The saddle of my scooter, that is…  and what a great way to travel it is.  It’s economical and efficient – scooters here routinely pass a standing (or slower moving) line of cars, and move to the head of the class at any red light. (That’s my scooter… but that’s not me!)

One of the unsung pleasures of scootering is that you get an ever-changing panoply of scents.  It’s true, they’re not always pleasant, but at this time of year they tend to be floral and heavenly.  The wisteria (glicine, pronounced glee-chee-nay) is in bloom and is draped over numerous walls along the highways and byways.


It puts out a delicious aroma.  The jasmine (gelsomino, prounounced jell-zo-mee-n0) is just beginning to flower.  It’s a thug (that’s a technical horticultural term for anything that spreads rapidly and is hardy), but is so pretty and has such a sweet smell that we forgive it its pushy habits.


About the time this finishes blooming the ‘false jasmine,’ the pitosfero, will appear, and it’s perfume is a match for the true jasmine.

Riding in a car one tends to miss most smells except the most overstated (I’m thinking about a skunk, aren’t you?).  But riding on a scooter in the Riviera can be like inhaling a dictionary of different odors, and this time of year they’re more likely than not to be extremely pleasant.  Just riding up Via Betti at about 9:30 a.m. one enjoys first  the garbage plant (not so nice), some glicine over a wall (gorgeous), and fianlly the smell of freshly baked bread from our local bakery (scrumptuous)… and it’s only been half a kilometer.

We were glad to see more scooters in the US than in previous visits.  No, it’s not the safest mode of transport – for that I suppose you’d want a Hummer.  But for ease, economy and pure gioia di viaggiare, nothing beats a scooter.  We were both really glad to climb back aboard ours.