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Old 04.06.2012, 09:40
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How to drive in Italy?

Disclaimer: I do not want this post to turn into bashing italian drivers (or any nationality for that matter)!

Recently driving through Italy, even without our swiss plates, it was obvious that the driving customs there were extremely different from here, which resulted in some stress, and I think some clashing of cultures. What wasn't obvious to me, is what exactly the customs there are or how we could fit in...you know, "When in Rome..." Can any Italians fill me in on what the unwritten rules are? For example regarding speed, filtering, lines, overtaking etc.
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:43
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

Blow the horn every 5 minutes (especially when in Rome)
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:47
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

We only went through one bigger city, and we were warned about honking, but no one honked at us once...maybe this is a bigger city phenomenon, or maybe just a stereotype, don't know.
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:48
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

Check out this flash ani. made by an Italian:

http://www.lifeinitaly.com/flash

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Disclaimer: I do not want this post to turn into bashing italian drivers (or any nationality for that matter)!

Recently driving through Italy, even without our swiss plates, it was obvious that the driving customs there were extremely different from here, which resulted in some stress, and I think some clashing of cultures. What wasn't obvious to me, is what exactly the customs there are or how we could fit in...you know, "When in Rome..." Can any Italians fill me in on what the unwritten rules are? For example regarding speed, filtering, lines, overtaking etc.
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:53
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

I will share my experience as a pedestrian in Rome

Italians drive generally on the right sight of the street. Thats the only rule they (sometimes) follow.

As for driving if you are not an Italian. Just dont
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:55
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

Not much difference that I've noticed.

Tom
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:57
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

Indicators are an optional extra that adds weight to the car you only need to use these if you want to confuse foreign drivers
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Old 04.06.2012, 09:58
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

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I will share my experience as a pedestrian in Rome

Italians drive generally on the right sight of the street. Thats the only rule they (sometimes) follow.

As for driving if you are not an Italian. Just dont
Yep. as a pedestrian you have to stop the cars to cross the street, red/green lights are only decorative. When I got back to Zug I was so used to crossing at red lights and stopping cars I almost got run over in front of the Metalli.
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Old 04.06.2012, 10:05
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

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Blow the horn every 5 minutes (especially when in Rome)

I've just spent a week in a London hotel in a corner room overlooking a crossing with traffic lights. When a vehicle blocked the crossing or someone didn't set off within a millionth of a second as soon as red disappeared then there was a whole chorus of horns. Nor it seems is there any consideration taken during the night with these Horatio Hornblowers.
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Old 04.06.2012, 10:48
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

on the Autostrada NEVER drive in the fast lane - it is for passing only - if you need to pass a car - use your indicator/blinker get over - pass quickly and get back into the middle/right lane. Normally leave your blinker on the whole time you are passing - to let the fast sport car that is sure to be screaming up behind you - know that you are only there temporarily.
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Old 04.06.2012, 11:44
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

Understand that on the Autostrada and most other roads, the posted speed limit is in fact the minimum. Then the Italian driving behaviour makes perfect sense.
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Old 04.06.2012, 11:51
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

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on the Autostrada NEVER drive in the fast lane - it is for passing only - if you need to pass a car - use your indicator/blinker get over - pass quickly and get back into the middle/right lane. Normally leave your blinker on the whole time you are passing - to let the fast sport car that is sure to be screaming up behind you - know that you are only there temporarily.
Actually this behaviour means the autostrade are actually quite good to drive on in Italy because everyone knows this is how it works - over take quickly and if your not, get your a*se out of the way. Just watch out for the lorrys as they sometimes swerve out to the left without much warning to give space to a vehicle stopped on the shoulder, which can be alarming as the lanes are often quite narrow.

Take lots of Euros for the tolls on the autostrade too.
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Old 04.06.2012, 11:58
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

I think the simple answer is 'very carefully' - we generally drive down the middle when going to Tuscany, rather than the Ligurian coast, because the Tunnels on the Autostrada are a total nightmare- due to overtaking at great speed. I once overtook a slow vehicle and was pulling back to the right afterwards, and had a biker overtaking me from the right. The thought of an accident with a fire in those old tunnels makes me feel

If you drive from Piombino to Pisa at the end of a sunny Sunday, you will find yourself surrounded by 1000s of those small mosquitoe style bikes, weaving in and out!

Driving in rural areas is not problem, apart from the odd 2 wheeled 'tractor' pulling a trailer with a wild boar going to the butcher's.

Last edited by Odile; 04.06.2012 at 13:09.
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Old 04.06.2012, 12:05
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

no problem at all, in fact it is less dangerous to drive in italy than in germany (where people sleep while they drive and call it "respecting the rules"), because italian drivers tend to be awake and reactive and will compensate for any faux pas you might make.

for the autostrada you don't need to have euros, you can pay everywhere with credit card.

what looks chaotic often isn't - just FLOW with the rest and you'll arrive safe and sound.
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Old 04.06.2012, 13:01
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

The horn and brakes are usually in excellent shape because they change and upgrade them so often.

Drive quickly.

Do not give way.

Ignore all speed signs (they are for tourists)

Stop at red lights not amber.
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Old 04.06.2012, 14:27
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

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Check out this flash ani. made by an Italian:

http://www.lifeinitaly.com/flash
Thanks Ratbag... very funny flash animation! Now here is the working like without eek eek (link dead) in it

http://www.lifeinitaly.com/flash
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Old 04.06.2012, 14:57
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

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Disclaimer: I do not want this post to turn into bashing italian drivers (or any nationality for that matter)!

Recently driving through Italy, even without our swiss plates, it was obvious that the driving customs there were extremely different from here, which resulted in some stress, and I think some clashing of cultures. What wasn't obvious to me, is what exactly the customs there are or how we could fit in...you know, "When in Rome..." Can any Italians fill me in on what the unwritten rules are? For example regarding speed, filtering, lines, overtaking etc.
easy: do not take anything for granted, EVER!
even if you come from right, slow down and have a look at what the other car does.
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Old 04.06.2012, 15:29
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

oh, and don't worry about the honking, as it's mostly good-natured. italians do it biologically, like breathing and whistling after a bella ragazza
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Old 04.06.2012, 15:43
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Re: How to drive in Italy?



Drive fast, don't let anybody cross your path..

.. and you will be safe





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Disclaimer: I do not want this post to turn into bashing italian drivers (or any nationality for that matter)!

Recently driving through Italy, even without our swiss plates, it was obvious that the driving customs there were extremely different from here, which resulted in some stress, and I think some clashing of cultures. What wasn't obvious to me, is what exactly the customs there are or how we could fit in...you know, "When in Rome..." Can any Italians fill me in on what the unwritten rules are? For example regarding speed, filtering, lines, overtaking etc.
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Old 04.06.2012, 15:49
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Re: How to drive in Italy?

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Not much difference that I've noticed.

Tom
Agreed. In the north at least, no drastic observable difference to me between Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and even the UK. All a bit of a myth based on extensive experience blasting through all these places.
Australian drivers are absolute window lickers.
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