OP
@larrymk avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
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Molto Verboso
@larrymk avatar
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UTC quote
so I recently made a trip to several parts of Italy on a cruise. While I have been to Italy a number of times in the past, this is the first time I rented a car and drove there. I drove in Livorno, Florence, Firenze, Civitavecchia, and Rome. In the US scooters are not a common site, at least where I live. In Italy and actually all of Europe they are everywhere, as everybody knows. Watching the scooter riders in traffic is unbelievable. Their skill set is remarkable. Italian drivers are fairly aggressive and things such as stop signs, etc., seem to be meaningless. The scooter riders lane split on both sides of the lane zooming in and out of the lanes with almost reckless abandon. When I ride in the US I always assume that the cars are out to get me(perhaps a bit paranoid, but I do think it makes sense) so I do everything to never be where they can take me out. In Italy the scooter riders seem to ride with the idea that the cars are watching out for them so they can safely zoom in and out and between lanes and be safe. I do understand that the traffic is so bad that lane splitting makes sense, but the way it is done is unbelievable. I have driven in California many times but the lane splitting there is nothing like Italy. I clearly do not have the skill set to ride like that. Also everyone wears helmets, I assume it must be a law. Also saw many people riding and texting at the same time. Not easy to do. Just needed to post this, safe riding all.. Larry
@northernerbill avatar
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Molto Verboso
lx 50
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Location: Brighton
 
Molto Verboso
@northernerbill avatar
lx 50
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Posts: 1060
Location: Brighton
UTC quote
Living and working across Europe I can safely say they don't think the car drivers are watching out for them.

The scooter is a tool, they've grown up generation after generation surrounded by them and ride them I think the way they're meant to be ridden, most likely since being a teenager so have that inbuilt thought they're never going to have a problem.

American roads aren't their thing, big wide slow moving roads isn't their design.
@tim_h avatar
UTC

Enthusiast
300 GTS / Husqvarna FE250
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Location: Southend, United Kingdom
 
Enthusiast
@tim_h avatar
300 GTS / Husqvarna FE250
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UTC quote
Having spent 2 separate weeks on a scooter in Italy and Sicily, i can tell you car drivers don't watch out for anything other than themselves. They see a scooter as an irritation that must be passed at any cost.
@attila avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
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Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
If I drive in the US I think that before being fined countless times, I would be arrested and sentenced to prison or social work for life as I drive ... but here (as has been said) it is normal or almost. Take as you drive here as an addition to the picturesque Italian costumes.
Consider (in my defense) that no points have been taken from my driving license for ten years, the last time I was sanctioned with EUR 178 and three points removed from the license because I had violated the speed limit by exceeding it by 12 km / h (max 50 kmh); before that it was twenty years since I took sanctions.
PS: the full score of a driving license is 30 points
PPS: the helmet in Italy is imposed by law since 1988.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
Tim_h wrote:
Having spent 2 separate weeks on a scooter in Italy and Sicily, i can tell you car drivers don't watch out for anything other than themselves. They see a scooter as an irritation that must be passed at any cost.
And the situation is even worse for those who ride bicycles ...
@soul_surfer avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
[SOLD] 2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
 
Molto Verboso
@soul_surfer avatar
[SOLD] 2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
UTC quote
I positively LOVE driving in Italy and all of Europe. The key for me was to "go native" immediately and adapt my North American style to the local conditions and styles. My only issues were understanding the local permissions as to whether we were allowed to be driving on certain streets, based on permit. Then there is also the parking tag which you need you put your hour on so the parking enforcement would not give you a ticket.

As a totally anal kind of person, when budgeting our vacay, we began adding $500 per euro trip, to cover traffic violations as these usually reached us by mail, nearly one year later, usually. 😏
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
Soul Surfer wrote:
...
As a totally anal kind of person, when budgeting our vacay, we began adding $500 per euro trip, to cover traffic violations as these usually reached us by mail, nearly one year later, usually. 😏
... ah yes ... they have learned to punish with efficiency, that is something that unites us all over the world. Crying or Very sad emoticon
@bjorn_toulouse avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
px 200, lxv 125
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Location: Glasgow
 
Molto Verboso
@bjorn_toulouse avatar
px 200, lxv 125
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UTC quote
Must have you licence in the car with you if you have a bump, on the spot fine and a trip to the Carabinieri if not. So I discovered last year!

Generally I'm in Italy 3 or 4 times a year, Man I hate the Gothard Tunnel.

I find Italy fine it all kinda makes sense, just keep flowing. Learn a bit of Italian so you know when the streets are being cleaned.

My favourite place "Driving" is Germany, these guys know lane discipline.
@jimc avatar
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Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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UTC quote
Rule of driving in Italy: Disregard anything behind you, just don't hit anything in front.

Works splendidly.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Rule of driving in Italy: Disregard anything behind you, just don't hit anything in front.

