Rome Travel Guide

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finding Mr. Fix-it for scooter accessories in Rome

Despite all the complaints of what doesn't work in Italy, we're always impressed by the ingenuity of sole proprietors and small businesses.  Here's an example:

The key to our "box" (bauletto) - the carrier on the back of our scooter - broke off in the lock.  The first reaction of some businesses we contacted was that we'd have to replace the whole box.  That's a minimum of a $100, an amount we don't part with easily. 

So we took ourselves to Porta Portese - the dense line-up of corrugated sheds that passes for a two-wheeler (all kinds - bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, and some kids' trikes) market place.  Porta Portese (also the scene of Rome's largest flea market on Sundays - when these "regular" shops are closed) is where we bought our helmets, got the box originally, bought a cover for our scooter, etc. 

A merchant figured out we needed to replace the lock (not the whole box), sold us one, and told us to just do it.  We pled incompetence and so the merchant took us down the way to another shop where this repairman replaced the lock.  Bill is looking on so he can do it in the future.
The whole transaction - lock and a small payment to the repairman - was about $20.  We are satisfied customers.


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