Italians are a superstitious lot. We learned from a friend in France that Italian men grab their nuts if they need some luck or to combat the evil eye. They also say that if you have a male dog you can also grab his package for some extra luck. We weren’t too sure about all this, but we thought we would at least clear it up with an Italian when we had the opportunity.
We spent a week with Lord Mitford at the Palazzo del Sol on the French Riviera. Other than servicing our bikes, the week was mostly spent being schooled in promoting our brand and by the end we had a ream of twin-sided A4 brochures to distribute. So far we have travelled through Europe trying to pass on a message in a language that very few understand but a brochure with photos, pictures of flags and a few words speaks volumes. We now hand over a brochure to everybody we meet. The response has been great.
We have been offered a coffee on the house or had the lunch bill rounded down, free extras to take away for the road ahead and even been offered accommodation. More importantly, people have shown a strong interest in supporting our Save the Rhino cause.
An hour’s ride from Genova we had a lady follow us in her car and stop to ask us where we are going. Being careful not to hold up the traffic, I flicked a flyer into her e-class and she drove off. Ten minutes later she found us again and pulled over. She said, “I have a big home and would love to offer you a place to stay for the night but my husband is not very open minded.” Slightly amused we managed to keep a straight face and she sent us back down the hill to the piazza where we would find a bar/restaurant with a bunch of very friendly people and she would pop down later to settle our bill. So off we went.
Trofie al pesto – a local Ligurian speciality
Whilst enjoying the local Ligurian speciality, Trofie al pesto at the dog friendly Bar alla Piazzeta, a man walked in with a massive male Boxer. This was our first opportunity for either a bit of Italian luck or to debunk the myth. We asked the guy if it was true and he replied in broken english, “you can touch my dog’s balls all you like but he’s only got one so you’ll only get half the luck anyway.” That didn’t really answer our question but we had a great laugh.
We’ll have to propose thanks to The Mitford Dynasty for this piece of marketing genius. It is as good as local currency.