I believe this is an older type of European license plate. I spotted this car in Stresa. I do not know what NO stands for. Oh wait! Maybe Novara?
Here is another older license plate. I saw this car in Reggio Emilia. My guess is that RE stands for Reggio Emilia. Either that or maybe the person owning the car is or was a king? Re is the Italian word for king :)
Same red car as above ~ I find it very interesting how the letters/numbers are all in one line on the front license plate.
I also took a photo of the front of the black car in Stresa but the license plate ended up being much too tiny to see once I resized the photo. The license plate was black with white letters/numbers again all in one line.
Here is what I believe is a more modern day license plate found on cars in Italy & Europe. I have no idea what DF stands for.
I'm still trying to figure out just how you tell what country a car is from. I don't think it is a mystery for those living in Italy though. I guess I just never paid much attention before. It definitely is much more subtle than the way license plates in different states in the US are identified.
As far as Italy goes though, I now have a hunch that the first two letters on the license plate stand for the town or nearby larger city where the car is registered. That is if I am correct in guessing that RE stands for Reggio Emilia and NO stands for Novara (a larger town not too far from Stresa).
To further support this theory or hunch, here is a photo of an older car I saw in Spello. My guess is that PG stands for Perugia. Spello happens to be a small town located near Perugia.
As I think more about this, my guess is that the letters PG and NO probably pertain to the type of postal code used where smaller towns take on the abbreviation letters of a nearby larger town or city. If this is the case, I am not sure why RE would stand for Reggio Emilia. I would think cars registered in Reggio Emilia would have an abbreviation for Bologna. Although.. perhaps the owner of the Stresa black car is from Novara and the Spello black car is from Perugia and every town has its own two distinct letters?
Of course, I really have no clue about any of this. It is all just a bunch of wild guesses! I am definitely going to have to inquire about the license plate letters/numbers and what they stand for as well as how you tell the difference between say a Swiss car and an Italian car (as far as where the car is registered) when I return to Italy this summer. It could end up being quite an interesting conversation.
For more cool car photos and a few more license plate photos, check out my archive category "cars in italy".