|Pre-2003 Fiat Panda|
The local vigile drives an older model, the postina drives a newer model and it seems that one in five vehicles on the road in Basilicata is a Fiat Panda. The Unofficial Car of Basilicata. They are a very practical vehicle for this mountainous region with a high clearance, easy parking ability and very good gas mileage (40 to 50 mpg).
We have recently become the proud owners of this Unofficial Car of Basilicata, a 2009 Fiat Panda.
Soon after we arrived in Italy in 2006 we realized we would need a car and started to look in the Anzio area with the help of our friend Giorgio. We eventually found a car that was 10 years old at that time but with low kilometers and in very good condition. Five years and 100,000 kilometers later (we’ve seen a lot of Italy) our Ford Fiesta was beginning to require a few too many visits from the meccanico.
We visited several dealers in Potenza to look at the new vehicle offerings but they were beyond our budget. I also found it interesting some of the items that are options on a new car in Italy that would be standard items in the US: rear passenger seat belts and air-bags for anyone other than the driver?!
I did a lot of searching on Italian web-sites, local publications and some lots for a used vehicle more in our budget range. We mentioned our search to a local friend who told us his cousin had a used vehicle lot in Rome. We had met this cousin before, Osvaldo, who taught us how to find asparagi. We knew Osvaldo lived in Rome but he never mentioned he sold cars.
Soon after, we saw him in Trivigno and told him of our search. He asked what kind of vehicles and price range we were looking for and said that he might have some good deals coming on his lot, I started to ask details about the process to actually purchase a vehicle and Osvaldo just said “Don’t worry about it, you’re just like family”. This is true in that we know his mother, his uncles, several of his cousins, nieces and some nephews. The small town advantage.
|Our "nuova" Fiat Panda|
We are pleased with our purchase and look forward to touring Basilicata and more of Italy.