A Travellerspoint blog

Italian Transport

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Before I go on I thought I'd divert onto Italian roads and rails.

I've already waxed lyrical about trains that arrived on time etc, but it seems I was a bit precipitate in my opinions. After several late trains which no one is in the least bit concerned about , maybe it's not AS good as I claimed. But I do love travelling at 300kph!!!

But really it is roads I want to talk about. Every one hears that Italian drivers are aggressive and mad and I'm not sure I quite agree.

Though that's not to say that its not stressful to drive on the road beside them, as P would tell you

They know where they are going and seem to have surprisingly few accidents for the close proximity they manage to set with other cars, scooters, meandering pedestrians, prams, dogs, etc etc. During our first taxi ride in Rome I advised P with eyes a-pop to only look at the amazing things on the side of the road rather than watching the driver's activities.

Parking on the other hand is TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

One tour guide in another context said Italians see government rules as mere guidelines which are meant to be ignored. Well same applies on the road and more to the point the sides of the road! All cars have numerous dings from the endless nudge parking. If you can't find a space then just point your car into the gap between cars and park at 90', or 45' or who the hell cares just double park. Everyone will just go round you. And oh, there's a space on that pedestrian crossing that's a good one!!! Phil reckons he even saw cars parked in the middle of the road in Turin.

And don't worry about double lines or passing on curves, remember they're just a guide. And speed limits are not even an issue. In 3 weeks we have NEVER seen a parking fine delivered or a driver pulled over.

It's my firm belief that Italy's current financial woes could be wiped out by the simple process of policing the road laws.

But it's kept us both amused and amazed.

And in all the cabs and cars we've been in there is very very low levels of road rage and frustration, high levels of patience, and except for Turin, very little tooting. Only thing is that they don't acknowledge when someone allows them in or to pass. And that applies in doorways and on footpaths as well. I guess in cities where millions move round in very small areas, maybe those courtesies don't matter.

So overall I give the driving in Italy about an 8/10.

Buongiorno

Posted by OwenGadflies 02:40 Archived in Italy Tagged parking cars driving scooters taxis drivers

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Comments

Sounds all pretty easy. Are you going to hire a car?

by Lindsay smalley

Yes Lindsay have arrived in Fance today and have a car now for 3 weeks as we drive around rural France. Returning it before we head to Paris for obvious reasons!!!!haad a car for a week in Tuscany too but that blog post isn't quite finished yet;-)

by OwenGadflies

Ciao bella, I am enjoying this very much!

by Emma

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