“Vroom By The Sea”

Not sure how we missed this, but Peter Moore came out with a second book in 2009 after his “Vroom With A View” book in 2005. This time he’s travels through Southern Italy on a slightly newer Vespa — an orange Rally 200. It’s available as a paperback and on the Kindle reader.

Here’s an excerpt:

“For one thing the map in my guidebook hadn’t indicated that most of the streets in Palermo were one way. In the case of my chosen route, heading in the wrong direction. Nor did it indicate that on Saturdays all the lanes around the hotel were closed and filled with stalls of the weekly Balerò market. When I finally got within a block of the Cortese my way was blocked by hundreds of stalls, tightly packed together under a sea of tatty canvas umbrellas, selling plastic colanders, big pants and the occasional slab of freshly caught tuna.
In most places the lanes I had planned to ride along had shrunk to a tiny pathway so narrow that people had to shuffle sideways to get through. Occasionally the produce from a particular stall overflowed onto that pathway and people were forced to jump over a pile of artichokes or melons. I was only a couple of hundred metres from the hotel so I decided to chain Marcello to a pole, lug my bag the rest of the way and retrieve him at the end of the day when the market had closed.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy on a scooter ride into the mass of stalls and negotiate his way through the scrum of people. I expected him to be abused, maybe even set upon, but people stepped aside and let him through. The owners of the stalls that overflowed onto the path even shifted their produce momentarily so he could pass. I thought the rider must have been a one-off – a market official, perhaps, collecting stall fees. But over the next few minutes at least half a dozen other scooter riders plunged into the chaotic scrum of market stalls. So I decided to give it a go myself.
That’s the beauty of a Vespa. It’s not much wider than a person and not nearly as tall. In theory, any-where a human can go a Vespa can too.”

Oh I can almost feel the sun on my face. Summer, where the heck are you?

“Vroom By the Sea” at Amazon.com