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My wife and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, in Sorrento, Italy.

I'm really amazed by the driving environment around here---especially the motorcycling! There are few big bikes--at least as far as I've seen on this peninsula; although, I've seen several beemers and some sport bikes; most are moped-like scooters and larger versions of scooters.

There's a lot of dodging and passing on curves and intersections, just before the crest of a hill, et al.

The ironic thing is that EVERYONE seems to be acutely aware of everyone else; I suppose that's the positive product of all this seeming chaos! The horn-sounding seems to be more of a "heads-up" instead of an emphatic admonishment! I've heard no sliding tires--and best of all--no crunching metal and shattered glass.

It does seem, however, that no-one worries about preserving the beauty of their machine, because it's going to get scratched, scraped, dinged and nudged while someone is trying to park.

All this really made me wish for a biking culture like we see elsewhere around the world! I'm seeing lots of "soccer moms" hauling there kids (often two at a time) on the motorbikes--usually one on back and one squeezed between mom and the windshield--not that I'd endorse this, just curious to watch. I saw lots of young ladies heading to work on their motorbikes, in their high heals--seriously curious to watch.........to the point of being slapped.

Have any of you had similar experiences (not necessarily the slapping part)?
 

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khakidog said:
Have any of you had similar experiences (not necessarily the slapping part)?
I got punched once! :lol:
I marvel at the videos I have seen showing the style of driving you have described. I guess it is what you have grown up exposed to (no pun intended) that matters.
 

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I used to work a bit in Italy and was amazed at the number of female riders, and the number of natural blonds there<G>! And yes, they do drive crazy.
 

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Having been raised in Italy for 11 years, from 7 to 18 years young, I can attest to what you're saying, and I can say that I rode my Vespa 50 in the same way as you've mentioned. Caos is for the outsiders who are not used to their way of life, or riding/driving. If you live there for any period of time, however small as in my case, you'd ride/drive just like the locals do and not think for a second that what you're doing is crazy. It is surviving, and the reason why you've seen so many young ladies ride on scooters is due to the high cost of fuel there and the very high mileage per liter you'd get from a scooter. Besides, it is easier to find a parking space for a scooter once you get to work, versus one for a cage.

Now, if you had been there when Italy won the World Cup this year, you'd swear that you'd have seen insanity.

Forza Italia!

Ride safely,

Mike T.
 

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if you think italy is bad try dominican republic. I think there are no laws there on the road.every man,dog & chicken for themselves.
 

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My wife and I lived in Naples Italy for 3 years. Although I wouldn't want the total confusion common on the road in southern Italy they are a very bike friendly culture. Like you mentioned, the majority seem to get around on scooters, which by the way are pretty nice these days. Even middle school kids ride 'em to school. You see young and old on them everywhere in town.

While I was there a young Navy Petty Officer driving his cage, hit and killed a young boy on a moped. The Navy sent him to the US pretty quick as the kid happened to be the son of some local tough guy who promised an eye for an eye. Doesn't take too many incidents like that to make you pay attention to the 2 wheeled vehicles on the road.
 

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Yep, it's like that in Rome when I was there a few years ago.....and Spain is the same. My thought is that they are all "good" driver/riders because the bad ones are already dead. But then try Jamaica on for size (wrong side of the road style) or Saigon....yeesh.

Saw on mishap in Bacelona, two scooters intersected, one flopped....no injuries, the young lady was helped up, righted her scooter and off she went....no fuss or muss and traffic just kept flowing.

Truely a different method of transportation than the USA.
 

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GaryG said:
Truly a different method of transportation than the USA.
This line says it all. Two wheeled conveyances are considered transportation. Here, in the good ol' US of A - they're considered toys or at best hobby objects.
Just think how more aware the hordes of cage drivers would be to our plight if half of all vehicle traffic on the roads was two-wheel based. We have some of the best cars and best road systems in the world, being used by one of the most distracted, least trained driving forces anywhere.
And there's no one to blame but ourselves.
Off the soapbox now.
Happy Tuesday.
 

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Notsluggo said:
GaryG said:
Truly a different method of transportation than the USA.
This line says it all. Two wheeled conveyances are considered transportation. Here, in the good ol' US of A - they're considered toys or at best hobby objects.
Just think how more aware the hordes of cage drivers would be to our plight if half of all vehicle traffic on the roads was two-wheel based. We have some of the best cars and best road systems in the world, being used by one of the most distracted, least trained driving forces anywhere.
And there's no one to blame but ourselves.
Off the soapbox now.
Happy Tuesday.
u hit that one about perfect Notsluggo
 

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Rented a scooter for a day & decided to ride from Cortona to sightsee down south......after being passed on the highway by a few 130 mile per hour Mercedes, we decided to go back & rent a car.........

You are right, It would take some time to get used to riding in the situation that is their everyday lifestyle.

Sightseeing was awesome though !


Mike
 
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