Reflections on driving in Italy
“Here I go down that wrong road again
Goin’ back where I’ve already been
Even though I know where it will end
Here I go down that wrong road again”
– John Hartford, Wrong Road Again (Don’t miss YouTube below)
The sun was setting as we drove north along the SR2 (Strada Regionale) route toward Florence. After Florence, we had an easy 30-mile straight shot along the Autostrade to our hotel in Montecatini and we had high hopes of getting home before it got too dark.
This particular route was the best way back from the Tuscan scenery region and we had been this way the previous year so I was prepared for the driving. I very much remembered a crazy spaghetti junction that stood between us and the correct route home. I felt lucky then to survive without a fender-bender because the junction featured a huge roundabout with certain traffic lanes that did not yield in the usual round-about protocol and then with an immediate toll booth jammed up queue – only THEY knew how to navigate it correctly.
I write this because if you drive in Tuscany, you are likely to come this way, and I hope to help you avoid terror and confusion. With the comfort of good collision insurance, we did mostly avoid that certain terror but only after a bit of horn honking from the locals.
Nevertheless, confusion and frustration were next because “we” picked the wrong ramp and wound up in a dead-stopped traffic jam in a two-mile long tunnel. (See map and pictures). This wrong-way was also a toll road with limited opportunities to exit and pay for my mistake. Nevertheless, with the help of Google Maps on our phones, we did survive, at the cost of an hour of our time and a few Euros toll.
For the full effect, click the map toggle below to get the satellite view. (Sorry email subscribers, you will not see the Google Map unless you visit the blog site.)