Saturday, 30 August 2014

Driving in Italy

I have tried to avoid this because it just confirms every stereotype. But Italian drivers lack discipline.

I haven't done any driving this holiday but I've spent a lot if time behind the dashboard as a nervous passenger. 

The condition of the roads isn't good. I know we complain about the pothole ridden nature of UK roads but the main roads we encountered in Italy were worse.

On main roads, say dual carriageways it seems to be acceptable to use the dotted white line as something to be straddled. Sometimes it's anyone's guess as to which lane a driver is intending to occupy.

This also happens between the inside lane and the hard shoulder. The solid white line here too is often under the midpoint of the car, van or truck. I haven't been able to figure out why this is the case.

Filter lanes joining roads are ridiculously short. In other countries drivers anticipate a filter lane and move over to accommodate joining drivers. In Italy it's every man for himself and you have to squeeze into whatever gap is available at high speed.

Personal space is in short supply in Italy. When I was younger I recall a friend instructing me on how to deal with Italian men if they get too close on the bus. The same problem exists on the road too but the solution isn't as easy. Drivers tailgate far more here than anywhere else I've driven.

And then there's driving in Rome where driving defensively just isn't enough. You have to drive aggressively to a) get anywhere and b) avoid invoking the ire of others on the road.

So if you can, take the train. The service is so much better than the efforts of Geeater Anglia.

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