Works splendidly.
Yes ... that's the secret.
OP
@larrymk avatar
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Molto Verboso
Vespa Super 300
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Location: AZ
 
Molto Verboso
@larrymk avatar
Vespa Super 300
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UTC quote
so if drivers are not watching out for the scooters it is a miracle there are not more accidents as some of the things I saw people do just freaked me out. Again an amazing skill set to weave in and out of traffic and lane split on both sides, I was truly amazed.


larry
@northernerbill avatar
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Molto Verboso
lx 50
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Molto Verboso
@northernerbill avatar
lx 50
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Location: Brighton
UTC quote
Paris........MP3 riders.......flat out.....peripherique......that's an eye opener
@wmak avatar
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Moto Giro Titan
2009 GTS 250 Super Lucrezia Borgia, 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada, Little Big Red,2020 Zero SR/S, Zeus, Electric Dragon
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Moto Giro Titan
@wmak avatar
2009 GTS 250 Super Lucrezia Borgia, 2013 Ducati Hyperstrada, Little Big Red,2020 Zero SR/S, Zeus, Electric Dragon
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UTC quote
While riding in Italy, with a group, I have been passed by agro drivers who all but nailed me and my companions, but mostly they just zip by without colliding. Lane splitting, or filtering, is the only way a scooter or moto has an advantage in Euro traffic.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
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UTC quote
@silver_streak avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
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Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@silver_streak avatar
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
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UTC quote
Be sure to learn the proper application of hand gestures and the word "vaffanculo." Razz emoticon
@cdwise avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300, Buddy 125
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Posts: 8870
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@cdwise avatar
GTS 300, Buddy 125
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UTC quote
Hmm, when we rented scooter in Italy least year I was given the honor of being told I ride like an Italian. The key is as JumC said and following local customs.
@bob_copeland avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
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Ossessionato
@bob_copeland avatar
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
Joined: UTC
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Location: Minneapolis USA
UTC quote
I Love Italia - Drive it like you stole it
Attila,

Being our resident Italian, you may remember this.

When I arrived to live in Italy (1970), there was a young man who was
becoming famous in the newpapers for his high speed exploits on
a scooter.

Essentially, he would appear in Rome/Naples and drive at extreme high
speed weaving through traffic, people and the police trying to stop him.

I was in Rome for the weekend at a sidewalk cafe near the Piazza Nvona.
All of a sudden, everyone started chanting/screaming louder and louder "Agostino, Agostino, Agostino". I could not see him, but I could hear the unique sound of the Polizia Car sirens in the distance.

These are people who love to drive. Attila, I think that young man
was Roberto D'Agostino who went on to become famous as an actor,
director.

Bob Copeland
Frost Bite Falls Minnesota
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
Silver Streak wrote:
Be sure to learn the proper application of hand gestures and the word "vaffanculo." Razz emoticon
Hahahahaha!!! ROFL emoticon ROFL emoticon ROFL emoticon
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
Re: I Love Italia - Drive it like you stole it
Bob Copeland wrote:
Attila,

Being our resident Italian, you may remember this.

When I arrived to live in Italy (1970), there was a young man who was
becoming famous in the newpapers for his high speed exploits on
a scooter.

Essentially, he would appear in Rome/Naples and drive at extreme high
speed weaving through traffic, people and the police trying to stop him.

I was in Rome for the weekend at a sidewalk cafe near the Piazza Nvona.
All of a sudden, everyone started chanting/screaming louder and louder "Agostino, Agostino, Agostino". I could not see him, but I could hear the unique sound of the Polizia Car sirens in the distance.

These are people who love to drive. Attila, I think that young man
was Roberto D'Agostino who went on to become famous as an actor,
director.

Bob Copeland
Frost Bite Falls Minnesota
Bob ... I love my country but as a good italian i also like to criticize it a lot, here it is normal to be unhappy in general but we don't give a damn (literally: ce ne freghiamo) and we send to fuck everything and everyone, you will know if you have been here many times.
When i was 20 years old i worked for six months at Cinecittà to help build backdrops for scenes and i often met many famous italian and some american actors for the sets.
Someone came driving a Vespa and, in particular, i remember engagingly Alberto Sordi who sometimes carried with him a bag containing a sandwich with mortadella and a quarter-bottle of wine in a bottle.
@haole avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2007 Vespa 250 gts / 1964 Vespa VNB / 1961 Lambretta Li150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1110
Location: Chandler, Arizona
 
Molto Verboso
@haole avatar
2007 Vespa 250 gts / 1964 Vespa VNB / 1961 Lambretta Li150
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Posts: 1110
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UTC quote
I lived in Sardinia Italy. Like anywhere, there is a "vibe" when it comes to driving.
What I mean is that in a smaller town in Iowa, folks drive a certain way and think driving in a metropolitan city is insane.
I currently live in Phoenix, It's a huge spread out city. But when I drive to LA, as soon as I get to Palm Springs... the drivers speed up to 85 mph and closer together.
And everyone is cool with it!
Every area has its vibe, Italy's vibe is nothing like Bangkok!
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
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UTC quote
"... Italy's vibe is nothing like Bangkok!"
Oh yes, I was told by friends who were there and someone lives there.
PS: PS: Captain Kirk was born in Iowa on 22 March 2233 (stardate 1277.1) !
@sledge avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS 300 HPE
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Posts: 2317
Location: Adelaide
 
