Babes on Bikes in Sicily

April 28, 2011

You have been to Italy.

You know them, intimamente:

The Speeders.


Red-Light Runners.

Wrong-Way Goers.

Horn Blowers.

Ruby-Faced Yellers. (Deficiente!)

Lane Swervers.

Passers on Blind Curves.

There are no rules for driving in Italy, except one: never ever make eye contact with another driver.

Add to the mix the 14-year old scooter driver, barely out of diapers.

Sicilian Kids on Vespas, copyright Jann Huizenga

Fourteen is the age of consent in Italy. It is also the age at which you can hop on a moped and terrorize the other drivers on the road.

Kids on Mopeds in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaGirls on Mopeds in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Kids under 18 are required to wear a helmet, though, when driving a moped. Do they always? Well, see for yourself below how well they comply with this law.

Boy on Bike in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga



Click to subscribe to

12 comments to Babes on Bikes in Sicily

  • Dennis Berry

    Dave Barry wrote a classic about driving in Italy, ” Driving while stupid”.

  • Gianfranco

    The speed of these scooters is 40km/h (24.85m/h) just a little bit more than a bicycle and not so many years ago there was no need of a number plate or an insurance just because a scooter was considered like a bicycle. Starting form next October you also will need a driving license.Indeed the minimu age to drive a scooter is 14 but in U.S.A. you can drive a car aging 15/16 … and I think a car is a bit faster and powerful than a scooter. About the helmet … yes not everybody use the helmet but mostly yes even when you should admit is very hard to wear it in the summer when you can have 40°c (102°F) and above.

    BTW I was one of these kids terrorizing the roads of Ibla 😀 … but at that time Ibla was almost a ghost town with very few people living there so there it was space enough to drive in a bit wild way 😉

    • Jann

      Gianfranco–thanks so much for giving the Sicilian point of view! It must have fun zipping around when Ibla was a ghost town, but for my sake, I’m glad you’re off Ibla’s little lanes!

  • Sam

    I’ve seen your videos taken as you navigate your way along those narrow, winding little streets, and I think I would be more comfortable on one of these scooters than in a car.

  • Those things are real death traps. I know they’re very symbolic of Italian culture, but I’m starting to hate them. Had a contest of wills with my husband when he tried to convince me it was okay to ride one without a helmet. I won. Thank goodness.

  • All sooooooooooo familiar!

  • Jann, you can drive those little vespas on the road at 14? OMG! What are they thinking? As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about when we’re driving! My nerves would be destroyed after driving a day in Italy! 🙂

    • Jann

      For a couple of years driving in Italy, I white-knuckled the steering wheel. But that was when I didn’t really understand the rules of the road–I didn’t even know who got the right of way in a traffic circle! So my head was swiveling in all directions. Now I pretty much speed like the Sicilians–and get so impatient with pokey American drivers when I’m back in the US.

Site Meter - La directory italiana dei blog