Pescara

Maybe next time I visit Pescara it will be for fun!

Over the past three years I’ve flown into Pescara from Milan, ridden the Pronto bus to Pescara from Rome, and rented numerous cars from Hertz. For three years, the same helpful folks have worked there.
Although I do enjoy taking to Marco and his staff, I’m looking forward to be driving my own car. It’s ordered, but unfortunately it takes over two months to arrive. Until then, I’m driving a Fiat Panda. Cute little car…not as small as they were back in the day.
Driving in Italy (Abruzzo anyway), comes much more natural to me than driving in the US. The Italians drive fast, but efficiently. No on sits in the outside lane like its their right. They use the outside lane to overtake, and then move over to let others do the same. I enjoy driving in Italy!

Giggling Policeman – Driving Tips for your Italian Vacation!

carabinieri

Whether you are driving your own car or a hired vehicle it is most important that you carry your driving license and the car’s insurance with you at all times. The Carabinieri and the Police do spot checks of both vehicles and drivers’ documents all the time. If uniformed policemen bristling with machine guns and self-importance wave lollipops at you, don’t panic, but please, do stop! They will want to see your license, log book and insurance. They may kick your tyres and check your lights and brakes. The younger and prettier you are, the longer they will spend discussing your motor car. They are generally very polite and friendly. Naturally the armoury induces a polite, even servile reaction from all but the most audacious driver! Speed limits are nastily in force with ruinous fines. Even if you are driving a hired car such fines will eventually catch up with you. These speed limits change depending on the day of the week and the type of road. They also change without much warning from one season to another. This helps the Italian government to collect some of the taxes it loses from the income tax declarations of its native population and assist in holiday funds for its politicians. Currently the speed limits are:

On weekdays, on non-motorway roads (including link roads such as the Firenze – Siena) 100 kms per hour. However, since the local authorities forgot to apply for ‘Superstrada’ status in time, this road is now reduced (temporarily??) to 90 km. per hour. It helps fill the coffers.

On weekdays, on motor ways (Autostrade):

130 km. per hour.At weekends and holidays, on non-motorway roads: 90 km. per hour. At weekends and holidays, on motorways: 110 km per hour Watch out for elongated holiday weekends, short stretches of roads with 50 km. limits, hidden little cameras and giggling policemen, and sudden changes in the law, especially when there is a tax crisis. Fines start at 100.00 euro and go up fast.

And this is why I love the Italians……..giggling policemen? Can’t wait!

The problem with my ACCENT!

I moved to Colorado from England in 1995, oh how everyone loved that British accent. They loved it so much that my daughter (she was nine years old) picked up an American accent as soon as possible. She got tired of people asking her to say something again so they could listen to the way she said it. After almost 20 years, I still have my British accent, too old to change. No one ever forgets me!

Back in 2000 I flew to Kansas City with my daughter, we were going to a the ‘Kansas City Royal’ horse show.  I called ahead of time and booked a rental car at a great rate so when I arrived to pick it up I was astounded to find that rate had tripled.

“I booked this car three weeks ago.” I said indignantly, “we fixed the rate on-line.”

“Ma’am I think there has been some mistake. You have to purchase insurance in this country, along with………(the list went on).”

“What do you mean in this country?” I asked.

I was tired and irritable, and wanted to be on my way. A recent ice storm had made the roads dangerous and the last thing I needed was to argue with this man.

“Look, here is my driver’s license, here is my Amex Gold, which provides extra insurance, here is my proof of insurance along with my AAA membership. Now I would like to talk to your supervisor and find out why you quoted one price on-line and now want to charge me triple.”

The customer service gentleman examined my Drivers License etc. and looked embarrassed.

“Oh you’re an American Citizen!” He said.

“Yes, I am.”

Yes my accent had worked against me. He thought I was a tourist, right off a flight from England. The price of my rental car decreased again. Tourists beware…….you are paying more than anyone else!

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