Service no limits

I am Simon, I am English and I live between Roma and Amalfi in Italy. I have lived in Italy since 1990 and I speak reasonable Italian and French, plus some English!!

I love travelling and exploring, I have worked in Export Sales for more than 30 years which has taken me all over the world, and I like nothing better than travelling around Italy and Europe by car, van or motorbike alone or with friends.

I know Italy fairly well and I love to help others to discover the beauty of Italy and to avoid the many pitfalls. Many visitors love Italy but do not really know how to avoid the difficult bits, as the language and the mentality is very different from the American and North European “norms”.

I also have a small fleet of vehicles that I can rent out to the right people or can use to transport you around. You fly into Roma and wanna get to the Amalfi Coast?? I can take you. You need to transport you and/or your luggage around between hotels? Call me. You wanna try a motorcycle experience?? I can supply a touring bike with a satnav in English all ready to go. You wanna visit the Ducati or Ferrari factory?? No problem. You need a route for a 3 day visit to Sicily or Sardinia? I can supply it.

Here follow some blogs to give you a taste of the Italian experience. Thanks!!


New property comes closer

We have found and made an offer on a new property, as threatened!! This small property is fantastic and is perfect for what we need, a small working base in the Amalfi area. The property is a WONDERFUL double garage and is very recent indeed, it looks virtually new, and has all of the permissions and stuff in order too which is very unusual, so it can be used for storage, as a garage, for working or whatever. It has a small bathroom too plus water and electricity.

The location is almost ideal too as it is only 12km (about 15 minutes) from the centre of Amalfi and is in a small residential area with houses on each side. Photos and stuff to follow if our offer is accepted!!!!

Stop press: We have revisited the property today and it would appear that all is in order and we can go ahead. We aim to conclude at about the end of March. Watch this space.

Spare parts for cars and scooters

The other fiendish idea is to start an interesting sub-business with spare parts. We intend to purchase some cars and some scooters and strip them for spares, indeed we have already acquired a Honda SH125, the best selling scooter in Italy. The market for spares is an interesting one and possibly mainly in the hands of er not totally honest suppiers. We want to start an honest business with spares and repairs, we already have a Roma base and we are now seeking another in the Amalfi region so that we can operate in both areas.

Photos to follow of our SH125 and then the cars too, as we start operations so watch this space.


New enterprise!! Another arrow to our bow (or something)

Services enters one (or even two) new activities. We have purchased a lightly damaged VW van and we have started work on the strip down and on the repairs. We intend to document this work with a series of photos which will follow. This work will be carried out by a specialist who does this for a living and the idea is of course to return some profit when we sell the van, but along the way I hope to learn alot as this is a totally new field for me and very interesting indeed.

The second idea is also to start an interesting sub-business with spare parts. We intend to purchase some (VW) cars and some (Honda) scooters and strip them for spares, indeed we have already acquired a Honda SH125, the best selling scooter in Italy. The market for spares is an interesting one and possibly mainly in the hands of er not totally honest sellers. We want to start an (honest) business with spares and repairs, we already have a Roma base and we are now seeking another in the Amalfi region so that we can operate in both areas.

Watch this space!! More to come soon.

A week takeover of the lovely Aurora Hotel, Amalfi. October 20-27th 2018

Ok so here is the master plan so far:

  1. I have asked her indoors if I can book the whole hotel PLUS the 3 apartments for the whole week, and (so far so good) she said yes. Poor woman. This event is by personal invitation only and is NOT open to the general public BUT we do plan to run similar events in the future.
  2. I therefore have 28 rooms in the hotel to host my “guests”, plus the 3 apartments if required.
  3. My idea is to offer the lucky chosen few an “all-in package price” for the week to include almost everything, B&B plus some happy hours and even some meals too.
  4. I am looking to organise a wide range of activities, events and visits for the week and everyone will be able to select say 3 activities. Additional events (if we can arrange them) will be charged but more or less at cost.
  5. I will rent a minibus for the week so that we can provide all local transport free. I suggest that you try to come either by motorbike (free safe parking under the hotel) or by public transport, cos a car will cost you about 30 Euro per dayfor parking!!! From Roma the best way is train to Salerno (2 hours door to door) and then either bus, ferry or minibus to Amalfi centre. The hotel is then only a 10 minute stroll.
  6. I need to plan carefully so I need your yes or no asap please and I will then ask you for a non-refundable deposit for every room, to ensure that you will really come.
  7. We will organise trips to Pompei, Caserta, Thermal Baths and Underground Naples for sure. Other activities will be organised depending on the weather we have that week, for instance a boat trip and motorcycle testing. My Raptor 700 Quad and TMax 530 will be available.

