Beware the Romans (selling Hand Bags)!

Encounters can often provide travellers with memories they will keep forever. But some may leave you with the feeling of unease – missed opportunity or money saved? One of our members recently had such an experience

Ever have one of those days where you wish you could go back and have again? We were walking down the street to the bus to head into Rome, and a car pulled up to ask directions. He was looking for the Vatican. Easy directions – ‘just keep left’. We got to chatting with the usual ‘where are you from’? He introduced himself and said that the petrol stations didn’t take Amex, and he needed some cash for fuel. He had some hand-bags on the front seat (business samples) and he was willing to exchange one for some cash (he didn’t say how much). We were a little bit suss, so declined.

After he drove off I checked Google/Wikipedia and found that he actually was who he said he was: Sidney Toledano. Oh well.

Newspapers and gossip magazines often do a separated at birth photo feature. You know the ones, where two seemingly unrelated people have their photos compared as if they were identical twins. It seems Sidney Toledano has one driving around Italy, perhaps in a car that is not normally his sort of style. While our intrepid travellers passed on the opportunity, our members were quick to help ease the pain

A million just doesn’t go as far as it used to. He would also have known where the Vatican was.


And wouldn’t he have a driver?

Perhaps the most telling indicator that we have a very smart local selling rip off (probably Chinese made imitations) comes from another member

The same thing happened to us, with the difference that the guy actually gave us a sample.

It seems the MD of Christian Dior has not fallen on hard times, and is not burning the shoe leather as a travelling salesperson after all. As always, if it seems to be too good to be true, it normally is.

By now you are probably wondering what other adventures have befallen our member, as they travel to Florence and Beyond. Should you pass on Pisa, take photos of the Mona Lisa, duck over to London for dinner or just enjoy the odd French pastry or ten? Florence and where-ever makes for COMPELLING READING.


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