Ride a Scooter in Italy!

Today's mini-film feature in the sidebar is a "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" through the heart of Naples on a vespa scooter!

When I saw the latest Vespa ad campaign today, I got all nostalgic for an old Vespa commercial from the 60s that I once saw repeated on tv in Italy... in which the girls on the back of all the Italian boys' scooters were riding side-saddle. (Like at right... no kidding!) Didn't find it yet, but I did find this video instead!!

At first glance, it seems an amateur version of the great French short, "Rendezvous." But it starts with an opening screen for the "Road Safety Class"...

Is this the famous Road Safety Class taught on the U.S. base there in Naples?? I've heard great stories about it... Like when an earnest young American G.I. asked the Neapolitan instructor about whether it was legal to make a right turn after stopping at a red light, and the napolitano responded, "Why on earth would you stop at a red light?!" The law-abiding Americans were thoroughly scandalized!!

However, everybody knows that everyone runs red lights in Naples, and therefore you should stop on the green! :-)

Fear not about driving in Italy, though... Neapolitans are famous for being far more adventurous (and creative!) in their driving than even the average Italian (about which you can read more, if you're interested, in Driving in Italy - and Loving It...)

Anyway, while this video is no where near as hair-raising as a real ride through Napoli can be... you do at least get a sense of what they consider perfectly viable 2-way streets! Enjoy!!

1 comment:

planettom said...

Latest Vespa ad campaign: "The Kama Scooter" : Some ad exec must have said, "The only way we could possibly make scooters sexy is to put two lesbians on one!" (pause, wait for lightbulbs to appear over heads of all at the conference table).