  • A10 • A11 • A12 • A13 • A14 • A15 • A16 • A17 • A18 • A19
A20 • A21 • A22 • A23 • A24 • A25 • A26 • A27 • A28 • A29 • A30 • A31 • A32 • A33 • A34 • A35 • A36 • A37 • A38 • A39
GRA • A91 • Aut CT-SR

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