On a recent family vacation with my mother-in-law and wife, we were fortunate enough to cruise the beautiful Mediterranean. We started out in Venice and ended up in Barcelona, hitting numerous ports along the way. I was playing the family tourist photographer role, documenting our trip every day. As a photojournalist, I yearned for something more to document as a small project or as I call it, “play”. The problem was, we only had a few hours in each port.
It was on our second stop in Italy, traveling through Florence and Sorrento, that I started to notice the huge number of scooters zipping in and out of traffic, the different styles of clothing and helmets, and the full range of ages that were riding. “This is my fun little project”, I decided. It was a project that I could capture in-between and while we were sight seeing, and it was a project I could “work” from a street corner, while the ladies were shopping…and they shopped a lot!
It was so much fun trying to capture the scooters and their riders, especially their facial expressions as they were, zipping by. The images in my little essay were captured in Sorrento and Rome, Italy.
Some fun facts I researched according to Wanderinginitalia: (https://wanderinginitalia.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/why-do-most-italians-ride-scooters/)
Italians are not allowed to get their drivers license until they are 18 years old. However, they are permitted to drive motor-scooters at the age of 14. Therefore, teenagers are raised on two wheels before they earn their right of passage.
-It is more convenient to have a small motor-bike that can weave in and out of the cars and find parking in small spaces.
Besides traffic conditions, cities like Milan require a hefty price for using your car in the city center due to the high congestion and air quality problems.
It is simply soooo much fun to ride a scooter around the city, zipping by monuments and feeling the air rush against you! I love watching people of every age hop onto their motorini! From teenagers: dressed in the latest fashion, with their high top shoes and conformist brands, styled hair-dos under helmets, flying to their next encounter—to the working class: women flipping their hair and pressing the gas with high heels, men with flying suit tails flapping in the breeze weaving through morning traffic, picking up their children after school and securing them in the bike—to the older people: still hanging in with the high blood-pressure traffic maneuvers and ready as every to make absurd high-flying gestures at the crazy driving comportment of the fellow motorists–that absurd driving etiquette which is innately Italian.