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I’m not sure the precise moment when I knew I was being hustled by “Giovanni” (if that was even his real name), but by the time he’d steered Carol and I away from Naples’s Castle Sant’Elmo that we were looking for and he had promised to direct us to, I knew we were being hustled.
Writing in 1807, a French travel writer claimed Trieste reminded him most of Philadelphia, PA. Maybe it was the cholera epidemics every summer, or that the streets of both doubled as sewer systems. I’m not sure. I would imagine just about any sizable city in the world in 1807 would be comparable to each other in terms of pestilence, sanitation and starvation.
I first experienced it courtesy of the taxi driver in Ancona. In Jan Morrisâ€™s Trieste, she quotes someone offering oversimplified descriptions of the various nationalities living amongst each other in Trieste. To Italians, the observer ascribed â€œharmony.â€ When my driver arrived at my apartment on a hill overlooking the Adriatic and the town of Ancona below, he told me he would wait until the landlord arrived to make sure I wouldn’t be stranded. My only regret was that I didn’t have enough coins to make a more generous tip.