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Italian Enigmas

Old Feb 26th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Italian Enigmas

We are just back from a wonderful trip to Rome and Sicily, and I wondered if anyone else had come away from Italy with the same head-scratchers.

The Italians are all about La Dolce Vida and domani, but when they get behind the wheel of a car, most of them travel like a bat-out-of-hell. Are they making up for lost time?

Italy seems to be about comfort, and that La Dolce Vida mindset again, but most of their hotels are outfitted with the most unforgiving mattresses and hard, flat pillows. Is it Catholic guilt? Or do they pamper themselves at home and not worry about the tourists?

Just wondering.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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Personally, I'd say driving with absolute abandon and obviously winning by intimidation and not caring about ANYONE else on the road while doing so is the ultimate in La Dolce Vita.
As to those "hard" mattresses..that's what you get when you insist on staying in a "charming" hotel I guess.
 
Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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JonJon -- even the mattresses under the Frette linens are rather firm.

As for your definition of La Dolce Vida -- I'd call that selfishness -- not the same.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Perhaps they just prefer firm mattresses - I find those in most hotels very uncomfortable since they are way too soft. Agree that driving con brio is a part of La Dolce Vita - enjoying life to the fullest by experiencing the thrill of speed and danger.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:33 AM
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Oops, La Dolce Vita.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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Driving with cheese??? Oh wait - that's brie!
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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Does La Dolce Vita have to encompass the possibility of causing harm to others by driving like a lunatic?
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I have personally never seen an Italian drive like a lunatic. I have seen, in Italy, some people get in their way, like a lunatic.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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I'm not sure what a lunatic drives like. But people can drive con brio - fast and near the edge but very skilfully - but cause less danger to other than those who stay within the speed limit but have limited driving skills and are barely in control of thir cars or those who wander down the left lane going 20 or 30 miles under the limit.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 12:12 PM
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Yes, some people can drive fast, skillfully and, relatively safely on the edge. Unfortunately, most of the people driving on the edge are not all that skillful.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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IMHO those driving on the edge in europe seem much more capable of it in my experience than those who do in the US - where bad driving seems to be much more a function of basic incompetence/lack of knowledge of how to drive than of deliberate daring.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Back to the beds in Italy. If you find the beds too soft, you can always sleep on the floor, the only surface I have found that is harder than the mattresses. I have had real pillows in some hotels, but my daughter's comment as we passed a cement factory, that that must be where they made the mattresses pretty well summed it up. I love Italy and a mattress is certinly not a big issue, but I agree that it is an enigma.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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I also just returned home from Sicily and Rome and I agree that the pillows were like bricks. Asking for a second one only made it worse. I like a firm mattress but some of these were absurd and we stayed in hotels...not charming inns.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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Its amazing how americans are so shocked by how europeans drive but then if one looks at the statistics the mortal rate on the roads in the US is higher than any european country.....
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:37 AM
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sabina -- is that because there are almost 300 million people in the US as opposed to the 50+million in Italy, or is there a correlation between the style and speed at which they drive?

PS. I'm just as shocked by the drivers over here.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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But, back to the questions. Anyone have any ideas why they have such a leisurely approach to life, but not to the road? Is it just because there are no limits?

Why is life so sweet, but the beds so hard?
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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Actually the mortality rate per miles/kms driven is as high as or higher in most western European countries than in the US. The rate per distance driven, not per population, is the only proper comparison to make when trying to determine relative driving safety.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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Tries2PakLite's "unforgiving mattress and hard, flat pillows" statement perfectly describes our bed at the Palazzo Alexander in Lucca. Lucca was a gem, our suite was spacious (Tosca, I believe), the staff wonderful, the bicycles a treat, but that bed...I was up all night!!
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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I knew I had seen some stats somewhere--from the International Road and Traffic Accident Database--August 2003.

Killed per 1,000,000,000 Kms driven:

USA--9.4
Austria--12.7
Belgium--16.3
Canada--9.5
CzechR.--32.4
Denmark--9.2
France--14.8
Germany--11.3
Greece--26.7
Iceland--16.0
Japan--13.4
New Zealand--12.4
Korea--29.6
SlavokR.--46.9
Switzerland--9.1
Turkey--73.0
UK--7.5
Unfortunately, Italy had no stats for killed per billion kms. driven. However, according to the "7TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMPETITION AND OWNERSHIP IN LAND PASSENGER TRANSPORT Molde Norway, 25-28 June 2001," Italy is one of the countries listed with a fatality rate between 11-13 per billion kms driven.
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Old Mar 1st, 2004, 08:12 AM
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We've been pretty lucky with beds. The only bad one I can remember was a place in Munich.
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