Driving in Italy - Giving Way to the Right!

Now, maybe the Priority to the Right rule was obvious to you the first time you drove in Italy but in my case I just interpreted this as "crazy Italian drivers" always pushing in.  This was a mis-understanding that I harboured until recently when my young son started studying for his license to ride a 50cc scooter.  During the period that he was studying the Codice della Strada and telling me how bad my driving was and explaining exactly why it was so bad I was struck by the realisation that perhaps he had a point. I'd heard of the priorité à droite rule in France and had experienced the pleasure of driving quickly down a long straight empty road only to have a beat-up 2CV van pull out at the last second from it's hiding place behind a tree and then proceed at a reckless 10km per hour before turning off the main road 100m later.  But at least I was prepared for that.  However, although I was conscious of Italy’s reputation for driving skills, I never realised that Italy also had the Priority to the Right rule. I was lucky enough to live in Naples for a year where the rules of the road simply do not apply.  Or certainly not the ones that are written down anywhere.  The actual rules seem to require all scooters to have 3 riders, none of whom are allowed to wear helmets.  There are also red lights where if you stop you will have someone shunt you from behind and red lights where if you run the light you find yourself the only one and stuck in the middle of a junction with people coming at you from all directions and indicating that they consider you to be some kind of imbecile.  Which may be the case.  But how are you supposed to know which red lights to stop for and which ones are just for decoration? Until now, my understanding of the basic rule of Italian Driving was that whoever had the "nose" or the front of their car ahead had precedence.  I faithfully followed this rule for years.  Often it went well for me, presumably, on reflection, when I was merging left.  Sometimes it didn't go so well, presumably on those occasions when I was merging to the right.  But no-one ever told me explicitly that, in Italy, unless there are markings on the road indicating otherwise, you give way to the right.  I would have remembered that! So anyway, there it is, my advice on driving in Italy: be prepared to give way to vehicles coming from the right. Don't say you weren't warned! Article by Mauro for The Tuscan Magazine