Friday, 24 August 2012

I Went Round The Mediterranean In The Womb: 2. Italian Beauty, Deception And Collection

Pisa was a quiet place before I was born. Little did the people realise when they looked at my happy and smiling mother that what was inside her, would be back in twenty-something years to flood the hotel next to Pisa Central Station (see earlier blog piece).

Hotels were an issue back in 1961 as well. My mother seemed to be worried about the poetic license used by the artist who produced the postcard for their hotel in Positano. It looked magical and romantic and the view out to see was going to be magnificent.

The reality was rather different. The postcard designer had omitted the road and railway line which their room looked directly onto. Yes, the sea in the distance did look magnificant.

Rome was better. It was still the Rome from the film Roman Holiday. My mother thought Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn might walk around the corner at any moment. It was another five years before she did meet Gregory Peck. But that was in England, on the film set of Arabesque. Audrey Hepburn, however was not there. She had been replaced by Sophia Loren.

I love the photos. Partly for the colours, the beauty and the architecture, but mainly for the lack of traffic and design of the buses. They exude style and functionality. When you look at the ugliness of today's buses and coaches, it is understandable why there is so much interest in 'vintage'. It is hard to imagine, forty years down the road, that there will be the same interest in today's Volvos, Mercedes's and Scanias.

There will, though. There are collectors of everything - including a Vauxhall Viva Owners Club.

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