La Nostra Macchina

Our Car

Ryan and I sold both of our cars before we left DC. Ryan’s ‘small’ SUV and my world’s-biggest-turning-radius car would both have been cumbersome to work with in the narrow Roman streets. We were lucky enough to buy a car from an American leaving Rome, so that we had a car almost as soon as we arrived. (We’re technically driving it around unregistered, with plates that aren’t ours, with the wrong provincial sticker, without Italian translations of our licenses, and without the correct insurance card … but those are details.)

Behold, our beloved, ‘Romanized’ (a.k.a. ‘dented’) vehicle:


It’s small, and unfashionable . . . but it gave us some desperately desired freedom, and we don’t have to worry about door dings. As you can see, Ryan towers over the tiny car – he fills up a good bit of the inside as well. At the end of a caravaning car ride a friend who was driving the car ahead of us had the perfect descriptive quote when he said (of Ryan) “I kept looking in the rear view mirror and bursting out laughing. You look so ridiculous in that car!” But hey, when in Rome, one must drive as the Romans do.

Sticker in our back window

Sticker in our back window

I didn’t notice this for weeks . . . I’m not sure this was the message we meant to be sending when we drive around . . .

(Note: I’m pretty sure it’s the Italian version of ‘Baby on Board’ – with ‘bimbo’ being short for ‘bambino’)

Roman Aside:

In case you were wondering, we do use the “When in Rome” phrase around here, but sparingly. It’s like there’s this unspoken understanding that if you use it too often you might get smacked.



Filed under Culture, Italian, Rome

6 responses to “La Nostra Macchina

  1. Elaine

    I’m getting so interested in everything Italian. I have the book on Italy opened to the page about Pompeii. I just stopped at Benvenuti – the owner is from Bari. He told me Bari is a more industrial area across from Rome on the back of the “leg”. He confirmed for me that “bimbo” is a baby boy. Hmmm…

  2. Elaine

    Ryan looks more like a giant than a baby in that car. :)

  3. dave, dad

    looks a little like fred flintstone’s car – so I guess his feet propel the car.


  4. dave, dad

    sorry to burst your bubble but I seem to recall seeing a similar sign on Lindsey Lohan’s car.

  5. Pat

    Well, maybe that baby sign will keep the other cars a safe distance away and result in no more…or maybe less dents when you are traveling! :)

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