They come to within a foot of your rear bumper.
They overtake on blind corners.
They come around hairpin bends on your side of the road....sorry how stupid of me......sides of the roads don't seem to exist in rural Sicily – any side of the road is your side by divine right!!!
They park cars in spaces too small so that the rear end of the car sticks out into the roadway causing traffic chaos.
Then there are the ‘no road markings’ at stop signs and these signs seem superfluous anyway since Italian drivers just pull out in front of you ignoring the command.
They drive with panache, bravado, arrogance and what must be a certain knowledge that God is on their side at all times.
I am learning to show no fear, not to flinch and never to give territory. I particularly love the junctions where several roads converge, each with its own stop sign. Have you ever seen the Horse Guards doing demonstration marches and performances in the UK at military tattoos? You know! Where they all simultaneously canter into a centre point in rows from different directions and seemingly emerge on course out of the middle melee? Well, think that at 40mph in cars, lorries and scooters, totally disorganized with vehicles on your inside, outside, up your rear and at right angles to your bonnet. Some even come head on at you daring you to play 'chicken'.
So far I have lost every time. I spend much of the day humming the tune 'self-preservation society' from that fantastic original film 'The Italian Job'! It gets me through the 'interesting' moments!