I'm on the way to Tunisia to the famous: "Hammamet", where Bettino Craxi spent his last years of life into "voluntary exile".



"The difference between a globetrotter and a tourist is that a tourist has been missing his home since the first day of trip."
- Bernardo Bertolucci - (Tea in the desert)


29 december Hammamet (TUNISIA)

At last we land in Tunisia... but the flight has been really hard... Direct flight Rome - Monastir but one hour and forty minutes later we land, at surprise, in Djerba Island! Whatever! A couple hours later we leave again to our destination.

A ramshackle bus takes us to our hotel: Yasmine Beach Resort in Hammamet.

It's very late and we are dead tired. We go to sleep!


30 december Hammamet (TUNISIA)

Early in the morning we go to the city center by taxi. Eight kilometres from here.

Everything deals with the negotiation, as the same sellers explain us... We have a walk inside the "Medina", really similar to the Istanbul bazars... what a mess, everybody pulls you to show you their stalls and many times they are so annoying... They were selling everything and as our guide explaines us, you will never know the real price of anything... In fact: I wanted to buy a metal bracelet with my name in Arab, they asked me 36 diners (nearly 30 Euro), after many bargainings I pay it 6 diners! I keep on my strall in the Medina and another bracelet seller stops me; not to be bothered I soon show him the bracelet just bought, he looks at it and then asks me how much I paid it, I say: 4 diners and he revives: "I give that to you for three dinars". We will never know the real value of these objects!

That's Tunisia! A Country where 96% of the populations is Muslim, where the main language is the Arab and where they interrupt television national programs every four hours for a brief "liturgical" break ...

In the evening we meet three guys from Foggia and after many adventures we go, all together, to a place full of discos, not very exciting. We decide to go to the biggest one: "Manhattan" and we spend all night long dancing decreasing disco music...


31 december Hammamet (TUNISIA)

We have a stroll in this suburb of Hammamet, it's so bad! There are only hotels and resorts. It seems to me to walk on the boarding of that parlour game called: "Hotel"! All these four or five stars resorts show off a luxury out of place...

Moreover, walking, I have noticed and discovered many things: there are many tourists from Algeria, all with their luxury cars with the plate similar to the French one but with the International code: DZ; to enter the casinos you have to be foreigner and prove it with your passport, in fact the entrance is forbidden to the Tunisian and they play using only Euro or dollars.

We have celebrate the end of this 2003 with a huge dinner in our hotel.

The only two nice things have been the belly-dancers and the small pigs set free around our tables with many local people who were running after them as tradition.


01 january Nabeul (TUNISIA)

Today I have seen the Tunisia I was looking for... the real one, the one far from the luxury of the five stars European resorts, the one of the dromedaries, of the tins along the roads full of petrol bought in the close Libya (we ran across the road that takes to Tripoli, 300 km and to Cairo 3000).

Petrol, here, costs 50 Euro cents, in Libya: half price, that's why many Tunisian act as petrol-pump attendants...

I saw the Tunisia of the mud and straw hut, of the men sitting around an old small table to enjoy their beloved "narghilè", of the veiled women, of the ceramics markets... This is the Tunisia I was looking for...

The Tunisia whose third most spoken language is the Italian, whose women, who seem to be subjected but actually have more lovers than men, the one that, as our guide used to say, love four animals: the donkey, the jaguar, the lion and the mink...

In fact they search one who is as a lion in the bed, who gives her a mink-coat, has a jaguar in the garage and pays all the bills as a donkey... It's only a joke, no offence!

Nabeul impressed us for the ceramics.

They sell dishes, plates, crockery and everything can be made with clay everywhere.


"Life is a journey through a desert".

- Bruce Chatwin -


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