A bus stop in Palermo.

Thanks, Italian People!

Two weeks and one day in Italy convince us that the people here are some of the warmest and most helpful of any whose company we’ve had the pleasure of sharing.

We’d like to give specific thanks to some who were especially generous:

  • The tobacconist in Porto Torres who sold us tickets, oriented us to the Sardinian bus system, and told us correct schedule information from memory.
  • The bar matron in Bosa who dug and dug and dug through her piles of paper to find the up-to-date bus schedule so that we could get back to our luggage on time the next day.
  • The tour office lady in Bosa who connected us with a cheap hotel room in lieu of getting to her continuing education class on time.
  • The hostel guy in Bosa Marina for giving us a ride to his place of business and pitying our separation from our luggage enough to give us towels gratis, instead of renting them at his normal rate.
  • The Italian butcher in Sassari who taught us about all the parts of the cow by acting them out.

    Alison and a nun at a bus stop in Sassari, Sardinia.

    Alison enjoys divite protection at a bus stop in Sassari, Sardinia.

  • The nuns of Sassari who kept god-knows-what from bothering Alison while she waited without Chris at a bus stop.
  • The ARST bus driver from Sassari to Cagliari who—even if he didn’t stop in Oristano as expected—got us to a destination twice as distant for no extra charge.
  • The tourist information booth woman in Cagliari who knew where we could get a cheap room on the night we arrived without a reservation.
  • The fishmonger in Cagliari who threw in three extra mussels after weighing out our half kilo.
  • The workers of the ARST bus station in Cagliari who will store your luggage all day for one Euro, even if you don’t have an ARST bus ticket.

    The TrenItalia assistance window in Parlermo, Sicily.

    Getting trip planning help in Palermo’s central train station. Dig the sharp piping on Phillio’s lapels. His mind and sense of humor were as sharp as his jacket.

  • The TrenItalia information specialist—Philippo—in Palermo, who, after looking heavenward and saying some things that would make his mother and the Pope blush, helped us find a workable if ambitious route from Palermo to Brindisi.
  • The twenty-odd people of the airport shuttle bus (We weren’t going to the airport!) in Reggio di Calabria, who all made it their personal mission to help us get to the train station on time. The driver was especially kind.
  • The City bus driver in Reggio di Calabria, who let clueless foreigners on his bus without tickets.
  • The Chief Petty Officer of the Italian Navy who gave a highly dramatic tour of the Castel Sant’Angelo in Taranto.
  • The middle-aged guy in the tiny car who pointed us in the correct direction of the Brindisi ferry dock, sparing us a half-kilometer mistake with full packs.

May we be as generous as you when we meet fellow travelers,