Peak Hour at 130kph…

I drove up to the Turin Airport yesterday morning to collect the last of our luggage and my bike (I am not sure which one was received with greater enthusiasm, my bike or the boys’ toys!). The airport is on the Northern edge of Torino so the journey took the trusty Peugeot and I into peak-hour as we attempted to circumnavigate the centre of the City. The trip gave me an opportunity to test one of the Urban Legends we hear about life in Italia – namely, that all Italians aspire to be F1 drivers.

Someone gave the advice about driving in Italy “relax, drive at your own pace and have your feet poised above both the brake and the accelerator as you can’t be sure which one you will need more”. Seemingly sound advice, but it did little to reduce the terror! If you want something to wake you up and make the nerves jangle, 3 lanes of Italian morning traffic will do the trick.

Notionally the autostrade has a 130km/h speed limit but I am not sure if this is compulsory, a recommendation or an option only observed by i stranieri. It seems that Fangio’s brother, sister, cousin and every distant relation he had, passed me before I was ten minutes into the trip.

It is also worth noting (while referencing useful bits of advice) that a book here suggested the flashing of lights could have multiple meanings ranging from “thank you my friend”, “get out of the way idiot”, “your headlights are on during the day”, “your headlights are not on at night”, “hi there, beautiful” or any combination of these. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that Fangio’s grandmother wasn’t commenting on my stunning good looks or driving abilities as she flashed her lights, waved her hands and passed me at 150 on the inside lane…

So to correct the Urban Myth about Italian Drivers, they don’t aspire to be F1 drivers because each and every one of them already has expertise to do this, they just choose to utilise these skills in the morning rush hour. Needless to say, there were no photos taken to supplement this post…

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