First, the vehicles here are small by American standards; not a lot of the monstrous SUVs lurking at every corner. This is very noticeable to us having come from
Italy was not built to accommodate cars as in America, but roads were added as a convenience and these roads are rarely more than 3 lanes wide; most are 2 rather narrow, winding lanes with no shoulder, curb, guardrail and many times no lane or edge lines.
One of my favorite road features in
A challenge I enjoy at the little towns we visit is to see if I can drive through the town first, then we find a place to park to stroll the town. Many times this is not easily done as some roads into towns are so narrow you have to fold the mirrors in to get through and there are various one way and dead-end streets. My favorite are the streets that also pass for stairs, these are steep with tracks on the edges for tires and steps up the middle, all stone or brick, of course. I have found myself on more than one occasion having to back out of dead-ends or caught in too tight of a corner.
The rule of the road is…there sometimes seem to be no rules. The traffic laws seem to be suggestions that few follow, but I have noticed some of the most courteous drivers here. Many times if you need to pass another car they will drive as close to the outside line as possible to give you more room to pass. Traffic lights in major cities seem to be an invitation to race to see who can get into the lane first as cars will line up at a red light disregarding any traffic lane markings. If you want to pull into traffic from a side street you just simply nose your way out onto the road until someone stops or you have blocked the traffic lane.
I have noticed a marked difference in drivers between the environs of Roma and