By Walter Sanders
Few things are as exciting … and daunting … as getting behind the wheel and driving in Italy.
I’ve been doing it since the early 1970s and have racked up tens of thousands of accident-free kilometers while living in or visiting Italy. The vast majority have been exhilarating and carefree.
I relish driving in Italy. I’m a confident driver. I like the unique opportunities that driving in Italy give me to explore areas that would be otherwise inaccessible given normal public transportation or group travel.
Of course, driving in Italy is different than driving in North America: the language, some streets that you might consider lanes or alleys, a highway system that is both luxurious and rearview-mirror-terrifying at times.
But most of all, the drivers are different. At the risk of generalizing, I have found Italian drivers to be skilled, resourceful, creative and, at times, aggressive. We could all learn from Italian drivers.
My theory is that the vast majority of Italian automobile drivers have graduated from the motor scooter ranks. The two wheel experience makes them situationally aware, clever for opportunities, and gives them the survival skills to stay safe.
So, are you itching to drive in Italy? Read on.
Cost of Driving in Italy
Renting a car in Italy can be expensive. Daily and weekly rates are high, and you would be well advised to work with a reputable provider that clearly presents costs and options and minimizes the risk of unpleasant surprises at return time.