Monday, December 22, 2008


Fiat Punto, that is.

This baby is my rental car, a.k.a. ticket to freedom, for the next 14 days. And I am so excited.


Obviously I was so busy driving that I couldn't even finish this post. Seriously, it was awesome. Driving in Italy is great. The other drivers actually pay attention! Kind of. Throughout my entire time driving, I would say the scariest part was driving down the ridiculously steep and snowy hill that is right outside of my school. This happened on the 26th when Alok and I were planning on driving to the train station to catch a train to Florence. As I started going down the narrow-barely-big-enough-for-2-cars-in-only-some-areas street, the Punto started sliding. On one side of me was a jagged stone wall, and further down the street (about 30 feet) was a BMW. I was just hoping that my car did not hit the BMW. After sliding for a second or so, I realized that the car did not have anti-lock breaks, so I quickly took my foot off the pedal and replaced it. This caused the car to stop and my heart a chance to not explode. I'm so happy I've had a lot of practice in KC (ice) and Denver (snow) driving.

Anyway, the rest of the time with the car was fairly uneventful. I drove all over, though, and had a great time trying to see if I was as aware of my car's size as most Italians are of their cars. (It's incredible, really.) I think I got really good with it, managing to park in some crazy areas. The best, though, is how quickly I backed down a street that was lined with cars on one side and a stone wall on the other. The reason I had to back down it is because I had to get out of the way of the car coming down the hill and towards me. This lane was only big enough for one car, and since backing downhill is easier than uphill, I basically had to back up about 50 yards down this very-windy, very-narrow street. What amazes me about that particular incident is how quickly I did the backing up.

Having mom with me was what kept reminding me how different Italian drivers are from American drivers. Whenever I would do something, or some other car would do something a little on the dangerous side (according to an American), mom would gasp or say "ooh ooh ooh!". I think she just tried not to look most of the time.

Time for bed. Hope everyone's 2009 is off to a great start!


Jonathon David said...

I love driving in Europe. Most of my driving was done in a Renault Clio, including absolutely flooring it downhill in a German snowstorm, and learning the hard ways that the roads in Croatia are extremely slick when wet. But high-speed passing on cliffs over the Adriatic takes the cake.

[Funny. The word verification to post this comment was "roady".]

Jennifer said...

Wow! Your European driving sounds a little crazier than mine. I love how they just don't seem to care about the speed limit, at least in Italy. I think at one point the speed limit was 90 KPH and I was going 140. Many people were still flying past me though.

Funny about the word verification.