This summer vacation my family and I traveled to Italy. Specifically, we visited Rome and points north, specifically Tuscany or Bologna. In the four days we spent in Rome we did all touristy things you can name: Coliseum, Pantheon, the Vatican, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and numerous restaurants and coffee shops. Then, thanks to you, loyal readers, I rented a van and we traveled north to Siena. From Siena we did day trips to historic town such as Volterra, Orvieto, Pisa, Lucca, and others.
Now I, being a car dork, also looked more than just at really cool old stuff. In between the old stuff were cool cars. Some were old, some were interesting, and some were cool. I took random shots of what I thought was interesting to share with you. Now if you’ve never been to Italy most cars there would be interesting to you but I limited to somewhat unconventional vehicles.
The streets of Rome are incredibly tight. Conventional cars can easily navigate the major streets but getting to the tight areas requires really small delivery vehicles. Various Piaggio commercial vehicles were most popular. Some were new, some were older than the Coliseum, but they were all cool.
Fiat 500XL were the most popular taxi models. Sure, the 500L is kind of ugly but the 500XL is even worse.
Ready to trade in your F-150?
I spotted a few of these practical and reliable Japanese vans but most vans were Italian or other European brands.
I was really amazing the Roman police cars. There was almost no standard issue vehicle, it’s like they bought whatever they got the best deal on.
The Carabinieri were more selective in their vehicles, sticking mostly to Fiat vans and Alfa cars. I saw a Carabinieri Defender, too.
Throughout Rome military vehicles were station. Around them were soldiers armed with some serious weaponry. I was told that the terrorist threat was rather high.
The only Subaru I saw was this Rome police version. There is just no standard police vehicle.
Fellow in a Piaggio “pickup truck” making morning deliveries. This vehicle has a single-beam axle.
Sometimes you just gotta fix things quickly.
There was a number of Minis around, almost as much as the classic Fiat 500.
My heart was warmed by the huge amount of Pandas. They were especially popular in Tuscany.
Some French cars, too.
There were so many Pandas at one point I just stopped taking pictures of them.
When you go on a holiday, pick your vehicle wisely. This guy did.
One of the few 405s I’ve seen.
I’ve never seen a Renault Wind before. It’s reminded me of a Del Sol but more French and way weirder.
Spotted this Radwood-ready Cabriolet parked in an old section of Orvietto. I have no idea where the license plates are from.
Ze Germans traveled in this old pig to Siena.
There is more Defenders in Boston than there but I still like them, so I photographed them.
One of my favorite motorcycles of all time.
This old Range Rover stuck out like crazy in the sea of small cars.
Pandas everywhere. I saw a really cool 4×4 one but missed taking its pic.
Work duty Defenders don’t exist in U.S.
The only Focus RS I saw. It must be a great vehicle for the hilly and twisty Tuscan roads. More Pandas.
The classic 500 is now more of attraction than anything. Few still use them for daily driving.
I hope someone saves this Renault 4.
This one was driven by an elderly gentleman who happened to live near one of the biggest squares in a little town.
On the other side of this alley was a parking lot. The driver of this van had only a few inches on each side.
Scooters everywhere. I never knew there was such a huge size difference between Vespas until I saw these two. I missed the fact that I was near the Vespa factory and museum which bummed me out.
Main street of an old section of town. I saw this new Fiat approach and then stop. The driver got out and opened the almost invisible garage door on the passenger side of the car.
Then in two smooth moves, he got the not-so-little Fiat sideways on the narrow street and backed it the into the tiny garage. I don’t know what other vehicles that are available on the U.S. market could do that.
Military armored Iveco. Yes, please.
These were all over Rome.
I was surprised to see handful of Harley in Rome. They looked huge next to most other bikes. And even next to some cars, as seen above.
SmartCars came in all flavors. Europeans are willing to spend good money on tiny cars. That is because some need tiny cars but can afford the fancy features of bigger vehicles.