Can’t find a parking space?
Sicilians can. Take a leaf out of their book.
Parking Idea # 1 – The Forty-Fiver
So-named because you park at 45 degrees to the pavement, this technique is ideal if the available space is not actually big enough for your car, if you know you’ll need to make a quick getaway, or if you are simply a terrible driver who cannot park properly.
When space is very limited, you may have to go in at a perpendicular 90 degrees, which means you’ll have to utilise the entire pavement as well. If you do so, expect to find teenagers socialising with slices of pizza upon the bonnet of your car when you get back.
Parking Idea #2 – The wraparound
An old favourite of mothers on the school run, the concept behind this parking style is that you wrap your car around the corner of two adjoining streets. This is widely used when there is not enough space to park your car at the end of either road without poking out beyond the corner, so instead you curve around from one to the other.
This is also handy in no-parking zones [note the signs behind this car]. The Vigili Urbani cannot give you a parking ticket because, strictly speaking, you are not really parked in either street, are you?
Yet whilst taking your precious offspring off to receive an education, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you are blocking the traffic in not just one street, but two.
Parking Idea #3 – The Pavement Perch
This one is so simple, anyone could have thought of it.
But if you were driving that red van, do you think you could screech up there onto the pavement in reverse, park with a wrench of the hand brake and sprint away fast enough to avoid any “discussion” WHILE the driver of the grey hatchback was carefully parking in the road beside you?
Parking Idea #4 – The Handy Cap
Only a Sicilian could come up with this one.
Here’s the scenario. You have gone up and down the road four times, there’s no gap except the one for disabled people with yellow badges – clearly indicated by a no-parking sign with a picture of a wheelchair on it – and you need to dash into Celiachia Point to buy some gluten-free cannoli before you go into hypoglycemic shock.
What do you do?
You double-park outside the imaginary car that isn’t in the disabled parking space. That way, you have not parked illegally in the disabled space. You have not blocked anyone in. You have got your cannoli.
Everyone is happy and the Vigili Urbani have no idea what to do with you.
Other than ask for a bit of your cannoli, of course.
Parking Idea #5 – The Double Decker
When space is too limited, this may be the only option. Just bear in mind, it takes real driving skill to get away once you’re up there.
Amazingly enough, this one was actually photographed in England! No doubt it was a rental car driven by a Sicilian on holiday.
So there you have it: five ways to park when there is nowhere to park. Now off you go, rev your engine and head off to the busiest city centre you know. Suddenly, when it comes to parking, you’ll realise you’re spoiled for choice!
Meanwhile, here are some other creative approaches to parking from around the world:
This would not even be worthy of photographing or even comment in Sicily. Why would you cram yourself into a tiny space when there’s so much lovely room?
This car is parked in a cycle lane, which is what most Sicilians regard as reserved handy roadside parking space. The mayor of this town in Lithuania thinks otherwise.