Subject: Interesting travel memories
Irene (and other Ziners),

It's too bad that you had such an awful experience while getting to and from Monza for the Grand Prix. While not nearly as harrowing, we've had some unusual experiences in our travels, some of them in Italy, but not all.

In Sicily, we passed through Catania a number of times on our way somewhere else and every person we stopped to ask directions threw up their hands and said they couldn't tell us how to get from here to there! We pulled out a map and gathered quite a crowd of "helpers" who proceeded to argue about what direction we should take. We had some trying moments as we tried to find a way out of the city, particularly because we were suffering from food poisoning and only wanted to get back to the friendly hotel in Taormina where we had previously stayed. When we finally made it to the hotel, the owner took one look at us, realized the state we were in, and ushered us into a parlour while she made up a room for us. Then she fed us tea and insisted we immediately go to bed. The next morning, she checked in to ensure we were on the mend and served us tea and dried toast on the balcony! We felt like we had arrived home.

In Rome, I went to the police station to ask for driving directions to get out of the city and even the police officers started to argue about it. We had to ignore all their recommended routes until one officer told us to "go down the street and find the ring road".

We put these experiences into the "gotta love the Italians" (or helpful locals anywhere) and laughed then and now. For all we know, the people in Catania are still debating the issue. It would be a shame if you decided not to revisit Milan because of your recent experience.

Lucy, Toronto