Italian in Italy

Bicycles and Motorcycles

Three motorcycles parked by the street

Motorbikes and motorcycles are a popular form of private transportation in Italy. When traveling on either, one must always wear a helmet. Although motorbikes always seem to carry more than one person, technically it is against the law; only motorcycles are legally permitted to transport passengers. Unlike motorcycles, motorbikes are prohibited from traveling on the larger highways.

In smaller cities that do not have intense traffic, many older people travel by bicycle. Bicycles used to be the main method of transportation for students; however, now the majority of students ride motorbikes. Bicycle thefts are common, particularly near the universities, so it is best to own an old bicycle. One must always lock a bike, even when leaving it for just a minute. It is best to purchase a bicycle from an authorized shop to avoid the possibility of purchasing stolen property.

Since driving and traffic patterns in Italy can be chaotic as they are in all international cities, one must be exceptionally careful when riding a bike, particularly in the cities. In many areas of an Italian city, there are cycle paths on both sides of the street. However, in downtown areas, there is only room for cars and pedestrians. One must either avoid biking in such areas or take extraordinary precautions. It is appropriate to signal left or right by stretching out an arm, but always check back to make sure the drivers behind have registered the signal.