Friday 25 September 2009

Italian Police Bingo

How many different types of police does one country need.

In the space of a couple of minutes this evening, I think I saw the full set, but I could be wrong, there could be more types floating around.

First to be spotted were the Milan Vigilantes, or at least that’s how my very dodgy Italian translated what was painted on their cars.

Then walking in front of me, in full regalia, including massive swords, were two Carabinieri, looking very smart (and preening themselves in a shop window.)

Walking past them were two city police who appeared to be completely Carabinieri blind, neither group acknowledged each other existence, I was starting to get worried that a turf war between police forces was about to break out, so I hurried on.

Just around the corner, having stern words with someone touting “real” D&G bags for €5, were the grey uniformed scare division, the Financial Police.

By now I was starting to think I was walking through some kind of recruitment video – Italy’s police force, a uniform for all tastes – when I walked past the final set of police, dressed in what looked like riot gear.

Except they were congregating around the outside of La Scala opera house – obviously Italian Opera lovers are a more boisterous bunch than their English counterparts (I don’t go past the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden that often, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single policeman outside.)

So that’s five different types of police, can there be any more (probably, but it doesn’t do your brain any good to think about it!)

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