Parking Spots in Rome

I have come to understand that “parking spot” is a very flexible concept in Italy.  As far as I can tell- if there is space for your car, then that makes it a parking space.

The logic is flawless.

Smart Car. Smart Parking.

Well? There was no space on the curb. The sidewalk will have to do.

Close enough. Why waste all that time backing up and straightening out?

Trees at intersections double as parking spots.

Side walk: Please walk around the side of my car. Thanks.

17 thoughts on “Parking Spots in Rome

  1. Alex says:

    Ah, the gentle art of Italian parking.

    It’s the same up here in Milan. Mothers with strollers often can’t get by the cars blocking pavements, forcing them into the road. Drivers don’t seem to bother worrying about pedestrians.

    May favourite though is the cars which have seemingly been abandoned in the middle of a junction. Usually this is because several cars were parked in the middle of the road, but the others leave and one car remains.

    And many cars pretend to be scooters with four wheels being parked in spaces reserved for two.

    Then we have car plus scooter or motorbike. Motorbike is already on the sidewalk, car parks by the motorbike and pedestrians have to walk on the road. A street just round the corner from my house is very prone to this.

    Reasons? Partially a lack of parking spaces and partly drivers being thoughtless.

    Anyway, it’s annoying!

    All the best from Milan,


  2. Nerys says:

    Alex’s got it spot on, the Milanese seem to have a bit of a penchant for parking on the pavement, on pedestrian crossings, at junctions – anywhere they shouldn’t really! I’ve even caught the polizia locale at it! Makes for a dangerous life as a pedestrian! Smart cars seem to have the worse reputation for some reason…

  3. LindyLouMac says:

    Ha, ha you have discovered that Italians do not park, they just stop where there happens to be a space! This doesn’t happen in the cities either 🙂

    Thanks for calling by News From Italy and commenting on the Nespresso ad, I appreciate the comments and have now replied to them all there.

  4. Eric Anderson says:

    Found you blog via Very much what I was looking for. Commentary on living in Italy from an American perspective. It’s the little things that interest me most (such as your “key” post”). But the first picture in this post and the comment about the small elevators in a previous post actually made me laugh out loud.

    Thanks for the great insight and pictures. Keep it up!

    • La americana says:

      Hey Eric! So glad you found the blog useful. I had no idea what to expect when I moved here from the US, but it is still the little things that blow my mind. I still giggle sometimes when I see my key. I’ll try to get up more posts that focus on the small differences that catch me off-guard.

  5. flosie0901 says:

    Hahaha it’s so true. Especially the Smart Cars- they park them everywhere and anywhere they will fit in Europe.

    Love your blog!

  6. jhiowdqefi8e80 says:

    i’m born and grew up in rome, and i have to say it’s very frustrating going out and walking slalomly among cars and scooters parked on sidewalks or, rather, pedestrian crossing.
    this is the result of lacking serious and stricts controls by traffic officers.
    i also noticed this tendency has been diffused in greek, france, england and poland, but in a minor way. anyway, this doesn’t mean accepting and justifying this behaviour.

  7. April says:

    Wish I could post my own photos of crazy parking in Rome. I’ve got one witnessing someone parking perpendicular to the curb between the crosswalk and corner of the intersection. She walked around her car and have a couple glances around to make sure no one would react and then just walked away. No hazard lights or anything and no other cars parked nearby. Wasn’t more than 2 minutes before another person took her lead and parked perpendicular between the crosswalk and narrow strip between the bus stop zone. I think people usually look for a critical mass of one to justify the made-up spots.

  8. Debra McElhaney says:

    i loved when I was on a bus in Florence and we had to wait because someone just left his car in the middle of the street while he ran into a shop to pick up something. He casually walked back got in his car and drove away. Not even a glance toward the bus full of people waiting 15 minutes….amazing.

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