Have you ever heard of the autobà? No, it’s not some fancy new car – it’s actually one of the coolest ways to get around town in Italy. The autobà, which simply means ‘bus’ in Italian, is how locals and visitors explore cities like Rome, Florence and Venice. Forget taxis, trams or subways – the autobà is the most authentic way to travel like a true Italian.

In just a few minutes, you’ll know everything you need to turn your next trip to Italy into an adventure. The busses go everywhere, the rides are scenic, and the people watching is second to none. Best of all, the autobà is budget-friendly, so you can spend your money on the important stuff like pizza, pasta and prosecco. Hop on board as we take you through the ins and outs of riding the autobà, from choosing the right route to navigating the schedules. By the end of this joyride, you’ll be riding the autobà like a pro, well on your way to becoming an honorary Italian.

What Is an Autobà?

An autobà is a type of bus found only on the Italian island of Sardinia. These vintage busses date back to the 1930s and 40s, handcrafted with ornate details and polished wood seating. Today, many autobàs have been restored and turned into tour busses, allowing visitors to experience a nostalgic ride through Sardinia’s countryside and coastline.

To spot an autobà, look for a bus that resembles an old railcar, usually in Sardinia’s colors of red and yellow. The autobà has large windows, cushioned seats, and sometimes an open balcony in the back. Some autobà tours even serve regional snacks like pecorino sardo cheese, cured meats, and Vermentino wine during stops at local vineyards or olive groves.

If you’re planning a trip to Sardinia, riding an autobà is a must. Not only will you get to see the island’s stunning scenery, but you’ll also get a glimpse into its history and culture. Tours typically depart from Sardinia’s larger towns like Cagliari, Nuoro and Sassari and range from half-day to multi-day excursions. Fares start around €25 for a 3- to 4-hour tour.

So hop on, grab a seat and enjoy the ride – there’s no better way to experience the authentic spirit of Sardinia than aboard an autobà! This charming vehicle has endured for generations, and still today autobàs remain the best conveyance for exploring all the natural and manmade beauty this Mediterranean paradise has to offer.

The History of the Autobà

The autobà has a long and rich history in Italy. These iconic busses have been transporting locals and visitors alike around Venice’s canals since 1907.

At first, the autobà were steam-powered, but by the 1950s they transitioned to diesel engines and remained that way until recently. Now, Venice is working to convert their fleet of autobà to hybrid engines to reduce pollution in the canals and preserve the city’s architecture.

The Routes

The autobà have several routes that provide transportation throughout central Venice. Some of the most popular routes are:

  1. Route 1: This route travels from Piazzale Roma to Lido, stopping at major landmarks like St. Mark’s Square, Rialto Bridge, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.
  2. Route 2: This circular route navigates the Grand Canal, passing by Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ Foscari, Rialto Bridge, and more. It’s a great way to sightsee while also getting around the city.

The autobà system makes it easy to explore Venice’s winding canals and piazzas without getting lost. For just €7.50, you can ride the autobà all day, hopping on and off as you please at any of the numerous stops along the routes. It’s the most scenic public transit system in the world and an experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Autobà Features and Models

The autobà, Italy’s sleek and stylish camper van, comes in a variety of models to suit any adventure. Whether you want to tour Tuscany’s rolling hills or beach hop along the Amalfi coast, there’s an autobà perfect for your Italian getaway.

Size and Layout

Autobàs range from compact two-seaters to spacious six-sleepers. The most popular models are the mid-size four-sleepers, ideal for a couple or small family. Inside you’ll find a dinette that converts to a bed, a kitchenette, and a separate bedroom in the back. Some models have a bathroom, though for many an outdoor shower will do on a summer holiday! The simple but smart interiors make the most of the space.


Even the smallest autobà comes well equipped. Standard features include:

  • A refrigerator for keeping wine, cheese, and fresh produce chilled
  • A two-burner propane stovetop for cooking pasta and grilling veggies
  • Sink with running water
  • Power hookups so you can charge devices
  • Storage under seats and beds

Upgraded models may have a generator, hot water heater, air conditioning, and entertainment systems. The options are many, so choose what you need to make your journey comfortable.


