Tips on Crossing Roman Streets
When you are planning your first trip to Italy, you may also experience your first time crossing the streets of Rome. Or at least attempting to. You see tourists lining the sidewalks facing the street as if someone was doling out free money. Then you see one daring tourist dart out into the street. Phrases like “deer in the headlights” “fight or flight” and “Run Forrest run” flash through your mind. The tourist leaps back onto the sidewalk pale, shaking and on the verge of collapse. What just happened?! Simple. The tourist ran into the street. This is Rome, Italy. It’s not Manhattan, it’s not Small Town USA and it’s definitely not in a country where the pedestrians have the right of way.
Before you plan your trip to Italy; here are two simple and easy to follow instructions on crossing the streets in Rome. Rule #1 first, and most importantly, DO NOT RUN! Romans have their driving down to the millisecond. Walking pedestrians are factored into their traffic dominated mindset. They have the pace of a pedestrian hard wired into their brain. Walk and you will survive. Rule #2 Follow a Roman. Watch for a true citizen of Rome. When you see one getting ready to cross the street fall in behind him or her. You will make it across. The amazing thing is that when a true Roman crosses the street all they do is step confidently into the street. Cars slam to a halt as if slamming into a wall. Moses parting the Red Sea. Invisible force shields. In other words, traffic stops and the citizen of Rome continues safely across the street. If you followed this person then you, too, have made it across the street.
After you have begun your trip to Italy; practice this procedure diligently. When you think you have it down to a science try crossing the street by yourself but please try on a quieter street. Work your way up to some of the busiest streets in Rome. If you can cross these streets on your own you will have become an honorary Roman citizen, known for your panache and bravery.1