Europe Italy

Ten Insights into Italian Culture: #5 – Driving Etiquette in Italy

Most roads in Italy, particularly those in city centres and in the mountains, are made for small cars. The logic for this harks back to the pre-automobile era when streets were built for horses, wagons, and carts. Sometimes, the streets are so small that even small cars have to roll up onto sidewalks to park, in order to leave enough room for traffic flow. Imagine, then, how irritating it must be to see a bulky car with foreign plates elbowing its way down a street or up a hill. Even worse are SUVs that have absolutely no place on these genteel albeit pre-modern roads. Keep this in mind if you intend to drive in Italy, and certainly keep your big cars at home.


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