Things you should know before you drive in Italy.
• Drive on the right side!
• Pay attention when overtaking, which will be on the left.
• When driving in Italy you need to carry a valid driving licence, proof of insurance and proof of ID.
• Do not drive in an area with a sign that says ZONA A TRAFFICO LIMITATO (ZTL) or AREA PEDONALE, limited traffic or pedestrian zones, you'll get a fine!
• When driving on Italian motorways (autostrade), you need to pay a fee. You must take a ticket ("biglietto") when you enter and pay when you exit. When you exit you must pay either by cash or card, DO NOT go into the Telepass lane.
Motorways in Italy are indicated by green signs. Italy's "autostrade" have a standard speed limit of 130 Km/h (81 mph) for cars. the further left you are the faster you should go.
• Filling the car at the petrol station is fairly simple, the pumps are often self service ("fai da te"). NOTE that since Italy has a PIN credit card system, you can only use your credit card if it has a PIN. If not you should use a debit card.
Don't forget! "Benzina" stands for unleaded petrol and "Gasolio" is diesel.
• Be confident, keep up with the traffic and stay alert!
If you're mad as a hatter you may want to take a trip to Gubbio, the city of mad people (la città dei matti)!
People from Gubbio, a town located in the northeastern part of Umbria are traditionally known for their unpredictable actions.
Do you want to become a licensed eccentric person too? Just go to the Fountain of Mad Men (la fontana dei matti), run round it three times and say "I am crazy" three times. For just a few Euros you can have an official document confirming your insanity! This is an essential document in this day and age.
All madness aside, Gubbio is a wonderful historical city with beautiful palaces, churches and a medieval feel.
A friend sent me a link to an article about a Tuscan "Sleepy Valley" recently. The valley the author referred to was the Garfagnana, the valley just to the east of my little corner of Tuscany, La Lunigiana, the boundaries of which happen to embrace three sleepy valleys.