PC600o My Opinions on Sicily and Italy
What I am interested in is not so much what is "nice", but what is strange and different compared to other places.

Romantic and Beautiful..no ugy and full of Garbage
- What I can see in towns is
1. Urban Ugliness -A lot of rundown heritage buildings which would not be in such an ugly state in other countries - A lot of vandalism and garbage.

It's as if people don't care much about their own environment. This quite often happens in other countries when their is no sense of "us". Usually cos the rich people have stolen all the money thus leaving normal people excluded. So normal people keep their own house clean, but pay no attention to public spaces cos they feel no sense of ownership.
- Other dynamics also play apart here - the shear number of historic buildings make it difficult to maintain them. Buildings get damaged by eartquakes and the volcano, maybe money corruption syphons of money. In the UK old buildings are often developed in gentrification projects, cos historuc buildings attract a premium price.

- If they had more property speculation then people would maintain the buildings and the place would look nicer ..more about FAI

2. Insecurity in Italian Society - driving like they have small penises

- I hypothesise that the number of insecure people is higher than in other cultures. When men feel more secure there is no need to drive aggressively and obsessively chase foreign women
- the vandalism shows that there is some aggression in society - maybe as a result of insecurity.
- people often drive aggressively,
- It's pretty difficult to hitch hike
- and appearances seem to really matter,
- people seem to be more often inward looking. In Albania people often want to talk to foreigners, but here usually they are not interested.

3. Why not just Rename The Country Chuiso (Closed) ?
- Chiuso - the most important word. 50% of the time when I get somewhere it's "chiuso" closed for some reason, cos it's siesta or Sunday, or they don't work after 5 or it's under renovation, or the workers have gone home early etc .

- Typically I organise in the morning ..and then when I arrive in a town I have to run around before it's 1pm and everything is closed ..often the information is closed, but later when it opens you find the museum was open during siesta, but now it's closed etc

- Then it becomes a chuiso domino effect

- Why do they have to maintain siesta in winter ..don't they lose most of the daylight hours ?

4. Strange Attitudes towards sex .. it's like the 1970's here.

- It's like Italian TV is on strike and they are showing only old programs from the 1970's TV - man in suit next to Bimbo in Miniskirt

- apparently Couchsurfing is difficult for men cos a large amount of the Italian hosts are playboys who only host men

sleazy men chasing foreign ladies.

- prostitution, people having sex in the forest, guy staying at youth hostel cos not allowed to stay at girlfriends, The continiuous stream of people turning upat the campsite to rent a bungalow for 1 hour.

- Almost Every product advertised features a photo of a girls thighs or cleavage.

5. Bus - no you are encouraged to use a car
1. Bus Timetables : if you actually find a timetable next to a bus stop ..it's only there for you to pass the time for hours
....real bus times are a state secret.

- if the timetable says 2.30pm maybe it will arrive at 2.30pm,
- but the bus will probably at 2.45pm or 3pm
- or perhaps you find it came early and left at 2.20pm
- or it's not runnning that day cos it's Sunday, saturaday afternoon a holiday,
- or doesn't actually run anyway.

2. Drive to the bus ..if you start in a village you have to drive to the town centre as the buses refuse to pickup en route ..same when you arrive ..drive from the town centre to your village

- half the time you are supposed to buy a ticket from the tobacconists first ..but it its sometimes shut.. but ticket inspectors are lenient ..and bus drivers don't see it as their job to check tickets

- Can't face the stress ..see buy a car.. at least buses actually go to the town.. half the stations are 2 or 3Km away from the town they are named after.

0. There is this strange imperialism of English coming into Italian language

- whereby English are used often wrongly when a perfectly good Italian word exists.
: "Bed and Breakfast", weekend and drinkeria ! are ubiquitous

6. I understand what the Italian Dream is About
- When you see some impressive frescos, mosaics or architectural features in Pompei or Herculeum there is this "Hey wow, this is incredible" feeling as you wonder at the sheer skill and sophistication of these guys 2000 years ago.. And how it took 1500 years more to get anything like back up to the same level

7. 90% of Tourists Affected with this cancer.
-They all see to have this terrible black tumour swelling out of their right hands... The growth ends in a tube of glass

.... Why the F are they always taking photos ?
- What's the point ? .. I almost never take pictures..every image you want are already all on the internet anyway... Yes places are striking, but if you hear a Shakespeare line you don't need to write it in your own handwriting, or record a Beatles song in your own voice.

