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Flying Spark in Italy
5294 13 2017-8-29
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taimingkoh
lvl.2
Italy
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For the last 2 weeks, I was in Italy - Milan, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Naples, Capri, Rome.

And I only flew my Spark properly ONCE (in Capri).

The security and laws are rly strict there. It seems like the Police in Italy react to a drone faster than a pickpocket. I'll share some of my experiences of (trying to) fly a drone in Italy.

Milan: Almost impossible to fly at the Duomo Cathedral, there are police almost everywhere. And anywhere else there are just too many people around.

Venice: That's a no fly zone but it is so tempting to fly at the Rialto bridge at 7am in the morning when there's no one. Some guy tried to fly his Mavic and 5 mins later the police arrived on scene. Poor guy got escorted away on a police boat. (If the guy is you and you're reading this now, I rly wanna know what happened to you)

Florence: At the summit of the Boboli Gardens, I was so tempted to fly Spark as there didn't seem to be much police and people around. But chose not to take the risk.

Cinque Terre: Another no fly zone cause it's a national park (no, you can't even fly it over the sea). I managed to fly it for a short 1 min on the hiking trail before other hikers arrived so I played it safe and kept the drone. Honestly I felt that if you have pretty good drone flying skills, it's possible to fly your drone during the hiking trail as it's rly hard for the police to find you even if they spot a drone. But then again, it's your risk to take.

Naples: Lots of soldiers around, not sure how they'd react to a drone.

Capri: Manage to fly it at the summit of Anacapri (after the Chairlift) for a good 4-5 minutes. Because I couldn't find anything online about no flying in Capri I assumed it was safe to fly. But hours later, someone was flying his Phantom in the Capri city centre and when he landed his drone, a policeman appeared outta nowhere. Not sure is it cause he flew in a congested city centre or because you just cannot fly a drone in Italy.

Rome: You can give up on flying. There are no drone signs outside the Colossuem (and sure you've seen the news), and there are so many policemen everywhere - Vatican City, San Pietro...

So my thoughts on flying a drone in Italy: It's not impossible to fly it. You just have to avoid attention, and a lot of guts. For me, I wasn't gonna take the chance to sacrifice my Spark so early of my Europe travels. Though it makes me wonder if Spark won't attract that much attention of Police because of its small size (and hard to spot in the sky). Anyway, if you really wanna fly it, go to somewhere secluded away from the crowd or find a rooftop. You'll probably have to fly it from somewhere far away from the main attraction you wanna film. And lastly once you've landed, quickly get out of there.
2017-8-29
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fans7c8cc2bf
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1398 ft
Canada
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I was in Italy recently and decided to fly it in the Amalfi Coast.  Not sure if it's allowed or not but I just went down by the sea and started flying around the coast.  Nobody bugged me.  You are right about Rome, just doesn't feel like a place that accepts drones lol.. especially with all the army everywhere.
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2017-8-29
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Gastronauta
lvl.1
Flight distance : 53294 ft
Italy
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It's quite simple. You cannot fly over cities and natural parks. Here there is a simple guide
https://www.dronezine.it/english/
2017-8-29
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Indi91
lvl.3
Flight distance : 103973 ft
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Hii! Thank you so much for the comprehensive info on flying in Italy. Good you came with your drone. I agree most places seem nice to fly but with alot of police and people, it will be hard. If we had gone when droning was still new, then should had been okay. I will follow your advise and look for place really far away. Im planning to stop by Sienna so hopefully i can get to fly there. Thank you again for this info.
2017-8-29
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LouisP
Captain
Flight distance : 41952 ft
United States
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Sounds like a great trip.  I would like to take my Spark to Italy some day.  I wonder if I would have problems in small towns in Sicily?  I assume I could use it on the beach there if the winds ever die down enough to fly.   I guess the Valley of the Temples is a national park so no there.   I guess the same applies to Vesuvius and Aetna so no volcano pictures.. maybe just leave the spark at home :-( I did visit some beautiful winerys and olive orchards... those are private property so maybe with the permission of the owner???

