Saturday, May 11, 2013

Messina, Italy: Off Street Parking?

Dome and Bell of Tempio Votivo di Cristo Re
Today we visited Messina, the smaller port town in Sicily.  We started out the way we typically do in a new place, in search of cappuccino and espresso (or depending on the time of day a cocktail).  As we walked deeper into the town past the souvenir stores selling Limencello and 'Godfather' t-shirts I was soon faced with a question.  'Why the heck am I having to wind my way around parked cars...ON THE SIDEWALK?'  It seemed to me this is simply how the local drivers interpret parking.  Never mind the 4" curb and the fact that the side walk is for, I don't know, walking.  It may be that there is simply no other possible way to accommodate a growing number of vehicles here.  Hailing from a place that will ticket you if you are parked on the wrong side of the street on certain days of the week, I was shocked that this was acceptable.

Curbs Don't Mean a Thing
With Narrow Sidewalks Cars Make the Route Impassable
Smaller Cars Allow People Like This
to Sneak Into the Tightest of Spaces
Just Nosin' On In
We also found out rather quickly that just because a light to cross the street at a crosswalk may be green does not mean the drivers will stop.  Even the crosswalk signs (seen below) indicate the best way to cross is by running (apparently while holding a briefcase and pulling along a girl wearing pigtails who is holding a dust pan).  It was a very interesting contrast after visiting many places on our trip with significant emphasis on the pedestrian traffic.

Crosswalk (or run...)

 Messina is a really charming Sicilian town by the sea, just mind the vehicles!

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