Living in Italy - Part 14: Size DOES matter in Italy

Big car, Small car

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!

More about Living in Italy on The Road


Unknown 04 August, 2009 06:59  

AS always Peter, I love reading your bolts of knowledge :-)

Anonymous,  04 August, 2009 21:20  

Get a truck next time, a long 13,60mt overvolume, you might have as well the honour to be escorted by the police.. No understanding for the ones always measuring themselves ... what next?

Anonymous,  28 June, 2013 12:05  

It`s probably because it was a family car. Italians value family so they respect a person who values his family. Having a family car showed them that your a family man.

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