Driving a Ferrari in Italy should be an item on the bucket list, and one American tourist tried to live that dream recently. It turned out to be costlier than expected, however.
The incident, which happened in one of Italy's historic piazzas, highlighted the importance of following traffic regulations when visiting foreign countries. The 43-year-old tourist was driving a Swiss-registered Ferrari 488 Spider, which then found itself within Piazza della Signoria, a famous pedestrianized square in the historic center of Florence.
According to reports, the driver caught the attention of the authorities for driving in a "nonsensical" way along the adjacent Via dei Gondi street. He then parked in the tourist-riddled square near Uffizi Gallery, home to some of Italy's most famous artworks.
The police fined the tourist 470 euros or around $506 at the current exchange rates for parking in a pedestrian area, driving against the direction, and having a non-compliant foreign license.
The Municipality of Florence stated that the tourist had an American driving license that did not comply with international conventions and did not have an international driving permit or an official translation.
This isn't the first time that tourists have gotten themselves into trouble while driving in Italy's historic hotspots. In January, a Californian tourist was fined 500 euros ($540) after driving a rented Fiat Panda across the pedestrianized Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence. Similarly, in May last year, a Saudi man was arrested for damaging a cultural monument after driving a rented Maserati down the Spanish Steps in Rome and fleeing the scene after the vehicle got stuck halfway.
These incidents also highlight the importance of respecting the local culture and traditions, especially in historic and pedestrianized areas. Tourists need to be aware of local rules and regulations before getting behind the wheel of a car or exploring a new area. It is also advisable to seek guidance from local tourism officials and follow their recommendations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip without any unpleasant surprises.