I used to pop in and read stuff on the forums most days, but now there seems to be so many c0ck5 around it makes it painful.
It's Rome for me. Someone once said "See Rome, then die. Smell Venice, then die." There is no better place to sit with a coffee and pastry and watch the world go by than the Piazza Navona which, of course, is also carless.
Alas, the plate on which North Africa rests is heading north, and it will slide over the plate on which Italy rests, so Italy will be literally scrubbed off the face of the Earth. Rising see levels will possibly destroy Venice long before then, unless we invent time-travelling and bring back Brunel to dam the straights of Gibraltar.
I too like Rome but there is a major problem there now with people (mainly illegal immigrants) trying to sell crap to you at all times, even sat outside a restaurant in the evening trying to enjoy a meal.
It was pretty much constant the whole 4 days we were there last July and it really did drive me nuts.
There is no better place to sit with a coffee and pastry and watch the world go by than the Piazza Navona [Rome] which, of course, is also carless.
Rome is my next stop although I have business in Mexico City to attend to ... and that's crammed with cars as if a wrecker's yard!
[Oh I do apologise. I had clean forgotten that this was your website with which to publish your poorly written misspelt drivel on any subject (particularly not about cars) that suits you. This is a car website for goodness sake! Noone's interested in your holiday stories.]
Jacob F - you are a pretty confrontational chap with a strong set of opinions that everyone else is wrong. Do you have a massive chip on your shoulder about something?
Paul, he's someone who's been on this forum for literally years under numerous names. He reoccurs frequently, usually to harrass LA a little before getting banned. And then he'll be back with another name shortly afterwards. It's how he gets his kicks, and all we can do is pity him as he clogs up the forum. Maybe he'll die soon and we won't have to suffer this nonsense any longer. Here's hoping...
Back to Venice. Lovely, lovely place, and very different experience. But, have you seen around the outskirts? On the mainland opposite there's a huge petro-chemical refinery (what planning genious allowed that?). On the island of Lido next door there are cars, and it's a completely different experience - don't get fobbed off with it on Expedia, etc as it's not the traditional Venice (still nice, but not what you go for). But, definitely go to Venice!
Not sure if he's still there - a very eccentric artist/restaurant owner at the foot of one side of the Rialto Bridge - a bit difficult to find, but it's on the opposite side of the bridge to the train station, go down the right hand stairs all the way to bottom. There's a small three table restaurant run by this madman, no menu, you eat what you're given, and in my case he fell down some impossibly tight stairs when trying to serve our food Was shown it by an Italian supplier of mine, and great food and fantastic entertainment. Well worth an evening out.
Venice. Lovely, lovely place, and very different experience. But, have you seen around the outskirts? On the mainland opposite there's a huge petro-chemical refinery (what planning genious allowed that?).
I spotted it, Paul. Mafia and the infamous founder of AGIP, now ENI - logo: a six legged hound setting fire to its tail - ran through my mind.
On the island of Lido next door there are cars- don't get fobbed off with it
Stopped off there, slurped a gelato while checking, anorak fashion, for Abarth models in the dock car park, and bored, got back on the next water bus.
Enjoyed your drunk artist anecdote! Most I know are at some time of the day!
(PS: Most fitting if the airhead you allude to got squished by an ambulance on his way to a cyber cafe! Oh, the irony.)
Only because it'll annoy Jacob F as it has very little car relevance, so for those that this will offend - just don't read it as it's not car related!
My work took me to many places in the late 90s. One of which was Iran (I was not a spy, merely a Technical Manager for a paper company who supplied industrial papers into the auto industry). Some various happenings from three trips there.
