The art of driving in Sicily

  • Always carry a mobile phone with you so that you can make all your important phone calls on route to your destination – you have two hands after all and only need one for the wheel!
  • Better still commence driving by sending that all important text message – you can use your knees to steer and you don’t need to see the other cars because you will hear them coming right?
  • If you don’t need to make any calls let the spare arm get a tan by sticking it out of the window and waving it around now and then to get some air.
  • At junctions be creative and see how many lanes of traffic can be made in a two lane street.
  • The slight bump on the car behind and in front of you will aid you and tell you when to stop if you need to get out of a tight space- I wouldn’t bother using your mirrors when you have the handy bumper.
  • Don’t worry about double parking, blocking someone in or parking on zebra crossings, in the middle of the road; park whether you fancy and preferably as close to your destination as possible. People will let you know when they want to leave, drive around you etc and you can barely see the lines of the zebra crossings anymore anyway.
  • Parking on pavements so that prams cannot pass is mandatory – your four wheels are the only four wheels that matter after all!
  • When conversing with your passengers make sure you maintain eye-contact with them and gesticulate widely, other cars will move out of the way if you drift from your lane whilst doing this.
  • Use your horn as often as possible especially if someone has had the audacity to stop at a red light or even if someone looks like they are coming to a stop.
  • Zebra crossings – what are they for again?
  • When driving down a one-way street the wrong way shout loudly and act annoyed at the other car going the right way for slowing you down and blocking your path.
  • Remember the more dents, scratches you have on your car the better. They are the new status symbol. In fact, the more damaged your car is, the more you will get admiring nods and glances from your fellow drivers, and new drivers and tourists will know to stay out of your way.
  • Push your way onto roundabouts and remember if you nearly crash into someone to scowl at them or avoid eye contact – it is NEVER your fault after all.
  • It is ok to tailgate and overtake on or before corners as the person in front should not have been following the speed limit as that’s just a guide, isn’t it?
  • If you see someone driving who appears not to be following the above rules shout ‘Where did you get your driving licence?’ loudly while gesticulating wildly with both hands.
Disclaimer: Obviously I don't advocate driving like this and Italy does have sensible road rules which I follow and everyone else should follow. Not all Sicilians drive badly either. However, I encounter all of the above from other drivers on a daily basis. I even get road rage when walking due to some of the actions I see from behind the wheel. I get harassed when stopping at stop signs, red lights, to let pedestrians cross at zebra crossing and nearly every other driver will be on their mobile throughout their journey.I have learnt to wait until you have eye contact with a person driving when crossing the road. My coping mechanism is just to be aware and always prepared for something outrageous to happen. Outside of the cities roads aren't that busy and I find driving much more pleasurable.
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