Ossessionato
@sledge avatar
GTS 300 HPE
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Posts: 2317
Location: Adelaide
UTC quote
Silver Streak wrote:
Be sure to learn the proper application of hand gestures and the word "vaffanculo." Razz emoticon
In the 80's when the Cooler drink( alcopops) emerged as was popular among the younger folk, drink companies were trying to outdo each other with the latest fad combination of alcohol and fruit juice. A marketing dept came up with the new name of 'Fun Cooler', but this was later dropped before it went into production.
@soul_surfer avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
[SOLD] 2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1465
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
 
Molto Verboso
@soul_surfer avatar
[SOLD] 2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
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Posts: 1465
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UTC quote
Attila wrote:
"... Italy's vibe is nothing like Bangkok!"
Oh yes, I was told by friends who were there and someone lives there.
PS: PS: Captain Kirk was born in Iowa on 22 March 2233 (stardate 1277.1) !
Actually, William Shatner was born on March 22, 1931 (age 88)
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

😀✌🏻
UTC

Enthusiast
2012 LXV150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 60
Location: Toronto
 
Enthusiast
2012 LXV150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 60
Location: Toronto
UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Rule of driving in Italy: Disregard anything behind you, just don't hit anything in front.

Works splendidly.
+1

My humble opinion is Italians Drive their vehicles, rather than steer a mobile rec-room down the road. I've seen some amazing manoeuvering whenever I am there. I think for the most part, hitting something is too much of an inconvenience, so they avoid it. The safest that I have ever felt as a pedestrian has been in Italy.
Toronto drivers (generally) hate having anyone in front of them. An Italian won't be too upset if you cut them off, as long as you are going fast enough that they don't need to touch the brake.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
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Posts: 43882
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UTC quote
Perhaps it's all down to a different perception of 'personal space'. As an ex-pat Brit, I find US drivers either have no clue as to the width of their vehicle, or just insist on having at least four feet to the side between them and any other vehicle. I live in a wide road, with an occasional car parked at the curb. Even with two cars opposite each other, there's enough room for two tanks to pass each other with ease. But if I'm driving along, whether in a car on on a scooter, someone coming the other way will always stop to let me go through the (I suppose) imagined tiny gap.

In London or (say) Firenze, as long as you miss by a millimeter all is good. No-one would even slow down.
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
When I buy a new car the first thing I change is the horn, there must be a pair and it must be very powerful; here, this is the most useful accessory and I will also do it on the scooter (always done). Another useful thing is the speakerphone in cars and scooters (with BT) and in this I am an anomalous, in fact many who have the BT handsfree in their cars (even very expensive) drive holding the phone against their ear in one hand ... or worse using WApp! But the best performance you can see and the one driving a motorcycle at the same time performs these actions: 1) pull the clutch lever while holding the cigarette in your hand. 2) in the other hand he has the telephone and at the same time accelerates speaking in hands-free. 3) together he speaks, smokes, changes gears and sometimes he even lights his cigarette while doing the rest.
@soul_surfer avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
[SOLD] 2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1465
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
 
Molto Verboso
@soul_surfer avatar
[SOLD] 2018 GTS300 Super Sport - Donatello Vespace
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1465
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
UTC quote
Il gatto da Vicenza wrote:
jimc wrote:
Rule of driving in Italy: Disregard anything behind you, just don't hit anything in front.

Works splendidly.
+1

My humble opinion is Italians Drive their vehicles, rather than steer a mobile rec-room down the road. I've seen some amazing manoeuvering whenever I am there. I think for the most part, hitting something is too much of an inconvenience, so they avoid it. The safest that I have ever felt as a pedestrian has been in Italy.
Toronto drivers (generally) hate having anyone in front of them. An Italian won't be too upset if you cut them off, as long as you are going fast enough that they don't need to touch the brake.
Well said and so true!
@attila avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@attila avatar
In garage: Yamaha Tricity 155 Urban 2019 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8291
Location: Latina (Italy)
UTC quote
jimc wrote:
In London or (say) Firenze, as long as you miss by a millimeter all is good. No-one would even slow down.
Yes, but do you know how many side mirrors I've changed?
Already two in four years and all for this game to touch on the sides ... (EUR 250 each mirror)
In Italy, the work that makes the most money is the car body repairer.
OT: but do you know that now here is 5.30 am?
@lynnb avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
1963 VBB2T
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2543
 
Ossessionato
@lynnb avatar
1963 VBB2T
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2543
UTC quote
Been on vacation there many many times and always rented a car, my wife always says if I've survived driving in Rome I can drive anywhere in Italy, well just when I thought Rome was manageable , this past September drove in Florence to a underground parking garage directly across from the train station, I nearly lost my marbles, Florence is way worse than Rome.
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