Many of the roads in Italy are very narrow. Some were made for the occasional horse and carriage and were later widened to allow 2 way car traffic. This means that there are often no footpaths in some of the smaller towns and villages.
Here is the strange thing…99% of pedestrians in Italy walk with their backs to the traffic…little old ladies with linked arms, mothers pushing prams, people carrying shopping, men, children…all with their backs to the cars on the road. If you see someone facing the cars it will almost always be a foreigner.
As children, we were taught to look to the right, look to the left, look to the right again, walk straight across the road, don’t run…and, if you must walk on the road, face the oncoming cars….so that you can SEE them.
I am astounded that hundreds of people aren’t flattened by cars every day. I know the motorists are very good at avoiding people, but wouldn’t it be better to have 2 sets of eyes looking out for each other?
Curious is not really the correct word. I think idiotic is more appropriate.
I have no photographic evidence as I am usually driving when I notice this…but you get the picture.
There has been much comment about the skill of Italian drivers…and I agree with this. They handle their cars very well, and can park in places I would be flat put parking a bicicle…BUT, they drive much too fast for the conditions, they overtake when it is dangerous to do so, cut corners, talk on their mobile phones while driving, and children are seldom strapped into seat belts and are often standing between the front seats!!!!
…and not all drivers on Italian roads are Italian. There are many confused tourists who take to the roads. I’m all for facing oncoming traffic when I am walking and being very alert anywhere near a road.