Unlike most U.S. cities that clearly mark streets with corner signs or overhead signs, Italian cities use placards. Made of marble or stone and etched with the street name, these placards are attached to buildings near the top of the ground level or bottom of the second floor. They are difficult to see when on foot; impossible to see from a car.
Streets in Italian cities can range from wide boulevards to alleys. Some streets are barely big enough for a small two-seater economy car. Rarely is there space to turn around or 'just make the block' if an error in direction is made.
Most cities are mapped with an unpredictable array of one-way streets. Without rhyme or reason, a two-way road can suddenly turn into a one-way and send you in an unfavorable direction. City streets often pass through public squares filled with markets and people, making it even more challenging to navigate.
Italian cities are well-designed for walking and public transportation. You are better off forgoing a car and hoofing it. Should you need a car for the next leg of your vacation, taxi to the airport to pick up a rental. Airports are generally outside of city centers and offer clear signage and access to all freeways leaving the city.