Crossing the Street in Rome

Walking home the other day, I panicked when I was about to cross the street and did a 180 back onto the curb.

This used to happen a lot more often because I was/am  terrified of Roman traffic “rules”.

A friend once gave me some advice about crossing the street in Rome:
1. Follow a Roman. there’s safety in numbers, so cross with others when possible.
2. Babies are a good call, but cars won’t always pause for strollers.
3. Nuns are a sure thing. Drivers always stop for nuns.

If there are no nuns in the vicinity, I have my own theory about crossing the street in Rome:

Romans are in a huge hurry. A car will not slow down and wave you across the street.  The driver is in a hurry- did I already mention that? BUT the one thing that would slow them down more then letting you cross is hitting you.  Wait for a pause in traffic, and go.  Don’t change your speed because they’re basically deciding if they should speed up and cut in front of you, or swerve behind you.  Walk like you own the place.

But seriously- please be careful! Hit-and-run drivers are called pirati della strada, or (because I love literal translations) “street pirates”.

8 thoughts on “Crossing the Street in Rome

  1. Klaudia says:

    you are definitely right! when i was first time in rome 2 years ago, i almost had 2 accidents with crazy drivers. now i know how to survive on roman streets;) you must take a risk if you wanna cross the street. one step on the street, when wait and look if they stop, if not … Better come back fast to the sidewalk.

    and what about the lights? green – you must go, red – go if you want.

    take care!

  2. Tam says:

    LOL, we found this out the hard way last week while visiting Rome. Lane lines and cross walks are truly for decoration 🙂

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