5 Ways to Walk and Ride Like an Italian

Walking — By on July 1, 2009 at 11:00 am
Rome Italy CollosseumEarlier this week, Lost Girl Patty Hodapp-currently studying abroad in Florence-shared eight ways to eat and drink like an Italian. This week, she offers up her tips for surviving the notoriously terrible traffic (and crazy drivers) in Italy.

Today’s Lesson: 5 Ways to Walk and Ride Like an Italian
1. Italians love to drive fast I’ve been to lots of big cities including Paris, London, and New York, and out of all of them Italian drivers are hands down the most aggressive (and often the most reckless!)

2. Stop signs and cross walks are optional for drivers in Italy. Don’t assume vehicles will stop for you unless…

3. Be an aggressive pedestrian Otherwise, you’ll wait for hours at a corner waiting to cross the street. At the beginning of my trip I was on a run waiting to cross a busy street and cars just weren’t stopping at the crosswalk. I waited for a few minutes and then this little elderly Italian man came right up, hobbled out into the street, threw his palm out and (embarrassingly for me) the traffic stopped dead until he was on the other side of the road. Since then I’ve followed his lead and cars let me cross right away. I always see groups of tourists in the city center waiting to cross forever, so don’t be afraid to make your presence known.

4. Double check for bikes and motor scooters before crossing because they are hard to spot and they whip out of nowhere on sharp corners at high speeds. My Italian mom’s friend’s son has taken me for a few rides on the moped and he drives fast. They all do.

5. Don’t bike in an Italian city unless you want to die. Period. I met an Italian girl last week who was born and raised riding bikes in Italy. She certainly knows how to ride in a big city with buses and mopeds swerving in and out, but even she was hit by a bus, a moped and a few cars. To my surprise, she told me that it wasn’t uncommon for accidents and people on bikes to get bumped and hit by the traffic. Essentially, Italian traffic is a blood bath.

Got some tips for surviving Italian traffic? Send us an email at Lost Girls World.
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