I live in Italy and normally drive the car in the front of the two: a Smart, a small two seater.
During the holidays, I flew to Belgium to pick up Tine and the girls. We drove back down to Rome with the second car: a monospace family car which we normally keep in Belgium. So, for the first time, I drove a bigger car in Italy for a month.
I was surprised how Italian drivers reacted differently. In the small Smart, I get pushed aside on roundabouts and in traffic jams. If I want to overtake anyone on the highway, they don't give way or 'd rather speed up than to let me pass.
With the big Peugeot on the other hand, I hardly have to push. It looks like traffic makes way for me, just like Moses parted the seas in the Bible...
Tine and I debated what the reason could be? We noticed that the average car driven this far south in Italy is a smaller family car, something like a Fiat Panda. Bigger than the Smart, but definitively smaller than our 7-seater... Could it be that the car was "respected" as a status symbol?
Or was it merely the size, where people think bigger cars just won't give way and *will* push their way through, even be it while 'gently touching' the other cars?
Whatever it was, the difference was there and I enjoyed not having to fight for "my space" on the road as I had to do with my Smart. Parking was a nightmare, though!
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