Rob made a recent suggestion that surprised me because I was musing about the exactly same thing. Recollections of visits to Italy, starting with an introduction, to kick off, of course.
The one that will begin this modest series, to be written in chronological order, could have taken place in any location where there was reasonable amount of snow and a good slope, but it was my first visit to Italy, and Italy was to make its impact.
What I omitted in this first account, was the initial drive that was supposed to be from Holland (Amsterdam) to Germany (Munich). For some unfathomable reason (and it's possible that reason never entered into it anyway) I had bought in the Amsterdam flee market (Waterloo-plein) a full grown crocodile skin, which included its head and teeth. My car broke down however in Arnhem and unfortunately it was to be a serious repair job. I had to leave the car, relying on the garage man to nurse it back to life in my absence, and continue the voyage by train. As I had, as always, a very limited budget, and as I could no longer travel easily with the crocodile, at least not without causing embarrassment or panic, I negotiated with the garage man that he accept the big reptile as part payment for the repairs. Surprisingly (or shrewdly) he accepted.
So, with some relief, though a little unsure of the wisdom of having been overly generous regarding what I since realise was a complete, rare and precious crocodile skin, I was able to continue my voyage to honour an important engagement for my initiation to skiing in Bolzano.
So the first of 'Italian souvenirs' (Bolzano) I hope to be able to post very soon.
Text © Mirino (PW) October, 2009.
Satellite image, with thanks to NASA and Wikimedia Commons