Navigating the roads and streets of Rome on foot has been pretty hair-raising to say the least. I see plenty of zebra signs, but these in no way serve a similar purpose as they do back Down Under. Here, motorists will ignore you unless you dare to cross!
On my first day I stood at a zebra sign looking like dead old Caesar wondering to myself what the hell was going on. These guys were just zooming past me as if I wasn’t there. Fortunately it didn’t take long for me to notice that the correct procedure is to actually wait until there is a break in traffic, and then cross. Other oncoming vehicles will then give you the right of way. By my second day, I’ve gotten use to the whole circus, but it’s still quite frightening to see a speeding bus approach its way towards you as you’re still about to hit the middle of those zebra lines.
Some pedestrians are even crazier than drivers. They just cross anywhere. It’s quite impressive to see well-dressed women cut in front of a hoard of scooters on Via Nazionale, pause standing still along the tiny gaps between the sides of vehicles, right in the middle of the road, then slowly dance their way through the breaks in traffic and finally safely to the other side. I’ve never seen anything like it.