More on driving in Italy

It's odd to consider that after one of the worst driving experiences in my life (Naples, where lanes are merely suggestions, the local population considers cramming a family of 12 on a Vespa to be a great joke, and traffic police are kind of like Shriners, in that they have pretty uniforms and like to wave frantically at people as they pass, but really are just there to mildly amuse the masses), I really enjoy driving in Italy. Driving in Italy just isn't taken too seriously. Even when you really piss off some guy who has a ridge on his forehead that would seriously turn on Daryl Hannah by cutting him off on - well, let's call it a 'highway' just to humor the Italian Highway Agency - the whole thing is likely to end up with him inviting you to his aunt's house for some pici and a glass of grappa.

My car this time had one of those GPS navigation things. Even though I've now learned the road from Pisa to Siena pretty well, I tapped in my destination just for giggles. This lovely female voice came on and even spoke to me in English (British English, though. It insisted on misspelling words like 'color' and 'theater'). The only problem with it was it insisted I was going the wrong way to Siena the whole trip. It wanted me to take the main road to Florence and then take a right turn down to Siena, which nearly doubles the length of the trip. I know better. I take the old roads through the hills. Every 5 minutes it told me I really needed to get back the highway and that I should 'make a U-turn where fruitful.' (Seriously. It said 'fruitful.' That was funny enough to almost get me to follow its instructions. Almost.) Finally, about 30 km outside of Siena it gave up and said something in Italian which probably translated to "if you die in a lonely ditch in some farmer's field, don't say I didn't warn you, idiot." I'd have turned off the woman's instructions long before that, but I couldn't figure out how to shut the voice off and still show the pretty map.

Technology is our friend.