Italians, especially those in the South, tend to have a slightly different view of driving than people in the UK.
In general they appear to have quite a small personal space zone so they are very comfortable being in closer proximity to other people and cars than is the case in UK. There is no buffer zone in front of you that is ‘your space’. If you get to the space first it’s yours.

Parking 1
Park at an angle blocking the cycle lane … why ?

If there is a car parked/abandoned on the other side of the road,  sticking out and blocking half the lane you know that if on-coming traffic get to it before you they will pull out into your lane to get by and you just have to wait.

They start from a position of – this is what I’m doing, and you’ll just have to work round it.

Parking 2
So it’s a cave … why wouldn’t you park in it ?

Approaching a traffic bottle neck in Britain one or probably both drivers arriving from opposite directions would realise if one of them waits while the other passes a standstill will be avoided. In fact you often get a bit of delay with both waiting for the other to proceed. In Italy both drivers proceed as far as they can, get stuck, get out and start discussing the situation, normally joined in by a few on-lookers and a lot of hand waving. Meanwhile traffic builds up behind both. More discussions, hand waving, sounding of horns, committee meeting gets larger. Eventually a complex set of manoeuvres covering most of the cars involved is agreed, the bottleneck is cleared and the participants proceed on their way with continued muttering and hand waving to themselves (or anyone who is still watching!). It’s a joy to observe if not participate in!

Ignatius

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One thought on “Italian driving

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