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While we’re on the subject of police, which we were very briefly in April, it seems the Italian police are making a huge public relations effort just now.  Our guest and I made a day trip to Genova last week, and among the many delights that city offers we stumbled upon a Road Safety Exhibition at the seaside near the Palazzo San Giorgio.  The Carabinieri and the Polizia  Stradale were there in numbers, including this gentlemen entertaining a group of youngsters.  Behind the auto’s open hatch is a radar speed gun which can be used either from a stationary position or from a moving police car.  Bah!  The autostradas now have a nasty thing called Tutor, which is a fixed speed gun mounted to various bridges, etc.  But this little item below is really mean – it can get you coming or going.

Part of road safety, alas, is the ambulance service.  Finally the young fellow on the right below was able to answer our confusion about all the different colored Crosses – Croce Rossa, Croce Bianca, Croce Verde (Red, White, Green)- all of which seem to operate ambulance services in and around Rapallo.  The Red Cross is affiliated with the International Red Cross and is a professional outfit; some of the participants are paid.  The Croce Verde and Croce Biancha instead are all-volunteer organizations.  Just to make things more complicated, there is also a Croce Rosa (Pink Cross), also volunteer; I don’t believe they operate in our area (please tell me if you know otherwise!).  A few years back I needed a quick trip to a hospital.  I can’t tell you which color cross came to cart me off, but whoever they were, they were fantastic.

Just a cotton-pickin’ minute…  Why are the Carabiniere on BMW’s?  Can’t Ducati or Bimota or Cagiva or Moto Guzzi make a good enough cycle for our national police??

Only by the sea will you find fast floating rescue vehicles like the jet ski below, this one under the auspices of the Fire Department. Personally I never think of boats catching fire, but evidently they do.  There were 42 serious fires/explosions on boats in 2006, just in the U.K!

This was my favorite exhibit, though.  It’s another fire department truck that is also a boat!  Wouldn’t that be fun?  (I want one, after I get my car that turns into an airplane…).  When the baby below blew her horn we jumped out of our skins – think of standing inside a foghorn and you’ll have the general idea.

We arrived at the Expo at about 12:30 p.m., which by sacred decree is part of Italy’s lunch hours, so there were not many people visiting the Expo.  That was good for us, because we got to speak with the people in the booths.  It’s great to see the Police of all stripes making an effort to educate and to be friendly and helpful.  Even if they do have those @#$! speed guns.