This fantastic picture of traffic in Rome shows what it means to drive in Italy and battle the streets of its capital city. The picture comes with news that Italian actor Max Giusti has joined forces with the “Coordinamento dei Motociclisti” association of Rome to get special lanes dedicated to motorcycle and scooter traffic. The aim is to provide a safer environment for scooter riders in Rome - and seeing this image, it’s probably something that needs to be done.
Italian drivers might have a bad reputation overseas, but I’m going to say they are the world’s greatest parkers of cars I’ve ever seen. I have seen vehicles get into spaces you never thought even a motorcycle would fit. But in the case the car really won’t fit, most Italians will leave it at angles, sticking over pedestrian crossings, corners and footpaths.
I have never had the pleasure of driving in Rome but I imagine it to be a very tense experience and one best left to battle-hardened locals. In these pics of driving and parking in Italy, we see the Roman minivan drivers get away with anything in their daily challenge to actually make deliveries and get to the next job.
We understand from our colleagues at 06blog.it that even on asking them to move the van, most drivers with yell something in Roman dialect, which varies from “I’ll only be a minute” to “I’m not just playing around here”, which we take to mean: “I’m working, and you?” See all the pics from the love-hate relationship between locals and their minivan drivers.
Driving in Italy wouldn’t be complete without experiencing Rome’s traffic and laissez faire parking rules. In the following gallery of pictures from Italy you will see everything from a police car occupying the pedestrian crossing, to multiple large and expensive vehicles taking up the footpath space. While they’re not all luxury vehicles, most of them are which firstly begs the question as to why anyone would want to risk their BMW on the streets of Rome, and secondly whether it’s rich people who have no sense of sharing civil space in a crowded city…. When in Rome!
Vespa hire in Rome is enjoying a boom time as tourists seek to relive the famous scenes from Roman Holiday - the famous film featuring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. The Hollywood actors have been immortalised in the photo and scene of the famous tour of Rome on a Vespa and the image now lives in the minds of many who visit the Eternal City.
Many hire companies have borrowed the image of Peck and Hepburn, one of which is promoting vintage Vespa tours of Rome, but with driver (I wouldn’t trust me either driving the streets of Rome with a vintage model). A tour can take about three to four hours and you can get to see some of Rome’s hidden streets that aren’t accessible to general city traffic. Other hire operations offering tours with the original Fiat 500 or even an Ape - Piaggio’s famous three-wheeled truck.
While the tour companies will tell you that Rome wasn’t designed for cars and taxis, but for carriages and Vespas, you can expect to pay modern-day prices. Anything from 130 to 150 euros a head for a trip around town on a Vespa seems to be the going price. If you want the real thing though, and a priceless image of popular culture, see the Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn famous Vespa scene in Rome after the jump.
Who better than a cab driver to tell the story of a city? In Rome and Milan, we start a series of interviews with Italian taxi drivers, to glean the character of these complex and fascinating Italian cities.
Two different cities, Milan and Rome are landmarks of life in Italy outside of the “dolce vita” and the tourist experience that people mistake for the true Italy. After the jump you can find the first interview of Roman taxi driver, Angelo.