Welcome to the last part of our cheat sheet list. At the end of today’s article you will have everything you’ve ever needed o travel to Italy without the fear of a faux pas or the unknown table manners! Our last installment covers everything you want to know about driving in Italy and generally moving around.
DRIVING AND MOVING AROUND
- Driving in Italy is not terrible. Keep your right, be careful, but many Italians are terrified to drive in California, so you should be just fine!
- However, don’t even think to drive in Naples. Road rules are different from what you’re used to, and despite being incomprehensible to most, they keep the city going. You’d be the wrench thrown in the perfectly oiled wheel!
- You don’t flag cabs in Italy- usually, you walk to one of the taxi stands where they wait in line- usually located close to main attractions.
- If you call a cab, you are often charged for the time it takes for it to come and get you.
- Making a “pit stop” alongside the road to relieve oneself (Pulling over to the side of the road and peeing) is accepted. It’s disgusting and terrible, but you’ll see plenty of men doing it.
- Never drive on the left lane of the autostrada unless you are passing a car.
- Leave your left blinker on while you are in the left lane. Turn left blinker off when you return to the slow lane.
- Make sure you respect the speed limits. Contrary to general assumptions, and especially in recent years, police has gotten very strict about speeding. They won’t stop you- just send a picture of you to the car owner. If you’re renting, you are liable to pay the hefty ticket ($200+).
- If someone flashes their brights behind you, it’s because they want you to move to the right lane so that they may pass.
- Before boarding a train you need to validate your ticket. You will have to validate your ticket directly on buses instead. Make sure you allow plenty of padding on your transfers, as Italian train times are, once again, more a declaration of intent than a set rule…
- Scooters, bicycles and motorcycles share the road with cars, and they will zip by on your left and right in a one-lane road!
- It’s hard to pay for gas with a credit card, especially after operating hours other than on the autostrada.
- No right turn on red!
- Don’t try to find a cup holder in your car. If it’s more than 5 years old, there won’t be one!
- Eating in the car is unheard of. Italians would never do such a coveted and social thing like eating in the most unsocial place of all, the car.
- However, that doesn’t mean Italians don’t like their cars!! Actually, cars are coveted sign of social status. As a consequence, garbage that you produce in the car gets taken out immediately. You will see people throwing things directly outside the window. As long as the car is clean, who cares about littering?
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Filed under: Culinary Culture