- STRANGELY - At Pompei at least 2 people were deliberately taking pictures of me ..What's that about ? I'm neither so beautiful or ugly to be notable .. I overheard some Italian say "Van Gogh is over there"

the time for Traveling in Europe has finished. ...

- 20 years you could travel a round Europe on a budget, but NOT now

....as the countries have developed - their prices now seem absolutely crazy.

- with many more people travelling - the experience is dominished ..you are not a person to be interested in, but rather another object to profit from

- and simple budget options have disappeared as the style is pushed up for bigger profits

- Before getting around by bus and train was easy, but now as everyone has got a car services have been cut and prices risen to cover the cost of all the empty sests.

- Last year I found that Albania was the last European country where budget travel is possible, but soon it will be like the rest of Europe.

- In Tunisia, Egypt, Indonesia, most of the undeveloped world you can get transport to most small towns several times a day, for less than $10, and when you arrive you can find a simple hotel room for less than $6 often for $2.
- In Europe you'll have difficulty finding transport when you do it will be tens of Euros, then when you arrive in a town the only option will be a fancy double room ...50 seems a pretty regular price in Italy even Hostels are 20 plus for a dorm bed. Even then instead of the 1 to 1 experience of meeting the locals you'll found the town square full of German tour buses.

- It is a strange phenomenon that as developed countries have got richer, we are now actually poorer, in many aspects our standard of living in many things has fallen whereas developing countries continue to enjoy the good old days. In the 1960s when British people were complaining and desperate to move into a technological future the Primeminster Harold McMillan said "but you've never had it so good". Now most older people in the UK will tell you he was right and the standard of living was lower then. You could finish work at 5.30pm get a bus to one of the train stations then a ticket to the beach would cost 30 mins salary. You could then have a night out with food and drinks costing 2 hours salary and get the train back at 11.30pm or midnight or midnight 30pm. And now guess what ? Everyone has a car so buses run mostly empty so most services have been cut and ticket prices are phenomenal to pay for all the empty seats. Same for the train mosts services and stations have been cut.. You might be able to get a train back at 9pm for the price of 2 hours salary. Ah well everyone can drive straight from home. Yes fine in theory, but when people try it like at the time of Bank Holidays., the roads to the beach are gridlocked and parking is impossible to find.

- Cars
- going fancy

- 1. Be a couple or group - you can't be a single person cos of the lack of single rooms or hostels
- 2. Forget public transport - you need your own wheels.
- 3. Likewise forget hotels. The only budget way to travel around now is to car camp. Even 10 years ago most of the kids at UK festivals were doing this.

- With a van or big car fitted out for sleeping, there is no worrying about bus schedules or costs, nor hotels. People are pretty accepting of people sleeping in a vehicle for 1 night almost anywhere. You'd only have to use proper campsites every few days for showers and clothes washing etc. Food costs would be low cos you can lcarry picnic food easily.

- The system I adapted from long distance walking of carry my bags and hammock is similar, but inconvenient : I have to carry my baggage all the time, and people don't like you camping in a place even though if you slept in a car nearby they would accept that.
- But there are huge negatives in car camping :
- initial cost - I'd have at least 1500 tied up in cost, insurance, road tax. If everything goes well you can sell the vehicle, and get back 500 or something like 10/week. 1.50/day
- running cost, petrol maintenance - Look what can you expect ? 10Km or 1L of petrol, That's 16 of petrol to do 100Km a conservative daily distance. So it's not realistic for 1 person. You'd have to add in the extra costs of parking and maintenance say 180 over 6 months say 10/day
- So that's 17.50/day for 2 people assuming nothing major went wrong.

- then every so often something big would go wrong.. say 1000 every half year ..that's 2.50 per person. We are upto 20/day plus campsites, plus food plus entries.. Looking more like 30-40/per day per person

On pretty conservative calculation. Road tolls.

- And then something else - meeting people on the budget travel circuit you meet people all the time in hotels and on transport. Car camping, puts you in an isolated bubble.

What I spend travelling 2 weeks in Tunisia is the same that I spend one week in Italy and what I spend in 1 week in Tunisia is what I spend in 2 weeks in India.

is best
- Just met Jirga from Czech Republic yesterday I met another Polish man and they are both travelling like me. Saying "Italy is so expensive, walking and freecamping is the way to go". This is so refreshing to see people confirming what I think after speaking to Italians who don't seem to understand travel and think the only way to go is by spending a lot of money.

- ( I actually got stopped by the carabinieri on Wednesday as I walked the Appian Way trousers covered in mud and carrying my wet boots .. they were OK once they saw my photos and realised I was a "mad foreigner")