If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

08 March 2005

The X-games: Italian Roads Version

As if landing in Rome isn't intimidating enough, I have to rent a car and venture out onto the Italian roads with very little sleep. I've always heard that driving in Italy is a contact sport in and of itself... color the normally fearless me a touch intimidated (this is the woman who hasn't owned a car in 2 years!)

... actually, while it takes a few minutes to get the hang of it all, I must say I am incredibly impressed with how everyone basically works on the same system (even though the system is VERY fast moving!) The deal is, you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS stay as far to the right as you possibly can -- unless there is someone in front of you going too slow, at which point you can zip to the left, go around them, and back to the right again.

That said, even the tiniest of roads are two lanes in each direction (even if there's only one painted on the road ...) you're expected to hug the right while someone speeds around you. And heaven help you if you're hanging in the left lane -- someone WILL zoom up out of nowhere going twice your speed and flash lights at you to let you know he fully intends to jam his car up your ass if you don't move. Whew. Don't have to tell me twice! No coincidence that 'Andretti' is an Italian name!

So - final analysis after the first day on both autostrade and small roads: it's not for the meek, but not nearly as horrible as everyone makes it out to be. Reminds me of one of the classic lines (oh, wouldn't my snooty literary friends be proud...) on the secret of success from Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises: ‘‘Never be daunted,’” (Bill Gorton says to Jake Barnes) ‘Never been daunted in public. . . . If I begin to feel daunted I’ll go off by myself. I’m like a cat that way.’”

Be not daunted. Because I can. This can be done (I can do this. Si puo fare.) Good advice for driving in Italy, and life itself.


Post a Comment

<< Home