Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 4, 2013

Back in Italy

I knew I was back in Italy when the woman behind me on the train from the airport to Termini tried to push past me and my suitcases to be first off the train…

Then the woman sitting in my allocated seat on the train to Florence refused to move even when I showed her my ticket with the seat number on it. I stood my ground and she eventually shrugged and dragged herself as slowly as she could from my seat…

Then in Florence station I had my foot in the door of the rest room when someone pushed in front of me and her friend positioned herself between me and the door so she could be next…

Then despite waiting first in line for the bus to Lucca, crowds appeared and barged in front of us to board the bus first.

Just as well Bagni di Lucca looks like this.


I am clearly out of practice and need to sharpen my elbows.

PS…You should all click on the video suggested in Mulino Dominillo’s comment. It is hilarious!


  1. You need razor blades on your elbows Deb. look forward to seeing you soon.

    • I’ll be back in step soon. We have a date for coffee.

  2. Hoo boy. After all that, time for a quiet balcony, a great view and a relaxing glass of whatever is your favorite adult beverage!

    • My balcony is looking wonderful right now. The geraniums are still blooming and the view of the village is great. It is good to be back.

  3. Haven’t you watched this, Debra!
    Welcome to Italy!

    • I ablsolutley love this take on Italy v Europe! It covers such a lot.

    • Very funny

  4. Welcome back Debra. We arrive in Bagni on Tuesday, staying in La Villa, we hope to see you in Il Monaco and catch up over a coffee πŸ™‚

    • I look forward to seeing both of you.

  5. Debra,
    You were welcomed back to Bagni di Lucca like royalty.
    You have so many friends here who think of you with admiration and affection.
    John, visiting BdL from California

    • It is great to be back in BdL. I do love it here.

  6. Welcome to Italy dear Debra, I miss your Italy posts… Thanks and Love, nia

    • It is good to be back. I can’t wait to visit all my favourite places…and discover some new ones.

  7. You could just as well have been in New York!

    • New York has got nothing on Italy in the pushing in department. I have always found New Yorkers to be very polite.

  8. How very clever, and all true.

  9. Debra have you ever been on a bus in China? Compared to your experience Italians are polite. In China you claim over people in order to get on and off. Why is it that it is always the old woman are so rude on busses, they even kick you if you are in a line if you don’t let them get in front, after a while it becomes very funny and a challenge to spot the next person who will try it on.
    It is time you do a visit to Chicago unless I have missed your report, thanks for all your wonderful reports

    • I haven’t been on a bus in China…it sounds like a barrel of laughs. I do treat the pushiness as a bit of a sport, but after a flight, 2 trains and a bus it becomes a bit tiresome.

  10. Sorry you have to sharpen your wits and your elbows. But otherwise I m sure you are back into to the swing of things Have fun ! Missing you already.

    • I wish Australia and Italy were a bit closer, so I could skip between the 2 places easily.

  11. What a great way to welcome you back to Italy! I didn’t realize the Italians were so rude!
    Love your picture.
    I watched the video and thought it very funny but the ad at the beginning is totally hilarious. Did you see it? All about a poo spray called poo-pourri?

    • It is every man for himself here. I will be right there with them in a couple of days.

  12. This made me laugh. Welcome back, Debra!

  13. Haha that was a very funny video. Loved your post it brought back a few memories!

    • The video is priceless! I have seen it many times and laugh every time.

  14. I just had the same experience on the train to Rome – but the good bits far outweigh the other & we can always have a laugh about it – ah Bella Italia we love you

    • The good outweighs the bad definitely.

  15. Hi Debra – yes, gotta love the Italians and their fabulous habits. We found we just ‘smiled and waved’ ALOT…. Just as well you can still love them. We are missing Italy so much. Still working on the project and hope for success as would kill to be there. In Brisbane today dropping off the teenager on Monday. Next week will get back to Bagni stuff. Have an Aperol for me while you look at my turret…

    • Your turret is looking good. I’ll take a photo for you.

