I recently returned from a trip to Germany and Italy. I drove from Heidelberg to Milan, then to Brescia, and then back to Milan before heading north
again. Are you thinking about going to Italy? If so, are you planning to drive there? Then you need to read these Rules and Instructions for Driving in
1)The Most Important Thing about driving in Italy is to Get Ahead of the Other Guy. It doesn’t matter when, how, or under
what circumstances you do this. Just do it. Note also that at least half of the cars in Milan have scrapes and damage on the sides of the car, usually on
the right side.
2) Pass on the right whenever possible. If this is not physically possible, crowd the car in front of you and blow your
horn until he moves to the left and allows you to pass.
3)If you are riding a motorcycle or a scooter, you should pass on the left, or on the right, or ride in between lanes,
and pass cars wherever and however you possibly can. Go fast, and weave in and out of traffic as much as possible. However, if you are not Italian – and
you try to ride a motorcycle or scooter in Italy – you will be killed or permanently crippled. There are a LOT of motorcycle accidents in Milan, which is
where I was. There are also quite a few people riding bicycles in Milan. They are all quite young, but that is because of their very limited life
4)Stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. Sometimes, but not always. That helps to keep them alert.
5)Stop for red lights, but do NOT stop for stop signs. They are there to confuse any tourists who may be driving. When a
tourist expects you to stop for a stop sign, just fly through the stop sign ahead of him. This always gets a laugh and produces merriment among the
6)When following another car, be sure to keep a distance of not MORE than one meter. If the driver ahead of you can see
your headlights, you are not close enough.
7)If passing on the left is unavoidable, you must speed up – and then swerve to the right immediately in front of the car
you are passing. Do NOT use your directional signals, or he might know what you want to do. When cutting in front of the other car, do so as sharply as
possible; your right rear bumper should just whisper past his left front bumper by no more than the thickness of a fingernail. If he does not have to slam
on his brakes when you perform this maneuver, you are not doing it right.
8)Be as rude and aggressive as possible until you can do so without even thinking about it.
9)If you are on a major highway (autostrada), drive in the left-hand lane. If the car in front of you isn’t going fast
enough (i.e., more than 130 km/hr, or 80 mph), do not use your lights or your horn to show someone that you want to pass. Instead, speed up to 160 km/hr
(100 mph) until you are just about to hit him, then slam on your brakes right behind him and cause your car to slew around wildly. Show that you are VERY
10)When you wish to exit a major highway, always do so from the leftmost lane. Speed up about 1 km from your exit, keep to
the left, and then – from the left lane, and only about 50 to 100 meters (or yards) from the exit – cut across three lanes of traffic to your exit.
11)Regarding the police, and the enforcement of traffic rules, I saw a few Italian police officers on the road. They seem
like very nice people. They stand around smiling. They do not seem to give tickets for traffic violations. I don’t know what would be considered a traffic
violation in Italy.
These are only a few of the rules you need to know if you are driving in or around Milan. However, I have been told that drivers in Genoa are MUCH worse;
be so advised.