This Halloween season I thought I'd give all my fellow Grand Voyage Italy goblins and ghouls a little scare... from the horrors of the ancient Romans: Monsters from myths, legends and pagan lore. So, pull your loved one close, get the kiddies (as long as they are beyond the age of having nightmares), pour some spiced wine, roast some chestnuts, turn the lights down low and put on some spooky music--preferably an old, scratchy opera recording.
And above all...
Sleep tight... and don't let anything bite.
There is that old saying (or aphorism), “Don’t raise the bridge, lower the river" that every engineering student knows. It describes the attitude about the obvious: there are no obstacles in getting things done. Just analyze the problem, and think of a way around it. But this doesn't usually mean literally.
"Lowering the river" is what lies behind the design of most canal locks in the world. I've even seen canals built on viaducts, making the water travel over an obstacle, like railroad tracks or a road. But I've never quite seen the Italian solution to the problem illustrated above. In Manhattan, for example, if a work crew arrived, permits in hand, ready to dig a ditch for a sewer or communication cables, a call to the City's tow trucks solve the problem in no time at all. Tow the car out of the work zone. Done.
In Italy, however, perhaps because of the lack of a reliable city department that would actually handle this problem--before the 12-3pm riposa--these workers figured they wouldn't wait for anyone else and solved the problem their way. Furbo. Look out for your own interests. Get the job done and get back to your own life. Why worry about some future contractor trying to locate that underground run of cable that he thinks should be in a straight line.
Besides, "Why have someone's car towed away and cause someone else problems? It might be my friend's cousin, or my cousin's cousin, or, Dio mio... someone's nonna!"