cars in italy Archives

July 29, 2007

smart cars

A Bologna smart car

A Rome smart car

Another Rome smart car - smart cars are small, you can even park them sideways!

Twin Rome smart cars

A Bergamo smart car

A San Giovanni smart car

A Bellagio smart car

A San Terenzo smart car

…and a Torino smart car

...and one more view of the Torino smart car

September 3, 2008

the elektrocar

While in Modena, I saw a sciopero sign at a bus stop attached to one of the poles where the bus schedule was listed. It was a strike notice.


I was aware that there was going to be a national train strike the following day, but I was not aware that the strike would also include all local buses until I saw this sign. That meant that I had to rethink my plan for Monday (in Bologna).

My original plan was to walk up to San Luca.
(Photo is linked to the San Luca website where this photo is from.)

After finding out that the buses would also not be running, I thought about changing my plan for the day. It looked like it would be much too far to walk by foot. The person at the front desk at my hotel told me that it was only an extra ten minute walk to the beginning of the 666 arches which lead up to San Luca. This is where the "do not try this at home" warning comes in, especially if you have been walking and walking and walking for the past two weeks. It was definitely NOT a ten minute walk.

As luck would have it, because I took that walk, I saw my first little Italian Elektrocar.

Not far from my hotel, as I started my walk to San Luca, I saw a tiny yellow car parked on the side of this little road next to the ring road. At first, I thought it was a Smart Car (my favorite car). As I walked over to the car to take a photo, I realized it was even smaller than a Smart Car. It turned out to be a very cool yellow electric car.


Just as I was about to take a photo of the car, the woman, who I assume was the owner of the car, showed up. I asked her if I could take a photo. She seemed pleased that I was interested in her car. After I took a photo, she opened up the tiny latch, which I swear was made out of plastic, to show me the plug. I put an arrow where the latch is located because it is hard to see the latch in this photo. The tipped arrow is where the hinge is. The latch opens from the windshield side outward and obviously bends at the hinge.

As she opened the latch, I wondered if the entire body of the car was also made out of plastic. That is one mystery that I have yet to solve because I was not brave enough to ask her this question. As she pulled out the plug, she explained how she charges her car. I wanted to take a photo of the plug, but again was not brave enough. I didn't want her to think I was a crazy American obsessed with her car.

September 15, 2008

the guy in the fiat

No, this is not a post about George Clooney...

I saw this cool car while in Alessandria this summer. My second favorite car in Italy, the Fiat. FIAT is an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin). This summer, I heard another cute acronym for the Fiat: "Fix It Again Tony". I can't take credit for this acronym though. A friend of Diana's told us this joke while we were having dinner at her B&B one night. But back to the car...oh I mean the guy in the car.

While wandering down a street in Alessandria, I noticed this beautiful building. I think it was either a hospital or a senior citizen home. As I got closer to the entrance to try to read the sign, I noticed this cool car. Just as I went to take a photo, the guy noticed me and gave me "stink eye" (a local expression). That's my story. Nothing worthy of the gossip rags, just a guy in a car...


October 8, 2008

smart car sightings 2008

The first time I saw a Smart Car was in 2001 while staying in Ferrara, Italy. Ever since then, I have been a huge Smart Car fan. Since blogging, I have realized that I am not alone.

Leslie is also a huge Smart Car fan. Today, she posted a photo of a Modena Smart Car.

Kathy has been lucky enough to drive a Smart Car. She rented one while staying in Siena in 2005.

And, Smart Cars have finally made it to the US. Jane recently spotted a Smart Car in her cul-de-sac in San Diego.

Here are some of my favorite Smart Cars from my stay in Italy this past summer.

Santa Margherita Smart Cars:



Continue reading "smart car sightings 2008" »

March 14, 2010

picnic anyone?


March 19, 2011

"license plate"~ PhotoHunt


I believe this is an older type of European license plate. I spotted this car in Stresa. I do not know what NO stands for. Oh wait! Maybe Novara?

Here is another older license plate. I saw this car in Reggio Emilia. My guess is that RE stands for Reggio Emilia. Either that or maybe the person owning the car is or was a king? Re is the Italian word for king :)

Same red car as above ~ I find it very interesting how the letters/numbers are all in one line on the front license plate.

I also took a photo of the front of the black car in Stresa but the license plate ended up being much too tiny to see once I resized the photo. The license plate was black with white letters/numbers again all in one line.

Here is what I believe is a more modern day license plate found on cars in Italy & Europe. I have no idea what DF stands for.

I'm still trying to figure out just how you tell what country a car is from. I don't think it is a mystery for those living in Italy though. I guess I just never paid much attention before. It definitely is much more subtle than the way license plates in different states in the US are identified.

As far as Italy goes though, I now have a hunch that the first two letters on the license plate stand for the town or nearby larger city where the car is registered. That is if I am correct in guessing that RE stands for Reggio Emilia and NO stands for Novara (a larger town not too far from Stresa).

To further support this theory or hunch, here is a photo of an older car I saw in Spello. My guess is that PG stands for Perugia. Spello happens to be a small town located near Perugia.

As I think more about this, my guess is that the letters PG and NO probably pertain to the type of postal code used where smaller towns take on the abbreviation letters of a nearby larger town or city. If this is the case, I am not sure why RE would stand for Reggio Emilia. I would think cars registered in Reggio Emilia would have an abbreviation for Bologna. Although.. perhaps the owner of the Stresa black car is from Novara and the Spello black car is from Perugia and every town has its own two distinct letters?

Of course, I really have no clue about any of this. It is all just a bunch of wild guesses! I am definitely going to have to inquire about the license plate letters/numbers and what they stand for as well as how you tell the difference between say a Swiss car and an Italian car (as far as where the car is registered) when I return to Italy this summer. It could end up being quite an interesting conversation.

For more cool car photos and a few more license plate photos, check out my archive category "cars in italy".

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to shave ice & gelato in the cars in italy category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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