Driving in Sicily

12 May

Rented a SmartCar. Got a deal from the rental company next door if we took it with the motorcycle logo. Dana likens driving this car to driving a barcalounger.

Everyone hears about the challenge of driving in Sicily but what does that really entail? This is what we have learned so far:

  • No eye contact… We got this tip before we left home from John “Obie” Oberhausen, an eight year resident of Sicily.  Eye contact leads the other driver to believe they have the right to swerve in front of you with inches to spare.
  • Two lane roads have three lanes…Two lane roads have a third passing lane at all times particularly on double lines and blind curves. As Miami Herald humorist  Dave Barry says, “ there is only one traffic law, which is that no driver may ever be behind any other driver, the result being that at all times, all the motorists in the nation, including those in funeral processions, are simultaneously trying to pass.”
  • Navigating with signs…There are either too many signs with the same town indicated by arrows in both directions or no signs at all. Just follow the car in front of you, they are probably Sicilian and they are going somewhere with a better sign.
  • The calculus of speed…Your speed is proportional to the speed in the passing lane. Whatever speed you are going, for example 43.5 mph, multiply by two, 87 mph. Try not to be sucked into the passing lane by the resulting vortex.
  • The rear view mirror…Do not be distressed by that semi grill filling your review mirror, he is just passing you on this one lane mountain road.
  • Parking Rules…Park directly on the side walk or a curb corner. Also if a larger car, park diagonally in the wrong direction being sure the back of the car takes up the driving lane. When leaving this space be sure to pull out and stall leading to a symphony of horns. With a SmartCar, park anywhere. Double parking is expected and admired.
  • Blow your horn…at any time. Really lean on it and count to ten.
  • Dented fenders…most of the cars have dented fenders. Try to get a native car while you are here. We did.

One Response to “Driving in Sicily”

  1. Dede May 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    The picture alone is worth the price of admission! Reminds me to tell you the circus is in town (really). I read this to Jon while having coffee in bed this a.m. Most entertaining. Thank you for helping us start the day with a laugh. Now be careful out there! xox D

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