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@crazycarl avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2007 250 GTS, 1980 P200E, 2010 ThunderFly 190 (SOLD) 2015 Yamaha SMax (SOLD)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3404
Location: Springboro, OH
 
Ossessionato
@crazycarl avatar
2007 250 GTS, 1980 P200E, 2010 ThunderFly 190 (SOLD) 2015 Yamaha SMax (SOLD)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3404
Location: Springboro, OH
UTC quote
Well - I knocked off one bucket list item on a recent trip to Italy. I had reserved one day while we were staying in Sorrento to rent a scooter and ride along the Amalfi coast from Sorrento to Salerno and back.

I rented a Vespa Primavera 125 in Verde Relax and went on my way. I had never ridden a Vespa 125 with the iGet engine and I was notably impressed with it. Good throttle response and moves quite well up to about 50 mph pretty easily.

Italian road rules and customs border on the absurd. Whoever drafted the Driver's education protocols needs to be flogged if they are not already dead. It's common practice to cross the center line on your scooter into oncoming traffic to overtake a slower moving car. Car drivers in Italy (and throughout most of Europe) appear unphased by this and will regularly apply their brakes to create space and accommodate the aggressive overtake. It seems mostly congenial.

I did partake a bit in some local riding habits, but these attempts were carefully measured against my desire to live until the end of the day. The road along the Amalfi Coast is very twisty, commonly less than 2 lanes wide while accommodating large trucks and buses around blind curves and through various tunnels. The traffic was also quite heavy while I was there, so my average speed was less than 20 mph.

Virtually every turn revealed amazing landscapes, highlighted by small villages and huge villas perched in the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I did make a wrong turn while in Salerno, and wound up on the A3 Autostrada heading due north. This wasn't terribly disconcerting, but I was riding a strange bike on strange roads with only a rental helmet (my riding gear wouldn't fit in my carry-on). I was mildly uncomfortable on that road given the speed of other traffic, and at the end I got to dig through my pockets at the tollbooth for 2.30 Euros for the experience.

I can't wait to go back and ride again. I plan to convince my wife we should spend some time in northern Italy next time, preferably near Lake Como - it is only 2.5 hours to Stelvio Pass from there!
I was running Rever and Relive to capture my ride.
I was running Rever and Relive to capture my ride.
Yours Truly at one of the many overlooks near Positano
Yours Truly at one of the many overlooks near Positano
My rental scoot tand I took a break near Positano
My rental scoot tand I took a break near Positano
Street Spotted
Street Spotted
Was this dark green an OEM color?  The horncast is black
Was this dark green an OEM color? The horncast is black
Loved the contrasting Seat color on this one.
Loved the contrasting Seat color on this one.
My kids were teasing that I wanted to become an Italian Postal worker so I could ride this tilting 3 wheeler.
My kids were teasing that I wanted to become an Italian Postal worker so I could ride this tilting 3 wheeler.
This little electric scooter was set up very nicely for the roads in Italy.
This little electric scooter was set up very nicely for the roads in Italy.
@jakem avatar
UTC

Addicted
Vespa Sprint Sport S 125cc
Joined: UTC
Posts: 661
Location: Brighton, England
 
Addicted
@jakem avatar
Vespa Sprint Sport S 125cc
Joined: UTC
Posts: 661
Location: Brighton, England
UTC quote
Great read! One of my grandparents was from Maiori, but I've never been there - although it is high on my "to do" list!

I do know what it's like riding in Italy though! It took me a few times to get used to how crazy the roads seem. On the face of it, it seems aggressive but you soon realise this is just normality and there's no malice behind it.

In England, it's extremely rare to have someone beep you. This might happen 3 or 4 times a year, and you end up thinking about that moment for the rest of your day.

In Italy, my (Italian) girlfriend has even been beeped 3 times just leaving a carpark and that's normal there!

Also great to hear you had a positive experience with the 125cc small frame!
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43890
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43890
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
It's a great road! We did it on Ivana Tinkle's GTS250 while my GT200 was in the shop for a day having an engine re-build.

Next time you're on the Autostrada, beware that 125's aren't strictly allowed on there, and that m/cs don't have to pay tolls - just enter via the 'wide load' gate and exit the same way.

It appears the rules changed in 2017 - all m/cs are charged 33% less than cars.
@petercc avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1246
Location: Belgium
 
Molto Verboso
@petercc avatar
Piaggio Beverly 300 ie - 2012
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1246
Location: Belgium
UTC quote
CrazyCarl wrote:
(...)
I can't wait to go back and ride again. I plan to convince my wife we should spend some time in northern Italy next time, preferably near Lake Como - it is only 2.5 hours to Stelvio Pass from there!
The region of Campania, with Naples and the Amalfi coast, is a very beautiful area in Italy, but crowded with a lot of dense traffic on small and curvy roads. Habits in traffic have been adapted to that.

Going to the north, you will meet a totally different Italy.
I hope you can convince your wife.
@wleuthold avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125: 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Big Ugly), 2023 Vespa GTS300 (Ghost)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5228
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@wleuthold avatar
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125: 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Big Ugly), 2023 Vespa GTS300 (Ghost)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5228
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
UTC quote
Nice ride Carl!

Our first ride with the Vespa Club del Mediterraneo was Tuscany in 2016.

When we picked up our scooters in Pontedera, out leader, Al (Aviator47), gave us some instructions.

One was to let us know that the line in the middle of the road was only that, "a line to designate the middle of the road". Nothing more.

As for carrying helmets, I have carried mine on flights to Europe several times. It is in addition to the carry on bag and has never been a problem.

Bill
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43890
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43890
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
WLeuthold wrote:
One was to let us know that the line in the middle of the road was only that, "a line to designate the middle of the road". Nothing more.
As the Advanced Instructors say in the UK - "You pay for the whole road - Use it!"
UTC

Addicted
2020 piaggio liberty 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 828
Location: Reno Nevada
 
Addicted
2020 piaggio liberty 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 828
Location: Reno Nevada
UTC quote
Very much appreciate being able to live vicariously through your post of the trip!

A dream ride for sure! Thank you.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43890
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43890
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
Now see it from a bus driver's POV.

&t=20s
@juan_orhea avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1273
Location: Bermuda
 
Molto Verboso
@juan_orhea avatar
S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1273
Location: Bermuda
UTC quote
Thank you for this great writeup. Spectacular! I admire your scooterbition.

I spent two weeks in Rome/Florence/Venice with the family a month ago and confirmed my unwillingness to ever scoot in Rome. Relatively few Vespas, too. (And last year: Paris - OMG, no way, no way, no way. And I enjoy riding in NYC.)

Florence/Tuscany…hmmm, maybe, though my family members would have none of it. (No motorized vehicles in Venice, which was a little surprising to me.)

The Amalfi Coast is on the Rome/Paris list for me. Seems like a great place to visit, and to read of others' scooter adventures vicariously…but narrow roads over plunging coastlines facing anarchic traffic just aren't two-wheel destination material for me!
@juan_orhea avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1273
Location: Bermuda
 
Molto Verboso
@juan_orhea avatar
S150 '09, Beo 500ie '08
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1273
Location: Bermuda
UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Now see it from a bus driver's POV.
This is a governmental decision. That road cannot accommodate vehicles of those dimensions.
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