Waiting for a flight to the north of Iran at some god for saken hour, my Italian colleague and I looked out the departure lounge and saw an ancient Russian plane arrive and taxi. We laughed hard about the state of it, and of course we were the next passengers! As we approached to load under the tail we could see rivets missing and and a generally alarming condition. Things did not improve on board, my seatback hinge was broken on one side, so I had a permanent slump into the aisle, and when a very large Russian air hostess walked past her large butt rubbbed into my face, and she blamed me for trying to grope her. Another passgenger thought this was funny, and when she walked past him he pinched her bum - she didn't slap him, she actually punched him square in the face So the plane taxis very noisily and takes off, and as it climbs there are various clunks as the flaps move (on the aircraft, not the hostess), and finally my Italian colleague gave up pretending he wasn't terrified, crossed himself, and didn't say another word for the hours flight. We arrived at our destination to be greeted by a Paykan (A Hillman Hunter to the older readers). It took us up a mountain that had oaccasional streams across the road, and each time the driver would hang the tail out and laugh (the more my Italian friend complained the worse it got!). The speeds were really low, but an inspection later confirmed that the tyres were through to the canvass. We were put up a hotel prior to a factory visit the following day, and the whole night they would call my room on the hour to check I was still there - even full use of Anglo Saxon did not make them desist, and I unplugged the phone, so the calls were replaced by a room visit instead. Next day at the factory we met the Production Manager who was wearing the full veil, and I only realised why when we entered a lab and she took it off - she had the best moustache I've seen since Willie Miller!
After our long trip there and back our local representative invited us to his home - this was in the days before there was really an evening social scene allowed outside of homes. He had a huge place, perisan rugs, gold taps, the whole cliche. So we sat down to a meal, and unannounced 7 very attractive women arrived and sat with us. They were a mixture of various Eastern Europeans, Russians, and a Persian lady. Alberto and I asked who they were, and were told enigmatically that we would find out later! Was this some form of bribe (they didn't know we had little influence commerically)? So having spent two hours thinking my wife was going to kill me (the Italian was actually trying to choose which girl( he would have he later admitted), the host announced they were all his son's wives. Our entertainment therefore consisted of a version of Iranian Karaoke, which is pretty hard to enjoy if there is no alcohol!
Another time I was whisked off to Bushehr on the Gulf Coast to see a customer. It was the first time I'd been anywhere so damned hot, and it was announced it was 48'C when we landed. I got off the plane and thought, yes, it's very hot, but not so bad. Didn't realise we were still being cooled by the plane's engines pulling air past us though. I just about collapsed by the time I'd walked 200m to the terminal, my clothes were wringing wet, and I couldn't breath. So a car was waiting (another Paykan), but would I mid push starting it for the driver? In the heat I thought I'd rather not, but there didn't seem to be a choice. I got down low, pushed and when a bit of speed built up the driver let out the clutch and I then remember flying over the bootlid. Not sure what happened I picked myself up and went to see the driver - the ignition was off, and he'd actually put the car in reverse, hence the trip of the bootlid! So when started he then took me to the partially built nuclear plant, with no tour guide or English speaker it took me a while to realise just what it was, and I've still no idea why we went there (for the same reaosn I was confused when they took my on a toothbrush and nappy factory tour the following day with no english speaking guide). So final part - at night they took me again to someone's home, but I had to push start the other Paykan that arrived as transport, so I checked ignition was on, and in 2nd gear (not bloody reverse, and went to push, and the enitre back panel caved into the boot cutting one arm badly!
Hotel in Tehran had only Iranian (State?) TV, that consisted of women in Burhkas chanting for some reason, and I suffered this for 10 nights, but was told when checking out that you need to move the ariel to get english TV! They had western magazines in the hotel shop, but they'd been manually censored with a black marker pen - amazing what was offensive to them as even when I got really bored and bought the Radio Times I'd estimate 25% of it was blacked out??
I also had a long converastion with an english speaking driver about the difference between "if" and "when" related to it will be "when" he has an accident due to his driving. Unfortunately it was "when" he was taking me to the airport to fly home. Luckily a slow speed one!
I loved the Iranian folk, very hospitable, but everything was broken, and it was obvious that the authorities were watching you. Over the 8 year time period when I was going it was becoming more open, so anyone with post-2000 experience let me know if they caught up a bit please.
Each time I laughed when leaving on the flight - as soon as the KLM plane levelled off (Business class in those days for me) I'd see all the businessmen ogling the Dutch hostesses, and asking for a beer.
saw an ancient Russian plane arrive and taxi. .....Paykan (A Hillman Hunter to the older readers).
A good read, Paul, well justified by description of iffy Iranian car build quality echoing that provided by the car's original British counterparts. On being watched by the "authorities," we leave that to our spy cameras, the greatest proliferation installed in any country.
(Persian women are among the most beautiful on the planet ... after Italian.)