Of course it was downright stupidity. I can see that now. We were young, but even then we must have had some inkling. Having decided of our own free will to hitchhike from the coastal port of Brindisi in Sicily to Florence proved to be near suicide. I flinch as I read in my journal how we got into a car with three boys that suddenly diverted from the highway. My stomach tensed as I heard the Italian word bano and deduced we were heading for a beach. Some semblance of intuition at long last got my attention as I cried out in alarm for the car to stop in goodness knows what language. I knew we were in trouble whereas the young blonde woman I was travelling with was quite annoyed with me. I was saving her bacon but she didn't think so. They finally let us out after heated debate and turned around honking and yelling as they headed back to the highway leaving us to shoulder our heavy packs. As we trudged back to the highway a man in a scooter appeared out of nowhere, and stopping, began a series of obscene and rather creatively suggestive gestures that I watched with incredulity and a great deal of alarm. We both responded with our own versions of what was possibly the most rudest hand signals we could muster. He was fortunately insulted (he was insulted!) and left us. My stomach a queasy morass I write..."Back on the main road we received more rides although we didn't get into cars with more than one man.... it looked finally like a night in the fields for us. We left the road and squatted down trying to make some heads and tails of a gypsy camp through the trees! I was thrilled to death. My friend and I were discussing what to do when I noticed a truck had stopped where we had left the road. The truck had seen us go, for I had remembered it, and two men were getting out and coming toward us...."