Last fall, we took a wonderful 3 week trip through Europe with some good friends. I frequently think of the terrific time we had in the Loire, Alps, and Tuscany. The hilltop town of Sienna came to mind recently as Settore Polizia Municipale sent me a lovely ticket in the mail.
The tracked me down for ‘Circulating In A Limited Traffic Area’. Old town Sienna is a no-car zone, but I wasn’t sure when we arrived there where the zone began. Once I pulled up on the sign showing where the zone began, several cars had stacked up behind me – the dumb American tourist.
Rather than having them all back up behind me – which didn’t seem safe – I merely U-turned around the small median you see in these pictures (front & back). I knew there was a camera there – you can see it in the photo – but would have expected whoever was filming me could see that I was just turning around to avoid the no-car zone.
As you can see, I didn’t really go more than 15′ into the zone …
Nonetheless, the 120 Euro ticket arrived. When I went to pay it online, I see that the City of Sienna basically ‘sold’ my violation to a private company that specializes in harassing tourists. They tracked me down through our rental car company, who also charged me 25 Euro for turning my name over.
I imagined not paying it for a moment, but figured they would just increase the fine exponentially and hope to catch me next time I tried to rent in the EU.
This was the second of two tickets I got on this trip. The other was for speeding in France. Both of them were frustrating to pay online. This website – thick with Italian words, despite clicking the ‘English’ language selection – was a marvel of Italian technology. Meaning, it took me 8 tries to get it to accept my ‘infraction number’ and credit card info without crashing.
I will say that they were nice enough to send a photo of the back of our rental SUV that I can frame with our other trip photos!
Have any of you brought home tickets from Europe as lame as this one? Did you pay it, or go rogue?
Image Credit: Polizia Municipale Sienna. 🙂