Autobàs are built on Fiat Ducato van chassis so they handle well and are easy to maneuver on Italy’s winding roads. Most have manual transmissions, though automatic options are now available for an easier driving experience. Due to their size, autobàs can park nearly anywhere a regular car fits—a huge plus in Italy’s compact parking spaces and narrow village lanes.

Whether you want to chase the sun or the snow, tour the vineyards or seaside ports, an autobà camper van lets you craft an Italian holiday to remember. Happy motoring!

The Benefits of Owning an Autobà

Owning an autobà comes with many benefits. Here are some of the main perks of having one of these stylish vehicles:

Low Maintenance

Autobàs are designed to be extremely low maintenance. They rarely require any major service and parts are very affordable if anything does need repair or replacement. Oil changes only need to be done every 10,000 miles. Brake pads can last up to 40,000 miles. The engines are also very durable and long-lasting. Many autobà owners report getting 200,000 miles or more out of their vehicle with minimal issues.

Great Fuel Economy

Autobàs are very fuel efficient, especially for their size. Most models average 25-30 miles per gallon in the city and up to 40 mpg on the highway. The diesel models can achieve even higher numbers. At a time when fuel prices continue to rise, the fuel efficiency of an autobà can save you a significant amount of money over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Roomy and Comfortable

Despite their small footprint, autobàs offer a surprisingly spacious interior with seating for up to 7 adults. Legroom and headroom are ample for passengers of most heights. The seats are also designed to be very comfortable, even on long drives. Many owners compare the experience to riding in a luxury sedan.


Autobàs have a very small environmental impact. They produce lower emissions than most standard vehicles thanks to their highly efficient engines. The manufacturing process also has a smaller carbon footprint. For those looking to reduce their environmental impact, an autobà is an excellent choice.

Owning an autobà provides many benefits like low cost of ownership, great gas mileage, a roomy interior, and eco-friendliness. For these reasons and more, autobàs have become increasingly popular vehicles for drivers looking for an affordable, practical and environmentally-conscious ride.

Where to Buy an Autobà

So you’ve decided you want to buy an autobà. Great choice! Autobàs are classic, eco-friendly vehicles that provide a fun way to get around. Here are some tips for finding and purchasing an autobà:

Check Local Dealerships

Many autobà dealerships specialize in new and used models. Stop by some in your area to view their selection and get a feel for different options. Salespeople can walk you through details and pricing, and may even offer test drives. Dealerships often have the newest models with the latest features, but prices may be higher than private sellers.

Search Online Listings

Websites like Autobà Trader, Autobà For Sale, and Craigslist are full of autobà listings from private owners and small dealers. You may be able to find lower prices here, especially for older models. Be prepared to travel to inspect the vehicle and get a vehicle history report to verify details. When buying from a private seller, make sure the title is clean before exchanging money.

Check Auction Sites

Some autobà auction sites like Autobà Auctions and Autobà Bid offer the opportunity to bid on autobàs from all over. You may find a good deal here, but you risk purchasing an autobà sight unseen. Only use auction sites if you’re a seasoned autobà buyer or you have a trusted mechanic who can thoroughly inspect the vehicle for issues before bidding.

Consider Renting First

If you’ve never owned an autobà before, you may want to rent one for a day or two to determine if it’s the right vehicle for you. Some autobà shops and private owners offer rentals in addition to sales. Renting an autobà lets you get a feel for handling, braking, and other factors before committing to a purchase. You’ll then have a better idea of what to look for when you’re ready to buy.

Buying an autobà is an exciting milestone. Do your research, check multiple sources, get inspections, and take your time finding the perfect autobà for you. The open road awaits! Happy shopping and safe driving.


So there you have it, everything you need to know about autobà. These relaxing boat tours are the perfect way to see Venice from the water and gain a new perspective on this magical city. Whether you opt for a short ride or an extended tour, you’ll be treated to stunning architecture, secret corners of the canals, and slices of everyday Venetian life. The next time you find yourself wandering the winding streets and stone walkways of Venice, do yourself a favor and hop on an autobà. Glide through the waters, feel the sea breeze on your face, and soak in the beauty. You’ll come away with memories of Venice that will last long after you’ve returned home. What are you waiting for? Your Venetian adventure awaits!

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