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Can't remember the last time I felt this nervous

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Columbo, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    I will be headed to Italy next year, which in itself is great.

    However, I will need to rent a car to get to all the places on the itinerary, and I will be driving out of Italy (to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France)

    Has anyone here ever driven extensively in Europe, and with a rental?

    I just have images of fucking up driving on the left side of the road and end up as a cross between Woody Allen's character in Scoop and Matthew Broderick in Ireland.
  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    No speed limits on the autobahn, man. Rent a Porsche and do your thing.
  3. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I had to take a driver's course here before I could drive (for Uncle Sugar) in Italy.

    It was quite difficult in larger towns, but only moderately difficult in less populated areas.

    Edit: You're in for a fucking treat with the road signs.
  4. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    Columbo...they drive on the same side of the road dumbass.

    learn to drive a manual transmission....
  5. Ashy Larry

    Ashy Larry Active Member

    Columbo....don't worry about driving over there..it'll be fine. I actually love driving in Europe.....

    one important thing to remember....most of the highways are only 2 lanes wide....and you only use the left lane to pass, stay on the right at all times. Also, you may notice a car in the left lane with his left directional on...that means he's going fast and plans on passing a few cars in a row,

    have fun
  6. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Spring for a GPS on the rental -- it makes driving in Europe so much easier.

    And they drive like maniacs over in Germany and Italy. I drove over there like driving in Manhattan -- when in doubt, be passive.
  7. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Col, as long as you stay away from Britain, you'll be fine driving. We're the only ones on the left....
  8. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    Oh, Italy...

    I figured this thread was about Columbo's upcoming dinner date with Billy the Marlin. :D
  9. oldhack

    oldhack Member

    City traffic's a little chaotic (take a train to Florence, for example), but driving in Europe is no different than driving here.


    1. If you are getting off the autostrada, autobahn, etc., get yourself a good set of maps for the areas you will be driving to. Italian Auto Club maps are excellent, Michelin maps are good for France, not sure about Germany and Austria.

    2. Renting a car in Europe can be hell. Had major, major problems last two times with Eurocar in Italy and Hertz in Spain. When you pick up the car, expect to wait, even if you have a reservation. Make sure you scour the car and mark down every nick and scratch. Otherwise you might have to pay (and worse yet, it will make an already difficult check-in much longer).

    3. European cars are smaller, with less luggage room. But most people pack too much anyway.

    Have a great time!
  10. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    UK=left side
    Continental Europe=right side
    Italy=wherever they feel like it
  11. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Spain: rented a car in Cordoba in the morning, had to haul ass up to Barcelona to catch a flight the next day. No problems of any sort. I was expecting some shit from the rental car guy in Barcelona, just because it's stereotypical "wisdom" that Barcelonans don't think highly of Yanks or anything coming out of Andalusia. But everything was smooth as a nice glass of rioja. Broke my heart not to be able to stop in Valencia...looked amazing.

    No way can European driving suck as bad as driving in Boston.
  12. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i've driven in two european countries: italy and ireland.

    now i'm not a wuss, i'm not a timid drive, i don't doubt myself too often. i've traveled extensively and i don't stress easily about stuff like how to get around in a foreign country.

    that said, those were two miserable, awful experiences. the roads in ireland are way too narrow. i literally thought i would die while driving on some of those windy, country roads late at night.

    in italy i never worried about my safety but matching up the maps with the reality was far more complicated than it should've been and the road signs were horrible. what should've been a short two hour drive took about six hours. and getting out of the city (we drove from venice to sienna to pisa) was a nightmare.
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