I could probably dedicate a complete site to driving in Italy and I’m sure we will return to it at a later date. Until then I was sent this last night to illustrate some of the things you find as you head down a narrow road
Now whilst this turns into a u turn it clearly started out as a reverse into a parking spot end in. We have several friends whose kids have passed driving tests in the last few months and it seems they really focus on the theory but the practical seems to be a few lessons and then a drivers license is issued.
I promised something on the hated IMU tax on first homes. There is of course IMU on second or more homes too and it is interesting to see that the tax generates €4B on first homes and €19B on second or more homes illustrating again the extent of property ownership in Italy especially families owning far more then two or three homes. ( See my earlier posts on this ).
You will probably have seen we now have a grand coalition to govern Italy, the first one since the 70’s which ended in tears. Il cavaliere ( the knight) as Silvio B. is known, has said that a requirement of his party ( PDL) participating in the grand coalition is the repeal of IMU on first homes and the refund on monies paid. He is making this stand he says because it was imposed on Italy by Brussels who told Monti to do it and like a good European technocrat he did as he was told. What Il Cavaliere argues is that it was anti family ( not the mafia whatever you might have read about him) and that property ownership is something Italians are proud of and that you don’t mess with Italian families or if you do you do so at your peril so Brussels and Ms. Merkel need to take notice. Italy could well become the thorn in the EU’s foot ( get all my puns about the boot etc ?). His trouble is that because it was imposed by Brussels Italy has to come up with another tax to introduce in its place. You couldn’t make this up could you. So because the PD (socialists) themselves promised not to raise VAT in July from 21%to 22% as was Monti’s plan the new coalition has to find new taxes of €9B to cover the tax Brussels requires as part of Italy’s austerity programme. Watch this space while Beppe Grillo sits on the sidelines knowing that when not if this coalition falls the polls suggest that he will sweep to power as most voters see the grand coalition as a stitch up by the politicians interested in looking after themselves and not the country who would much prefer to have an election and get this old guard out. Beppe does a blog in English if you are interested in reading it. Oh and here is a good explanation of IMU as well. Now something lighthearted I think. Welsh rugby players in Rome for the match
Summer must be coming, I found the first scorpion in the house this morning. Now I would like to tell you that I carefully swept it up and deposited outside to live a long and happy life in the woodshed but I didn’t. It ran from under the hoover and I jumped on it. Luckily I had shoes on. Now the Italian ones aren’t like the ones we came across in Arizona. I remember staying with a friend who had a house out of Scottsdale somewhat. He and I got shall we say socially confused in a few bars on the way back from the airport where he had kindly picked me up and ended up back at his place very late where we both staggered off to our bedrooms. I being of a certain age had of course to keep leaping up and padding off to the bathroom through the night. At breakfast he said that he should have told me the house had scorpions and I should never walk barefooted around the place and check shoes etc as these things packed a vey poisonous sting that required immediate hospital treatment or death. Now you tell me I said. Anyway the Italian ones have the sting but it is I am assured it is more like a bee sting and only mildly poisonous. Still we take no chances. Jump on them from a great height is the order of the day.
Finally it might have escaped your attention that George Jones has shuffled off this mortal coil to join Patsy Cline and others in the Country and Western part of heaven. He sung the song I think I might have been singing in Scottsdale that night in one or other bar.
Now George certainly knew his way around bottle or two during his life but made 81 years before popping his clogs on Friday. The line I love is ‘with the blood from my body I could start my own still’ ! What do you get when you play a country and western record backwards . You get your girlfriend back . The old one are still the best ones.