If you’ve been to Italy or watched at least one movie in which the action occurs in picturesque Italy, I’m sure you must have probably wondered what’s with all the Italians and their scooters. What’s the big fuss of driving those noisy vehicles and, moreover, why is the entire country so obsessed with them?
There are some things that have their personal local charm and sometimes it’s hard for people outside that specific culture to understand the customs and the reasons behind all actions.
And, when it comes to Italy, there are plenty of things that don’t make too much sense outside the country. However, believe it or not, there are quite a few reasons why Italians opt for scooters, so here are some of the most common.
Lack of parking places
The big cities are surrounded by historical buildings and archaeological sites which may be hundreds or even thousands of years old, so it comes as no surprise that you won’t find too many parking places around these monuments. Cities like Milan or Rome are always crowded with tourists and the traffic is a mess with little to no rules followed.
It’s safe to say that traffic in the biggest Italian cities resembles the jungle, so finding a parking place that’s close to your work or home is an impossible task most of the times. However, scooters can be parked almost anywhere so they are a convenient and fast means of transportation.
Another thing to consider about Italy is that it has narrow roads. Most of the streets are small and narrow, making it physically impossible for two cars to come from opposite directions at once. Thus, most people don’t even try to make it to work or anywhere else in town by driving their own car as it would be almost impossible to drive through the narrow streets with no parking lots.
So, unless they want to walk on the cubic stone streets, Italians prefer to choose small-sized scooters that can get them safe and sound anywhere in the city.
Lastly, as opposed to Americans who can get their driver’s license at 16 years old, the laws all around Europe stipulate that a person is not considered an adult until he or she is 18 years old. However, they are allowed to drive small-engine vehicles at the age of 14 or 16, depending on the country.
Italians can receive such a permit for scooters at the age of 14, and this is why many youngsters are used to driving scooters from a young age and, therefore, continue to do so even many years after they become adults. It’s a rather safe and convenient way to get to school or to extracurricular activities without choosing public transportation or having your parents drive you all the way.