More to follow very soon, watch this space………

I wanna show you the lovely Amalfi coast….by bike. Watch this video!!!

Ok here we go, I have the GoPro 5 and I intend to make some trips along this stunning coast and show you the beauty of this area……please let me know what you think.

Please enjoy the trips… is the first one, from Amalfi along the coast to Positano. The GoPro is mounted onto my Yamaha TMax 530, please let me know what you think.

What an amazing long distance scooter er bike…..

I know and love the Yamaha TMax, I owned an old 500 briefly a few years ago and really enjoyed the experience, except the fuel consumption!. When I recently found an almost-new one for sale with very low mileage in the UK I could not resist her so then I needed to bring her down to Roma. I flew to the UK with Ryan Air and the excellent crew at Alf England serviced the bike and fitted a charger lead for me. I then set off from Coventry down to Cambridge where my sister lives, about 140km south.

This so-called scooter is really a true motor bike and indeed if you remove the plastic a full motor bike frame and engine is revealed, which explains why it goes and handles like a “proper” bike. The engine is a really strong twin and pulls like a train in this new 530 version, just the continuous transmission reveals the scooter conversion but this means no clutch and gear lever.

The ride to Cambridge was slow and uneventful due to the usual heavy traffic and constant road works, I noted that the screen gives great wind protection even at motorway speeds and the bike always feels stable and pinned to the road. The long wheelbase means that the bike always goes straight and the brakes are fantastic, two large discs at the front and one at the rear.

Then the next day in the constant drizzle I set off to ride back down to Roma. I had not really planned my route (cos I hate planning) and I have already made the trip several times by bike, car and van so I knew more or less the route the way I wanted to take. So first stop in the constant rain was the Channel Tunnel terminal near to Folkestone where I was sent to the front of the queue for a 15 minute wait for the next Chunnel train. The bike was fantastic over these 200km in the rain and only my helmet and my hands got wet, the bike’s bodywork kept me almost dry. I also discovered that bikes do not pay for the London Dartford Crossing, good news!

Fourty minutes later I rode off the train in downtown Calais and quickly hit the motorway, still raining but now less heavily, and headed south towards Reims. Reims is a lovely city and I know a good Ibis hotel quite near to the motorway. I covered the 270km quickly as I was quite hungry and I filled the bike with fuel so that I could make a fast getaway early the next morning. The TMax was averaging almost 60mpg and never missed a beat despite the rain. So I parked and locked her in the hotel car park and went to eat.

The next morning I left after an early breakfast heading south, my aim was Lyon and then Chamonix and the Mont Blanc tunnel. The rain had finally stopped and the sky started to brighten and the temperature increased with every kilometre towards the south. I covered about 640km that day stopping only for coffee and fuel, the bike performed faultlessly and required fuel only every couple of hours, so progress was quite fast. The ideal cruising speed for the 530 is about 140kph (indicated) which is just below 6,000rpm on the TMax, as over 6,000rpm the engine changes sound and starts to drink more fuel. Every engine has its sweet spot. At about 4pm I was really hungry and tired so as I approached Chamonix I spotted a Mercure Hotel just next to the road and so I turned off the motorway, found the hotel, took a room and rested before dinner and then bed. Lovely food and great place!

At 4.30 the next morning I checked out and left the hotel heading south again, firstly through the Mont Blanc tunnel and then onto the Italian motorways where I could use my Telepass, so I did not need to take tickets or pay the motorways tolls. I made good time and stopping only for fuel plus drinks and snacks I headed past Aosta and then picked up the west coast motorway towards Genova. Past Genova I headed south to Livorno and then turned east to Firenze, and then from Firenze it was only 300 kms to Roma. I got to Roma at about 1330 and the bike had covered 2,000 kms from Cambridge without missing a beat. Indeed I still felt good so after a 2 hour stop at home I headed south again and I got to Amalfi for dinner and a very well-earned rest. That was a 1,000 km day!!.

