Subject: Back from Iran
Hello there Ziners,

Just back from Iran and from a wonderful country!

I left Italy on June 6th and it was supposed to spend 3 weeks in Iran but, eventually, I stayed there 1 month. The country is interesting with archaeological site like Persepolis, interesting Arab architectures (mosques and palaces) and typical Persian houses and cities but, moreover, it was really wonderful get in touch to the people.

I can talk about Persepolis, the wind towers or the mud houses in Yazd, or the mud citadel of Bam, or the wonderful caves in Hamadan, or the nice Armenian churches or the Jewish holly shrine in Hamadan, or #. No, I prefer talk about the sincerely friendness of Iranians. Iranians are really welcoming and hospitable people regardless from the country you are from. I was often invited for a dinner or just to watch some world cup football match in their houses. Sometimes they invited me to stay for the night too. Often students took me around the cities to show me every hide corners of their cities or just to talk about everything just to enjoy themselves (NOT for money, they never asked me any money for that!). Once a teacher asked for a day off just to take me visiting the countryside of his city (Kashan) and he wanted pay the bus for me.

Moreover, it was really impressive for me walk around touristy cities and archaeological sites and don#t see any western tourist but only locals. Walk in bazaars freely while nobody call you for buying goods, nobody cares about you. If you have any problem (I mean orientation or getting the right bus or so on), you#ll always find someone willing to help you and willing to work out your problem. Once a person took me visiting some caves normally closed to the public and he did for free even though I tried to pay him for that!

During my trip I had the chance to talk freely with many people about any kind of subject, from religion to politics. We sometime talk about terrorism, Al-Quaida and Bin Laden too and they was really sorry for that talking against him and his organization. They said Bin Laden is against Islam and it is unbelievable for them killing so many innocent people.

Finally, I have to say that once more the idea that I got from television about Iran (like it was for other countries that I visited, like South Africa and North Ireland) was completely wrong and completely different from the idea that I have now after have seen Iran with me eyes. Definitely Iranians are the most welcoming and friendly people that I have ever meet during my trips around the world.

I found Iran a safe country to travel around; the only thing really dangerous for tourists# life is the terrific traffic! If someone is thinking about Iran and would like more specific info, don#t hesitate to drop off me a line.

Ciao, Marco in Milan - Italy