July 11, 2015, 12:01 PM
Driving in Italy
We are visiting Sienna in September and then going to Lake Garda. I have heard the Italian drivers are dreadful and as an extremely nervous passenger I am wondering what is the best way to get to the Lakes. Is there a non-motorway route where we can make stops and have a gentle drive rather than a very nervous one!!
July 13, 2015, 10:21 PM
Driving in Italy
I have been living in Italy for some time and though I know people like to joke about Italian drivers, personally I find them to be fairly good drivers. It is true that they lack a bit of patience with the tourists - but their driving skills are actually pretty good (even the statistics will back me up on this one).
Having said this, I would venture to say that the main highways are actually your better bet because as long as you travel in the far right lane no one will be bothering you. When you get on those small back roads with curves ... that's when the creative Italian driving style seems to become more evident. You can drive slower in the right lane, and there are many places you can stop and get out as well as panoramic exits you can take for a small detour into the picturesque towns.
July 14, 2015, 10:44 AM
I second what Donna has said - the motorway route is actually a better road to travel on, since they are wider and have more lanes. If you stay on the right lane, the faster cars pass on the left lane and you won't be bothered.
I would follow the route that Google Maps suggests - the Firenze-Siena to the A1 in Florence, then up to Modena and from there toward Verona and Lake Garda.
Italian drivers are not dreadful - they are aggressive. On smaller roads, they tailgate if you go slow but pass as soon as they are able. Even on those smaller roads, just drive as you feel you can safely do so, and forget about any cars behind you.
It is just their way of doing, even when you are going at a decent speed they often times are impatient and want to go faster. In Tuscany, there are lots of foreign drivers so you'll be in good company ;-).