First posted December 7, 2012
Would You Drive Up This Road?
Driving in Sicily’s small towns and villages requires a new skill unto itself. Would you want to drive up this road? I wouldn’t. But people do and I have done out of necessity. In fact, the street on which our new house lives is about this wide and the road leading to our street has an incline similar to this one. I think I have mentioned already that turning onto our street means leaving half my tires on the road.
So, let’s begin. I have mentioned that a GPS is essential for driving in Sicily. That is absolutely true – to a point. Once you are in the small town with twisty narrow roads that are often one way (not that a one way street concerns many Sicilians!) your location finding needs to become creative. This is where a map comes in handy. I can’t speak for other small towns, but I know that Cianciana has street maps that they hand out generously! Where do you find them? From the realtor (My House), from the library, the museum, and most people who rent out apartments to sun seeking foreigners. You could also print out a map from Google Earth or Google Maps before you leave. Driving in a small Sicilian town you will find that this is where those meditation classes I mentioned in the first driving post will come in handy. You need to be prepared for the following:
- You will make mistakes.
- People will honk at you and make rude gestures.
- You will get lost.
- Parking is almost impossible to find unless you come across a piazza.
- There will be swearing.
- In a small town, three stopped cars makes a traffic jam and there will be honking.
- Drivers in front of you will stop at random to discuss the latest football game, the weather, their families, or whatever with someone they see walking on the road.
- Your car will probably get scratched or, like me, you will knock off your side mirror – maybe both.
- You will turn a corner and see something amazing that you never expected.
- Absolutely great post!!! You’ve really captured what it is like to try to drive in Sicily. 🙂 Love it!!
- Thanks Jann! I wish I had been able to read something like this before I drove in Sicily for the first time – that’s why I have written it. But then again, if I had read something like this beforehand, I may not have had the courage to actually get behind a wheel! lol.
- I remember driving right into the middle of the market in Catania on my first solo trip to Sicily. This year on trip number 10 went up the road to Erice and found roads narrower than in Taormina. This year had some one break my mirror in Palermo. Another time was hit on the Tangenziale in Napoli while driving to the ferry. No, it is never boring.
- No kidding. You could never call driving in Sicily boring!
- I think we’ll hire a driver