Thursday, September 10, 2009

Milan, a Short Survival Guide

For the foreigner, navigating the streets of Milano can be intimidating. The first thing to understand is that you should not expect the road signs to make any sense. Instead, expect them to be either ambiguous or contradictory. Here are a few tips:

  • If a sign says turn down this street it probably means turn down the next street,
  • If you think it is saying turn left it is probably saying go straight ahead,
  • Some signs make no sense at all.
The road layout of central Milan is prime example of urban planning during the middle-ages. The car drivers aren't exactly homicidal, its just that they don't care one way or the other whether they kill you. The scooter riders punch above their weight while the pedestrians just add to the confusion.

The only thing crazier than the old roads from the middle-ages are the new roads. Specifically the spaghetti junctions. As you would expect, Italians take their spaghetti seriously, especially when it comes to road design.

Before trying to go anywhere, I usually studied the trip on GOOGLE Maps and taped precise instructions on the tank. Then I took a map along anyway because no matter how good your instructions are, you will not be able to follow them. In Milano, trying to read a map while riding a motorcycle is suicidal. Pull over before reading.

Is it worth all the trouble? Absolutely! Milano is a special place full of passion, great food, beautiful girls and, most importantly, Milano is where they make the VUN.

1 comment:

  1. Hi John, i like your funny description of the milanese traffic.
    and, its true! The first time i visit Roberto in the factory it was exactly the same experience!
    but more entertaining is to ride with Robeto in the car...
    see you soon!
    Bernhard Peintner