Julian Dean Diary
Giro d'Italia: Long days of waiting...
with a lot of character; definitely plenty of 'interesting' sights with lots of mad stuff going on. It's actually like one of those backward places Carole and I backpack around at the end of the season? Although we won't be doing that kind of trip again for a while?
I?ve learnt a thing or two about Italy by coming here. I hadn?t realised that Italy has such huge regional differences in language and culture. In this part of the country, it?s said that the unemployment rate is as high as 80% and naturally as a result, crime is rife (the reason not to give abuse when you nearly get killed by a lunatic driver while out training). Apparently the low socio-economic state of the place is largely due to the Mafia controlling a lot of what goes on here. They have stopped a lot of development and changes - often halfway through. Hence, the majority of the buildings are half completed and although being a very beautiful place, there are almost no tourist facilities.
All this makes it a place that I kind of like. Although it?s not right that this place is so backward and impoverished compared to the rest of Italy, it certainly gives it a lot of character and makes it a stimulating and thought-provoking place to visit. There?s such a stark contrast between here and the rest of Western Europe and this kind of place tucked away in today's developed countries seem pretty hard to find.
So anyway, back to why I?m here?.the race starts on Saturday before heading north on Sunday. The prologue is a 1km TT so it should be an interesting start as long as I don't get killed out training by a crazy driver or a raving Italian lunatic wielding a gun or knife?
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