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Never mind the clichés, where’s my helicopter?

The Eternal City

There's no shortage of clichés about Rome. Mention its name and several phrases will spring to mind: "when in Rome ... la dolce vita ... the Eternal City ... lunatic driving". It's good to see at first hand that a lot of them are soundly based on fact.

Anita Ekberg doesn't splash around in the Trevi Fountain these days but another young woman's antics on the road from the airport neatly sum up the Roman lifestyle. The taxi, which isn't crawling, is overtaken by a girl on a Vespa, decked out in classic protective biker gear - tiny top, short skirt and kitten-heeled mules. Steering with one hand, she's punching a text message into her mobile phone with the other.

Style, speed and chit-chat in one package. It's no wonder the driver does a a triple take as she zooms away, then mutters something halfway between awe and anger.

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