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I can't get a large enough automatic car in Orvieto...there goes my plans

I can't get a large enough automatic car in Orvieto...there goes my plans

Jan 16th, 2010, 11:17 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Manhattan is NOT the place to learn how to drive a stick shift. The heavy traffic means you wold have to be shifting continually immediately, stall in traffic, and probably create chaos. Typically you learn to drive a stick shift by going to a sizeble mall and learning how to do it in a parking lot with no one else nearby. So you can learn, practice, stall and grind gears without holding up dozens or hundreds of other cars. (Living in Manhattan is the reason my car is automatic - since the constant shifting at every red light and in constant stop and go traffic is a big fat pain.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 01:00 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,002
I certainly would not attempt to drive a stick in Manhattan! If I wanted to learn that badly I would head out of the city an hour or two.

Although a friend of mine (who trashed a manual car on our trip to the Dordogne where we shared a rental house with a group of friends) did take manual driving lessons here in Manhattan a year or two ago (because he was so abashed at having wrecked our rental car) and wrote about his experiences in the Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/travel/20...in_europe.html



And I still do not understand the snarky comment above about we who think that the limits of the known world stretch from the East to the Hudson Rivers.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 01:49 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Glad to see New Yorkers come to the defense of our beloved Ekscrunchy. Of course, one hesitates to imagine her driving a manual transmission in Iowa. How long would it take her to plan out each shift? The airbags would deploy within 100 yards.
Gpanda is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 03:05 PM
  #44  
MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
I learned to drive manual with a motorcycle before I got my hands on a car. My first few cars were manual - Beetle, Datsun, and Hondas; only got AT with newer bigger cars.

Very handy skill and one you never really forget. ("It's like falling off a bicycle...") The secret on hills is to learn to coordinate handbrake and clutch when taking off.

The only problem I had was discovering that the reverse in England has a weird slip-ring under the handle. I started going out the wrong gate, tried to back up, the car wouldn't go into reverse, had to get out and ask the attendant. My wife wasn't impressed with my driving when I went on the wrong side within 100 feet of picking up the car. (Actually, the deserted areas were easiest to confuse. With traffic coming, it's easy to remember which side).

IIRC, the old city area of Ovieto is pretty much closed to cars. You can drive in there but simpler to park at the south end near the well and walk. My first experience in that area was parking in Bagnoreggio and finding that the Italians were remarkably lacksadaisical about function parking meters. Here I was panicking that the car would be towed, and the local just told us to ignore the parking and towing signs if the meter did not work.

I would suggest you avoid driving in cities as much as possible. Even Sienna, a moderately large city, mjuch bigger than Orvieto - we parked in a garage area just inside the city gate and walked everywhere.

Oh, yeah - we ended up our tour by train in Florence - then took the airport bus one morning to pick up a car at the airport - this taking us directly onto the Autostrada without big city driving. Sienna was as big as we got until we tried to find our way through Milan to the train station at night. Hint - some gas stations there were coin operated unattended in the pre-euro days, especially after hours.
MD is offline  
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