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Friday, July 29, 2011

We Made It!

LaVerna - my husband's hometown in the region of  Emiglia Romagna
Siamo Arrivati! (We arrived!) Twenty-seven hours from door to door - it's a haul but after 19 years, we are used to it!

With two flights into Rome and then a six hour drive to LaVerna, there is a lot of room for something to go wrong, but all flights departed on schedule and there were no glitches with the car rental.

As soon as my husband, Fabrizio, arrives in his homeland, his Italian-ness comes out in full force - especially when he is behind the wheel of a car on the autostrada.

When he drives, I am in the passenger seat instinctively pressing down my imaginary brake while gripping tightly onto the arm rest as he drives over 90 mph and comes within inches of the vehicle (such as the semi in this picture) in front of us until they move over!

Unlike our freeways that have at least four lanes if not six or seven, the autostrada has only two or three lanes going each way. In America that would be a problem beyond measure. But here, if you follow the rules of the road, the system works quite well. I was going to try to explain these rules, but I found this post that sums it up perfectly:
"For most cars on most of the Autostrade, the speed limit is 100 km/h (61 m.p.h.). This is as widely ignored as our speed limits are. Above what we would consider 'reasonable speeding', Mercedes, BMW's and Alfa Romeo's go as fast as their engines will allow. To deal with this there is a four-step protocol for passing and being passed. 
1) If being passed, you should put the right set of tires on the shoulder, if at all practical. This makes two lanes three. I have been able to pass on two lane roads in Italy with traffic approaching because the approaching car put their right wheel on the shoulder, too. This action is not for the unfamiliar or the faint of heart. 
2) If you are passing, but intend to maintain speed, and return to the right (most of us), you should leave your left turn signal on until you are ready to return to the right when you change to your right turn signal. 
3) If you are traveling in the left lane, and intend to go as fast as your car allows, do not put on your turn signal. 
4) If you are in the left lane, approaching someone from behind who is going slower and you have no turn signal on, flash your lights at them. It is their responsibility to get out of your way. If you are on the receiving end of one of these 'light horns', act quickly or you will get run over."
Needless to say, we made it to his village in one piece (as we have the last 19 years). After saying our hellos to the relatives and friends in town we sat down at the table of his mother's house for fresh, homemade tortellini. This is Fabrizio's favorite dish and he has made it a tradition to have this as his first meal when he arrives in Italy. This has also become our kids' favorite Italian meal and truly is to die for.
In two days we leave for my most favorite place in the world - Venice! We'll meet up with some friends that are there and we'll devour the sites, the culture and the food.


1 comment:

  1. thank you for sharing-- it is bringing up memories of our visit there with you guys!! I want that food!!! yummy say hi to Katerina for us