Road walking safety

Hiawatha

New Member
Being Australian I drive on the ' wrong ' side of the road and as a consequence my traffic sense is a little dull when in Italy . Since early May I have walked from Aosta and up until now have had little trouble . I placed a flashing LED bicycle light on my outside walking pole handle , it is extremely light and charges from my phone charger , typically it lasts 4 to six hours .
It's raining in San Gimignano now and it is a comfort to know you are more visible to traffic .
However the very worst stretch of road I have encountered so far is the first hour out of San Miniato Alto , truly horrifying , school buses , fixated commuters and distracted young ones texting and driving . All on a road said to have " little traffic ". Perhaps at 11am it is quiet but if leavng at 8 or 9 be prepared to leap to safety at a moment's notice flashing light or not.
 
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Think of it as practice for Siena and Rome. Rome especially. I am few days behind you ( on a bike) and have to say when you get used to how crowded we are in Europe, all will be fine.

I’ve passed numerous nonagenarians on their bikes wobbling through the traffic on bikes. I’ve concluded I am most likely safe.

I’ll be on the lookout for your illuminated walking poles. Not seen more than 1 or 2 pilgrims per day so far
 

julie

New Member
I am also Australian and have a fear of ending up as road kill (as nearly happened on the Via de la Plata). I now have a bright orange Decathlon poncho. If motorists can't see me in the rain, their eyesight is so poor they shouldn't be driving!
 

Deb

New Member
Being Australian I drive on the ' wrong ' side of the road and as a consequence my traffic sense is a little dull when in Italy . Since early May I have walked from Aosta and up until now have had little trouble . I placed a flashing LED bicycle light on my outside walking pole handle , it is extremely light and charges from my phone charger , typically it lasts 4 to six hours .
It's raining in San Gimignano now and it is a comfort to know you are more visible to traffic .
However the very worst stretch of road I have encountered so far is the first hour out of San Miniato Alto , truly horrifying , school buses , fixated commuters and distracted young ones texting and driving . All on a road said to have " little traffic ". Perhaps at 11am it is quiet but if leavng at 8 or 9 be prepared to leap to safety at a moment's notice flashing light or not.
I am with you on this. I always promise my family I will not take risks when I go on a walk, but I found myself on this stretch also and knew I was breaking my promise to them. It was very dangerous. I can't imagine doing it in the rain!
 

JabbaPapa

New Member
There are some stretches on the Way to Rome and its numerous variants where you simply have to keep your ears and eyes wide open and alert for oncoming traffic, both ahead and behind, and keep instantly prepared at ALL times to step aside from the narrow tarmac to its very edge and let the danger pass.

One important point -- on any Rome-ward road with a cliff on one side and a precipice on the other, keep to the precipice side instead of keeping in all cases to the left ; walk slowly, ears peeled backward, make way in EVERY situation of even minor risk by hugging the edge of the road and wait with patience for the danger to roll past, keeping your eyes on it at all times, and you should get by.

Slow and safe is better than ANY alternative ...
 

Hiawatha

New Member
Similarly to Julie, I used a bright florescent pack cover to increase visibility as well . It did work but is cold comfort against 40 tonnes of steel traveling at 100kmh. Unfortunately it seems there is no solution to this , if you wish to walk the Francigena you must be prepared to brave some highways.
 
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