Italy is famous for its beautiful cars. Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini are known to everyone – even me who knows nothing about cars. But even I can appreciate the beautiful lines of a Lamborghini.
Notice I left Fiat off the list – that is because most of us want to get where we are going without making a stop at every car repair shop on the way.
Drive on one of the Autostrada anywhere in Italy and you will soon have a car riding your bumper. Pull over and you will see the driver gesticulating wildly. I prefer to think they are telling me how happy they are to see such a beautiful woman driving along on such a beautiful day.
I was reading “Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places” on Italy by David Hoffman and found a few fun facts about Italians and their cars. Did you know……..
- Italy boasts more cars per person, than any other nation in the world with 32 million vehicles for 57 million people
- 500,000 people get around Rome on moped
- 30 mopeds are stolen in Rome each day
- When Ferruccio Lamborghini, a tractor manufacturer, complained about the faulty clutch in his Ferrari 250 GTO, Enzo Ferrari refused to do anything about it. So Lamborghini took it upon himself to dismantle the GTO clutch and discovered that it was made by the same firm that supplied the heavy-duty clutches for his tractors. A simple swap of the two clutches followed, and the problem was solved. Sort of. Determined to teach Ferrari a lesson, Lamborghini started his own car company.
- Ferruccio Lamborghini was a much better car designer than he was a driver. The first time he got behind the wheel of one of his namesake vehicles, he ended up crashing it through the front of a café. When the owner rushed over and asked if he was okay Lamborghini is said to have looked up and remarked, “I just stopped in to order some red wine…..”
- The trident at the center of the Maserati logo is an homage to the trident that figures prominently in the classic Fountain of Neptune near Piazza Maggiore in Bologna – the city where the company’s cars were first manufactured.
- St. Francesca Romana is the patron saint of motorists and every year on March 9, her feast day, Roman drivers flock to the traffic circle around the Colosseum to seek her protection. With traditional ceremony, a cardinal stands in a safe place and blesses, with a sprinkle of holy water, the lines of cars, trucks, buses, and city vehicles as they pass. After he makes the sign of the cross, drivers respond with a blast of their horns or sirens and move on, fully protected.