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  • I was seventeen and enjoying my trip to Pesaro, Italy; where the sun’s rays reached out to me, bleaching my hair and tanning my body.

    It was my second holiday abroad, with a group of teenagers, chaperoned by two group leaders. All the other girls wanted to do was sunbath every on the beach, directly in front of our hotel; swim in the sea to cool off; eat ice cream and gossip.

    I was more adventurous. I explored the local village to absorb the unique sights, sounds, and tastes of Italy.

    I met a local boy, also seventeen; at a dance one night. In 1967 there were no noisy discos with tourists on speed dancing all night. The local clubs had their own live bands and comperes for the evening and local teenagers mixed with the tourists.

    We planned to go on a trip as a foursome the next day.

    He arrived on a scooter with his friend Mauricio. I was glad I was wearing the trouser suit my mother had made me for the holiday. I introduced him to my friend Lucy, climbed on a scooter for the first time in my life and off we rode into the countryside.

    It was a glorious hot sunny day; until dark clouds started gathering behind us in the West. Travelling east we sped along the road hoping to out run the storm. The scooters were not fast enough. The heavens opened above us and drenched us with huge cold drops of rain. We arrived at Jose’s home sodden and shivering.

    Jose’s mother welcomed us with hot drinks, gave us girls some dry clothes to wear, and ironed our own clothes until they were dry. What a wonderful warm and generous woman I thought.

    I love Italians.
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