Driving in Italy

We were worried that the driving might be hard having heard of the aggressive Italian drivers. They are aggressive but overall the driving has not been bad, you just have to get used to their style. On the freeway, more correctly “payway” since they are toll roads (but no toll house cookies — the toll houses are all automated), people follow pretty close when they don’t think you are driving fast enough.

I read once about someone who got a ticket on a French freeway for driving too long in the left lane, which they reserve just for passing. I don’t think that is true here since I have seen people linger in the left lane, but more often they move up close behind you, pass, and quickly move back into the right lane. When I passed in a slower American style once I had a BMW right on my bumper flashing his lights.

They drive pretty fast in these little hill towns and walled towns even though the streets are narrow. There are no sidewalks and so the  pedestrians have to watch out. But there seems to be a compact between the pedestrians and the drivers, the cars are aggressive but they give way if you assert you right.

I was talking to a friend who lived in New York once who said that NY drivers look for a certain rhythm and look in pedestrians. If they see it they know the pedestrian is a New Yorker and knows the rules of walking and they will be able to predict accurately what they will do. It seems like something similar is going on in the Italian towns.

One thought on “Driving in Italy”

  1. The most useful thing I was told, before I drove in Italy, was – on dual carriageways or motorways – pull over for fast cars and brake when you’re in the slower lane. If you brake before you pull over you’re likely to get rear-ended.
    The other useful thing is that the most dangerous time to be on an Italian road is just before lunch – nobody wants to be late for their Mama!

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