Can You See My House ?

Italy from 200 miles up

This is Italy from the International Space Station taken at night 200 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Looking at my electricity bill ( we have the most expensive electricity in Europe by the way) I thought I could see my house but I think it is probably Bari instead.

I think if the Space Station had one of those thermal imaging thingnybobs  and came over in the winter the picture would look much the same as almost no one here has any form of insulation in their houses so with heating on most of it goes out of the house through the roof and walls

Jean Paul Satre said that ” Hell is other people ” it’s not actually what he said just like St. Paul  didn’t say ” Money is the root of all evil ” ( He said love of money is the route of all evil ) . Talking of misquotes I read an article where the writer said ” He wasn’t worth a grain of salt ” which is mixing two separate sayings up. Worth his salt is one and taken with a grain of salt the other. Interestingly as we are in Italy the former which means a person of fine character comes from Roman times ( doesn’t it always ). Roman soldiers when performing duties above and beyond received an allowance of salt and the allowance was called a ” solarium” . It is from this word that we get the English word salary . Anyway it seems this year we and of course Jean Paul are to be spared Hell because far fewer tourists are heading south from the North of Italy .

“The crisis bites even the tourism industry” says Il Sole  “and the first weekend in August is a chance to make an initial assessment of this summer”. It is they say say heavily influenced by bad weather. The government is saying  the summer might be saved by foreigners who they expect will increase numbers by 0.5%  between May and October 2014. But as this is an estimate don’t hold you breath.

But only 28 million Italians are on  holiday  compared with 33.2 million in 2011. Basically therefore, at least 30 million Italians will stay at home and in 58% of cases for economic reasons according to  Bernabo Bocca, president of Federalberghi.

Total spend  for the summer is expected to be EUR 17 billion, according to Federalberghi,  15% below 2011 levels with the  average stay also reduced from 11 to 9 nights, a decrease of 18 per cent . And that is noticeable by the lack of traffic on the autostrada The maxi-jams on roads and highways are now just a memory. “Nearly three out of four Italian adults (74%) are to  remain at home in the month of August, during which he plans to spend not  even a day trip away from his house – note the Coldiretti.  Just 13 million Italians have decided to drive this week  in the week historically the most busy  of the holidays. “

Yesterday was traditionally the busiest day of the year for traffic in Italy and was known as the ” Red Weekend ” because of all the crashes and blood.  But Anas Traffic the road monitors reported only minor jams and said it was no  “exodus” as in the past.

“In 2008, 45% of Italians, or about 29 million people” said Carlo Rienzi, president of Codacons consumers ” made at least one trip between July to September; this summer, only about 20 million will, or a 31% decline between 2008 and 2014. “

 In Parliament in a motion filed in the Senate and in the House, denounces the crisis in the sector. Well that is good of them isn’t it.

The government says in July all regions have suffered an  heavy impact on tourism due to  the very bad weather, the crisis is dramatic, Campania, Puglia and Lazio recorded declines in bookings at around 40%; Liguria,  15% on the Romagna Riviera, hotels reported a 16% drop in bookings. The motion asks for a commitment by the government to “take all the initiatives to support the sector of tourism.” “The bad weather alone does not justify the crisis, we need a strategy for the country’s tourism”.

If they had seen all the unhappy faces at breakfast in Paestum when the heavens opened again they wouldn’t be saying that. The weather isn’t to blame. It has in fact been a non summer summer in Italy and why would a Milanese want to come down and be ripped off while the rain falls.

On a personal note I am finding jockeying my homework and Italian lessons with writing a blog very difficult so there are going to be days of silence from me. Less of the hoorays please.


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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