Friday, July 22, 2011

Transportation News in Italy

There are some nice and important news for those that will be moving around in Italy in the future. Whether you are coming to live in Italy (as I did), or are just visiting, you should be aware of them. Some are temporary changes for the summer, some other are transportation laws that are here to stay.

Let's start with the summer news. If you are moving around inside Italy using a train, the Italian train authority decided to increase the number of fast train availability with 16 more trains each day. The Freccia Rossa, this is the name of the high velocity trains in Italy, will provide 16 more high speed connections throughout the territory in order to supply a more efficient and comfortable traveling experience during the high affluence summer months.

Now the laws that are here to stay, which only interest those that will be driving inside Italy. You should know that jaywalking (illegal or reckless pedestrian street crossing) is not a crime in Italy, and now even the less so. Beware of pedestrians at traffic lights, as if you hit one even when pedestrians have the red light, you will be held fully responsible. Does it make sense? Probably not, it may in some cases, however you just need to know it, so keep it in mind.

Another new law (this time in your favor) states that when you are driving on a road and hit a wild animal the responsibility is not upon you but on who is in charge of the maintenance of that specific road. Remember to make your rights heard.

Those that will be, or already are, living in Florence, Tuscany and have children going to school and driving motorcycles, should know that the city of Florence will give away free helmets to all high school students in Florence.

Finally some good news on in-town transportation. Bike sharing in Italy is among the booming phenomena that in recent years has brought average national bike usage from 2% to 9%. Legambiente, the national NGO promoting a series of behaviors for a sustainable lifestyle, provides the ten rules a city must follow for an efficient and successful bikesharing experience.

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