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Just back from Tuscany . . . driving (that is . . .)

The Italians are the most impatient, rude and reckless drivers I have ever witnessed! Not only did I need to negotiate the narrow winding hillside roads of Tuscany but I constantly had an Italian up my tailpipe! Very unnerving and dangerous.

Posted by
223 posts

You should try driving in Lyon or Paris.
I found the drivers in le Toscane to be mild.

Posted by
3551 posts

Sorry to hear . I have driven in tuscany and umbria nearby and had no problems . It was during summer months too. Do not give up. Driving is the best way to see lots of tuscany.

Posted by
6570 posts

Impatient, rude and reckless?
You have not driven in Atlanta traffic, apparently. Get on I-285, and the slow lane's running in the 80's and the fast lane's in the 90's in rush hour. GA Hwy 400 is called the 400 autobahn because of all the Mercedes' and BMW's running hard...

I always found if you stay in the right lane on Italian 4 lanes and drive the speed limit, you're going to be okay. What's impatient is a German driver in a BMW trying to average 130 mph on the drive between Munich and Stuttgart--bright lighting anyone that gets in the left lane.

Posted by
1809 posts

I find the locals that know where they are going and drive the same roads daily lose patience behind me looking at all the new sights and trying to read street signs. After driving in L.A. not much bothers me I guess, very rare for someone to pull a gun and road rage in Italy! Having to fold the mirrors in to turn around so as to avoid a ZTL on the other hand.....

Posted by
3038 posts

Dawn, did you ever consider that the problem was you, and not the Italian drivers? If they were constantly up your tailpipe it was for one reason - that you are driving too slowly. Yes, I know very well that some of the country roads can be narrow and winding. But if you can't safely drive the speed limit, perhaps the train would be a better mode of transportation for you.

Even at home, there's nothing more frustrating than being stuck behind a slowpoke. Especially on a winding road where opportunities for passing are few.

Posted by
7817 posts

Your experience does not match mine.

On any winding narrow road I was on I was able to drive at the posted limit and never had anyone "up my tailpipe"

On the Autostrada, I stayed in the right or middle lane, observed the speed limit and avoided any "extra" souvenirs.

Perhaps you were too enthralled by the scenery to concentrate on your driving?

Posted by
490 posts

And this was a surprise??? A Bostonian talking about tailgating?? hmmmm that made me chuckle.

The only crazier place to drive is perhaps Karachi!

Posted by
8055 posts

I've driven all over Tuscany and Umbria on two separate trips and had no issue whatsoever with other drivers. I agree with all CJean said and that perhaps you were driving too slowly. Pull over and let people pass if they are "up your tailpipe." If you did, kudos to you.

Posted by
602 posts

We are back from a trip this April and had no problems driving, whatsoever. Sorry to hear you did.

Posted by
11613 posts

So, I guess you are rethinking moving to Italy?

Posted by
1737 posts

Not to pile on, but that was not my experience in Tuscany. I insisted on driving the speed limit, which kept me from getting any unexpected "souvenirs" after returning home. When that was too slow for natives, I would turn out at the first opportunity to let them by. I got several waves of appreciation. I'd rather drive in Tuscany than Atlanta any day.

Posted by
681 posts

We just returned from a trip to Ecuador. Talk about crazy drivers and one was my friend who at 70 thinks he is a race car driver winding around the Andes mountain roads. He is from Ecuador and reverted back to his youth. I kissed the crazy I 95 traffic in South Florida until I remembered that half of the drivers are from South and Central America. No wonder I hate to drive anymore.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for all of the positive comments! I was quite worried when I first saw this as I will be driving in Tuscany for the first time on our upcoming trip.

Posted by
37 posts

Perhaps the OP had a run of bad luck as far as fellow drivers go. It would only take a few idiots to make your driving life miserable.

Posted by
164 posts

So funny reading this posting from a Bostonian. I was born and bred on the Northshore of Boston and learned to drive like the natives. After getting married, I moved to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, where my husband and I could not believe how polite the drivers were. Now, when I visit the Boston area, I could tear my hair out. We drove in Tuscany a few years ago, and had no problem with the drivers, but did wind up with a citation in the mail six months later...and found out that you cannot make a U turn over the trolley tracks, even if the coast is clear (something that all the Boston drivers would do!!). Even with all the advice from people on the forum, we had to pay our dues.

Posted by
14454 posts

I drove the Amalfi coast road (one of the trickiest to drive) this past winter and the locals were close to suicidal. My solution was to pull over and let them pass wherever I could and to ignore them the rest of the time. Worked well for me. In rural France, the locals know where the speed traps are and drive above the limit where they can. Same problem - I wasn't going to take a chance on getting a costly ticket, so I let them pass as soon and as often as I could. Now that I think about it, that's pretty much what I do everywhere.

Posted by
2639 posts

A few years back, I was driving from Sorrento to Positano a few days before Christmas. Road was empty...except for the five Giro di Italia wannabes 🚵🏼‍♀️🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️I got stuck behind. Rude bike riders who refused to move further to the right so I could pass them. Just kept peddling in the center of the lane. There are very few places where it's safe to attempt a pass on this road. When I finally was able to, they started screaming at me and waving fists and single fingers! I respect cyclists and made certain that I could pass them without putting them in danger or upsetting their ride.

I'll be on that road again this December and hope they won't be lying in wait for me.

Posted by
3901 posts

Ah yes - Boston. My husband has a friend who lives there and his joke about Boston drivers is - What is the definition of a millisecond? The time between the light changing green and a Boston driver honking their horn at you. And yes, someone just outside Boston did this to us. We were obviously tourists since our license plate denoted us as Canadians - I felt like jumping out of the car and gesticulating wildly at our Nova Scotia plate and toss in a one fingered salute, but my Canadianess took over.

Posted by
415 posts

We spent 10 days in Tuscany. I thought the drivers were really courteous. Just like in my town. Also drove from Tuscany to Venice. That was perfectly fine. However, when we got very close to Florence it was a free for all. Scared the crap out of me. But you know what, driving in New York City is complete and utter hell. I've seen in Tuk Tuks in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. I think those guys learn to drive from New York cabies.

Posted by
108 posts

Put me down for the group who would rather drive in Europe (excluding Italian Alps) than Boston. Bostonians drive past stop signs at full speed and then abruptly stop (sort of) twenty feet past the sign practically into oncoming traffic. When you hit the brakes because you think they are about to collide with your car, they'll honk or give you the finger.