Ask most people about driving in Rome and their response is that it’s “crazy.” My feedback is as follows: think of every driver’s training rule you’ve heard and throw it out the window. If you can get your head around there being apparently no regulations, you’ll be fine! Examples include:
1.) If you can fit, you’re allowed.
2.) If you can’t fit, wedge your way in. There…now you fit!
3.) Are you on a four lane road and need to stop but there is no shoulder? That’s ok! Just go to the lane closest to the side of the road and stop driving. People will go around you.
4.) Feel free to use your horn to warn someone you’re getting in, to encourage the person in front of you to hurry up, to say hello to someone you recognize, or for whatever reason you like, really.
5.) Need to turn left but the oncoming traffic won’t stop coming? It seems as though you can just inch…inch…inch your way out until you can cut through.
The only real rule we saw respected was not to drive into LTZ (limited traffic zones) during the time frames posted — so after 6:30 pm for example you can drive where you want, but if you’re outside of those times people come running to warn you that you’re in an LTZ.
I should add, no one in Italy seems to have road rage, or hold a grudge so if you think you’re cutting someone off, they understand you’re just doing what you have to. If a local honks at you, look at their face and see how relaxed they are; it’s not really in anger, it’s more like a suggestive honk.
It’s actually quite fun if you can get over the whole “two chevron” suggestion that North America recommended a few decades ago. It’s my opinion that Canada has some of the most “crazy” driving I’ve seen, 60 countries later. Romans are assertive but focussed, whereas Canadians are polite but distracted.
Here is Gertrude in the parking garage. Tight fit getting in and out, but Tyler is a freakin’ champion driver. I wish we had a better photo as this looks quite spacious. To put it in perspective, this is four parking spots that we hogged and parked across on a diagonal to get things in and out. Have you driven in Rome? What were your thoughts?
One thought on “How To: Drive in Rome.”
What did you do with Gertrude? You have inspired us…John retires in a few months and we’re thinking of heading to England, buying a car/Jeep/van and traveling thru ALL of Europe, etc…albeit sans les enfant! Let me know how you purchased her and where she be now. Jennifer Webb