summer travelling by car in Italy, black days

adriatica Image
07/31/2009 - 02:58

 someone just asked about road travel through L'Aquila... which brought to mind a recent report here on TV fact this happens every year before the August exodus from the the question involved problems because of the quake there about traversing the area... but in essence there have been virtually no probs with the motorway and it was basically restricted at one stgae to aloow emergencey services quicker free flowing access... but long past ...anyway what the question did remind me is that all weekends in august are basically red to black days... in fact the weekend coming is most probably the only day you will find a queue on the aA24 roma /teramo motoway.. heading towards the adriatic...and as august progresses it will continue until the end of the month when the queues are in the reverse that being a quite motorwy in any case it is not really one that gets massive problems...however A1/A14 and really any of the north south autostrada will be nightmares... so try and plan journeys outside the peaks...italian roads in August also hit their peaks in road deaths and accidents...  the TV mentioned the avergae death toll being 13 or was it 16 people a day throughout the year... thats an average... August weekends generally arrive at the 40-50 people dead... average accidents and i cannot go back to check cause i cannot remember which channel it was on were 600 a if travelling here over august just watch how you go...and above all suggest you do not try to keep up with the Italians .. they have a lemming mentality which seems to increase with the heat and the redness of the car...  with the worst times being friday and saturday nights as the cull involving Italian young people driving parents high powered motors with too much alcohol and drugs(the major cause of all the accidents here) reaches a one bit of advice is to let tail gaters and flashing light people pass you as quickly as poss in a safe spot... never ever get angry with them...  just let them past... 


Just a few thoughts;Make sure that you have your lights on at all times when on any road.Remember to check that the car has a set of replacement car light bulbs and the compulsary reflective waistcoat.If you can, get a portable coolbox fridge (we have one that plugs in to the cigarette lighter socket) and stock up on lots of bottles of water. Really handy also when you're coming away from the supermarket with perishables...Check that you spare tyre is inflated, and that you can get at your emergency triangle easily.If you have mobile internet, get a passenger to look at and put in your route; this then will indicate the bad travel situations.When approaching a motorway exit / bottleneck watch out for the lane or hard shoulder to your right. Italians will often anticipate the exit along the hard shoulder, and motorbikes will use it as normal highway.Finally, as my old Dad used to say, treat everyone else on the road as a complete idiot; anticipate that they are going to do something stupid, and you'll be o.k.

Everything above is very sound advice. Another thing to watch out for if you Drive on the single carriageway S roads; is the perchance for Italian Drivers to drive in the middle of the road. especially around bend. They will often not move from that position so don't play 'Chicken'.As a seasoned Napoli Taxi Driver once said to me' it's easy to drive like an idiot, we all do it, the problem comes when we try to drive sensibly'.

Rules of the road:

  • at a junction, never pull out until you are sure there is something coming
  • use of a mobile phone in built up areas is compulsory
  • never drive at a distance of more than 1 metre behind the car in front
  • check the horn is working by using it 4 or 5 times per journey. Wave to people standing outside shops as you do so
  • always drive on the right or the middle
  • everyone has right of way
  • no-one has right of way
  • that roundabout was not there last week. Drive over it.

Happy motoring.

I just follow one simple rule that has not let me down so far [size=30]Never leave the house in August![/size] Ok. I did nearly die of starvation last year and got 95% burns walking to the car on 1st September, do to my skin not being used to the sun. But I think that's a same price to pay for avoiding the traffic madness. Mark

Good sound advice, but lets not forget that this is a very busy weekend all over Europe.and a hotspot  time for accidents  everywhere too .So care and patience needs to be used in great amounts, wherever you are travelling..... take care...

I am very reluctant to drive anywhere at night and would not consider going further affiield than our village unless it was an emergency.The last time we tried walking home from a restuarant I was kerb crawled even though my partner was with me!I've sat next to too many Italian males getting totally wasted on litre after litre of red wine at our local restuarant! And that's after spending all afternoon in the bar.Funny thing is that Italian women drink very little but those macho males would never let them drive home would they?And it's supposed to British youngsters that cause all the problems!