“Incidente” in Italy. Lucky to be Alive.

Our Grand Tour across Europe was later this year because of finding a care home for my mother, so we eventually arrived at the end of April. We expected the weather to be glorious, but it was the worst we have ever experienced. Throughout France, Germany and Austria we had sleet and snow, and on top of the Brenner Pass we followed a snow plough for about 25 miles.

People were in a hurry after the delay, but we drove steadily down towards Verona and changed drivers. The Venice-Milan motorway is always busy but this was exceptional. After once attempting to overtake a lorry, and being flashed and tooted at, I decided to stick to the slow lane, surrounded by huge lorries but just doing a steady 50mph. Naturally, I was concentrating very hard.

Out of nowhere the car was hit on the rear corner which sent us spinning left, to be hit squarely in the side by a huge lorry. The impact sent us through another 90 degrees to end up facing oncoming traffic roaring past on either side. Terrifying. An absolute miracle we were not hurt.

The lorry driver wanted me to sign an agreement, claiming that I had a lapse of concentration, but I insisted on calling the carabinieri who took photos and notes, then insisted I had to pay a ‘ caution’ of €312.50 because I couldn’t find my driving licence. (It turned up later, of course). It will be refunded, but I confidently expect endless form- filling to get the money back again.

My car was towed away and we went with the breakdown truck. Sandra and Riccardo, ever helpful and supportive friends, came to collect us and carry the contents of the car (lots of boxes of ‘Cose Inglesi’) back to Battaglia. The car is awaiting an insurance assessor, parked there at a cost of €7 per day. They think the repair bill will be more than the value of the car so it will have to be scrapped.

After that nightmare we count ouselves lucky to be alive, and the Canale Fiorito Market was a great success.

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3 Responses to “Incidente” in Italy. Lucky to be Alive.

  1. john servente says:

    Sorry to hear about your incident. I am happy to hear that no one was injured. That is a terrible stretch of road. And coming over the pass behind a snow plough and bad weather, yuck. Some friends of mine drove down last long weekend from Zurich and mentioned how conditions were not good. Car full of stuff I know well. We have had incidents on that road. The first was our first time with the car filling up our apartment. Near Verona the rain was so heavy we had to pull off the road. When we did get to Venice, our flat had been flooded by the rain. The second time near Milan a car tried to pull us over indicating that there was some reason. It was a black Mercedes with obscure windows, one rolled down pointing at us. With our GB plates and “wrong” side driver I am sure we were being picked out for a scam. In any event, my wife kept up a steady, calm route. We have recently chosen to take that stretch of road on Sundays only so there are fewer lorries.

  2. Myra says:

    I shouldn’t say it was reassuring to read your comment. I wouldn’t wish our experience on anyone, and you’ve had two awful incidents. Poor you. Apart from being shaken, we’re OK but it’s the endless Italian bureaucracy that gets you down!
    Thanks for your observations. It’s somehow comforting…..

  3. patricia flint says:

    Absolutely shocked about your accident. Thankfully you are both ok. Sometimes there are effects that only show up later but hopefully that will not be your case. Glad the Kluge’s have contacted you. I know they are pleased that Matthew will have the intern experience in Italy. Wish I could be a “fly on the wall” as they experience Italy!