  16. That little video is hilarious – but it is so like China! At the airport when coming out of a ladies toilet cubicle I had to flatten myself against the wall whilst another lady breezily bustled in and I risked getting locked in with her. Peter’s comment on Zebra crossings in China was that they were there so that Ambulances would know where to come and as for being polite in a queue…there are lots of fascinating, wonderful things in China, but consideration for each other is not one of them.

    • It can be fun to observe the ways of others, but you need to be in the right mood to find them amusing.

  17. Debra I know what you are saying!!! Frank and I are in japan at the moment and it’s the opposite. We feel like royalty ..
    But I still love the Italians zest for LIFE….

    • The pushiness is all part of the charm of Italy…I think.

  18. I’m delighted to hear you are back in BDL, you clearly love the place as so many do. I’ve hear that you’ve done a lot of good work helping to promote Bagni and that you have helped the local people there, and i’m sure they’re glad to have you back. Enjoy.

    • The 2 blogs I write help to introduce people to this gorgeous area. I feel very lucky to be able to spend so much time here.

  19. DEAR DEBRA, I really feel so sad about all that. Sorry, sorry, sorry in the name of my compatriots… Italy seems loosing elementary rules of education and respect. What happened to you it happens to me too… I wonder who and what caused all this… Yes, the good example has to come firstly from who have the duty to guide a Country where school and culture are the last thoughts… This is also a consequence of a class of politicians who doesn’t respect rules and mind one’s own business… Yes, a very sad Italy!

    • Hi Roberto, You know I love Italy and the people here. You don’t need to apologize for anything.

  20. […] […]

  21. I was dismayed to read that most of your antagonists on the train and bus queue were women! But yes, you will soon get used to it again!

    • Yes, it is disappointing…and they were all old enough to know better.

  22. Did you use your command of Italian to express your disgust/frustration or dismay at their attitude or did you suck it up. Roz

    • I did ask the first woman to wait a moment and I talked the seat stealer into moving. The rest I ignored.

  23. Glad to have you back in the region. Love the video!!!!

    • It is good to be back. The good far outweighs the bad in Italy.

  24. I like the clip. I think both lebanese and italian are related coz we have alot of things in common .

    • Perhaps it is a Mediterranean thing.

  25. Hehe I had to watch that video! They should show that on the plane into Italy!

    • It is a great clip…and it is made by Italians. I laugh every time I watch it.

  26. Ha ha, you could have been in India, if it hadn’t been so picturesque πŸ˜€ Thanks to Mulino for a truly hilarious video!

    • I have been to some very crowded places in India and I loved them. It is interesting to observe people.

  27. i just said to my husband last night that I felt like posting about all the people who tried to push their way in front of me during my time in Italy. I’m glad you wrote the post for me! So sorry to have missed you-I’m having serious Lucca withdrawal! Glad you got their safely.

    • It takes a bit of getting used to when you live in a place where people are more ordered. I am delighted to be back and I hope to catch up with you next time.

  28. I think the Spanish are even worse! We tried to get someone to move from our seat and he flat out refused. Drives me nuts! Lovely photo:).

  29. Poor Debra…after a long trip, this was definitely not what you needed! I wonder why they do this, when for the most part, they are gracious and welcoming!! The Greeks are just the same! I remember trying to get off a plane in Athens and everyone from the back rushing forward to get off first! I am used to an orderly row by row deplaning, not this chaos! Well, now you can relax looking at this gorgeous view!

    • Italians are very gracious and I love being here, but they simply refuse to wait in line with decorum. I can’t see this ever changing.

  30. Oh I remember the restroom at the train station in Florence , I was just there a few months ago LOL. I spent quite some time at the Florence train station on my trip through Tuscany.

  31. hehehe, just watched that video…that’s the Italy I know and love.

  32. Love this post. Not admiring notes, but just few of the best things to love Italy. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

    • Oh the humanity…

    • Italy is full of contradictions.

  33. Debra – thoughtful post.
    I think Italians are experiencing such despair with the protracted political and economic crises that they feel powerless and angry. So many Italians I’ve met the last couple years feel hopeless. Such a sad state of affairs for people who live in such a beautiful country.

    • I hope things improve in Italy soon. It is a bit worrying at the moment.

  34. Ha, sounds like experiences I’ve had in Asia!

    • I know it isn’t just Italy.

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