DRIVING IN ITALY

(DON’T READ THIS ONE, DAD – YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LIKE IT)

It didn’t take long for me to get comfortable driving here. Dad, because I love you, you can interpret that as “I lost my abject terror of driving here and am doing it only with the utmost caution,” if that helps.

When Paul and I came here in November, I agreed to share the driving with him, but only because it was high time I got over my fear of driving in Italy. So I took the keys, jumped into the driver’s seat, and drove out of the Rome airport. Just like that, I was driving in Rome. And I drove all the way to Benano. (Cue the ooh’s and aah’s.) Because I had dreaded it so, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it was really a pretty easy drive, and I never came close to the part of Rome that would terrify me.

Jeff has written directions that take a weary (and wary) traveler from Rome’s airport to Benano with barely a furrowed brow. The directions keep you on Rome’s perimeter highway and away from anything except pretty standard freeway driving. There’s one tricky part, but the directions help you anticipate and negotiate it. For perspective, I had a much tougher time a couple of years ago driving from Princeton to the Newark Airport.

The other thing that makes for easy driving here is the GPS that’s in the house for visitors to take in their rental cars. Many of Jeff and Robin’s favorite restaurants are already programmed into it. Most important, you can wander off wherever you want and the GPS will get you home.

This is a link to a great post about driving in Italy. And here’s another one.

Since my Italian classes in Orvieto started, my morning drive takes me through our neighboring village of Viceno. It’s a one-stoplight town — but only if you’re going too fast. There’s a light that turns from green to yellow to red only if you’re driving fast enough to trigger the change. So the village fathers devised a system that rewards the driver who obeys the speed limit. Very clever!

See, Dad, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

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ITALIAN RENTAL VILLA