2017-8-29
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DJI Elektra
Administrator
Hong Kong
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You can try to contact flysafe@dji.com and see if there are any solutions. Hope you can have a good time with your drone soon.
2017-8-31
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Enri
Second Officer
Flight distance : 683501 ft
Italy
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Rules are pretty simple in Italy...you can't flight over crowds.
Usually, places like the Colosseum or other famous spots in Rome are crowded and they are also sensible spots due to terror alert ongoing in Europe, so I assume they are out for drones actually.
At the same time I never had a problem during sunrise when less people are on the streets.
I just suggest to ask before takeoff there is plenty of Police at every corner in Rome and usually they agree and enjoy looking my spark flying.
It is just a matter of good sense.
In any case in Italy it is allowed to fly just under visual.
2017-8-31
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Luca Rubino
First Officer
Flight distance : 495545 ft
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Italy
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Here in Italy you CANNOT fly over cities (or places with many people)  if not authorized and with fly license for aircraft over 300g (spark is about 320g with PROPGUARDS that are mandatory in these cases and 305g without them). You don't need them (Proguards, license and authorization) if you fly outside cities, where there is no people around.
And NEVER use DJI Googles. Max altitude 70m and max distance 300m (without fly license).
Few days ago, one american was intercept by cops because he was playing with his drone over Vaticano (absolutely forbidden!).
2017-8-31
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Elettrone78
Captain
Flight distance : 2380761 ft
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Italy
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Gastronauta Posted at 2017-8-29 06:47
It's quite simple. You cannot fly over cities and natural parks. Here there is a simple guide
https://www.dronezine.it/english/

It's more complicated than that, besides parks and cities you cannot fly anything at all if people are within 50m of your drone unless it weights less than 300gr and is registered with ENAC as inoffensive, you also have to pay a tax and produce documents. Not to mention a ton of other rules. Flying a Phantom (1,3Kg average) on a city without a license and proper security measures can get you in JAIL. Given this much I've flown an Inspire 2 in my city with the support of law enforcers and security measures: professionals.
2018-4-4
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LouisP
Captain
Flight distance : 41952 ft
United States
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LouisP Posted at 2017-8-29 16:58
Sounds like a great trip.  I would like to take my Spark to Italy some day.  I wonder if I would have problems in small towns in Sicily?  I assume I could use it on the beach there if the winds ever die down enough to fly.   I guess the Valley of the Temples is a national park so no there.   I guess the same applies to Vesuvius and Aetna so no volcano pictures.. maybe just leave the spark at home :-( I did visit some beautiful winerys and olive orchards... those are private property so maybe with the permission of the owner???

LOL... I just replyed to my own reply  :-)   
2018-4-4
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Simone82
lvl.3
Flight distance : 218888 ft
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Italy
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Hi guys, I'm italian: the problem are not the crowds (in many States you can't flying over the crowds), but the ENAC law about the drones.

Simply, if you're not a drone operator but just a tourist, you can't flying inside CTR: the CTR identify an area around airport, in general around a city. All of the area cited in the first post are covered by a CTR, and is not possible to fly inside without a specific permission.
Rome in particular is covered by a specific Prohibited area due to monumental protection (Colosseum and Forum) and istitutional building.
2018-4-4
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Rustic17
Captain
Flight distance : 1223301 ft
United States
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Simone82 Posted at 2018-4-4 13:27
Hi guys, I'm italian: the problem are not the crowds (in many States you can't flying over the crowds), but the ENAC law about the drones.

Simply, if you're not a drone operator but just a tourist, you can't flying inside CTR: the CTR identify an area around airport, in general around a city. All of the area cited in the first post are covered by a CTR, and is not possible to fly inside without a specific permission.

Can you tell me what CTR stands for and is there a CTR map of drone no fly zones???
2018-4-4
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Simone82
lvl.3
Flight distance : 218888 ft
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Italy
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Rustic17 Posted at 2018-4-4 14:53
Can you tell me what CTR stands for and is there a CTR map of drone no fly zones???

CTR means Controlled Traffic Region and based on Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicles Regulation - Issue 2 Revision 3 the non-operator like tourist can't flying inside.
You can see the aeronautical map with CTR, Prohibited areas and Restricted areas, Parks and other no fly zone in many app and service online, like Italian Airspace Lite on smarphone (free), the site cartografiasapr.it or airmap.com. Some areas are NFZ for DJI too, and in this case you must provide an authorization to take off with your drone.
2018-4-6
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fansbd57545a
lvl.1
Mexico
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Thanks a lot for the info!! I will be travelling to Paris, Amsterdam, brussels, brujas, and London. Do you know anything about those places and rules of flying ?? Thanks
2019-7-26
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