The Yamaha TMax 530 really suprised me. I never thought that a “scooter” could be such a great travelling companion for a longish trip. It proved totally comfortable and reliable, easy to ride and with excellent fuel range between fill ups. WHAT a bike!! This is really a revalation as the TMax is generally used in the city to go fast between traffic lights whereas she is really a superb touring bike. Amazing. And of course this Yamaha engine consumed zero oil in the 2k kms,

Services moves to purchase a property

We have recently been studying the property market in the Amalfi coast area. To be more precise, inland near the coast where the prices are more reasonable, given that we are not looking for a holiday home with sea view.

The ideal property may be a small detached or semi detached house/villa with some land, or it could be a small business unit or even a piece of farm land with a stable or even a garage. Our plan is flexible as there are very few properties on the market and of course anything with a view over the coastline is worth a small fortune!

We may indeed need to rent some parking space to have a fast solution, and then search for a property to purchase later as the ideas are growing as we search. Some ideas are:

a. Car and van parking. There is always a need for safe parking spaces in the Amalfi/Ravello area. In Amalfi town there are only 2 public car parks and by 10am they are both full and so no more cars can stay. Also, the hotels always need more parking spaces.

b. Van and minibus parking. For daily visitors, as again there is nowhere to stop.

c. Rental car services. To be explored, we have alot of ideas on this front.

Etc. Watch this space, we start our property visits this week!!!!

Ok so how can I help you to discover Italy and the Italian way of life…lets see a few examples

So how about you wanna fly into Roma, and then spend a week in beautiful Amalfi and a few days exploring Roma?

Or perhaps you fly into Roma and you fancy exploring the areas of Abruzzo and Umbria. Or you really want to visit Tavullia and see the famous Valentini Rossi ranch???

Or you really fancy visiting the Ducati factory in Bologna, and or the Bimota factory in Rimini, or you would like to see one or more of the Italian race circuits Mugello, Vallelunga, Misano, Monza or others. You fancy some cooking classes, or you would love to see some Italian wine makers or olive oil producers. Maybe you and your partner want to follow two different programs??

Well it could work like this:

You tell me what you need, you give me an idea of the proposed itinerary plus some idea of the hotels you fancy (look on so I have an idea of the level of hotels you fancy). Tell me how many are in your party and I can work out the rest. Collection from the airport (Roma has two, Ciampino and Fiumicino), then I can take you to your hotel. Then collect you and take you around Italy, and of course I speak Italian so I can help.

Call or text or whatsapp me on +39 333 8153190 or email me on

Discover Challenge: Animal

via Discover Challenge: Animal

I have loved animals ever since I was a kid, as I grew up with dogs plus 2 sisters and generally got on better with the mutts (sorry sis)!!. We had many dogs over the years but the three I remember best were William the boxer, Shambles the border collie mix and Joe the small black poodle who kind of ran the show, despite his size.

I did a paper-round in those days to raise some cash for my numerous motorcycle projects, so each morning they woke me up at 6am ready to head out into the cold and dark UK morning. William usually shared my bed and if he stretched during the night then one of us usually fell out of bed, such was his strength. He never really understood his size and he often tried to climb onto a lap which could never really work, once he leaned on our little Gran and pushed her onto the settee by mistake. What a guy.

Now I live in Italy and this year I spent my summer holiday in stunning Amalfi, on the wonderful Amalfi coast. I took my Yamaha Raptor 700R quad with me and used it to explore the area, almost every day. Well one day I was off road, just exploring an area above Scala when I met three lovely dogs, they kind of greeted me in a very friendly way and they seemed to be telling me that they were rather hungry. As I looked around I could see that they were indeed quite slim (2 out of 3) and they did not appear to have any form of food or water available.

So well I kind of “adopted” them. I guessed that they already had names as they were so friendly that they were not strays so I did not make up any names, but in the countryside the locals keep dogs but perhaps do not feed them every day. So having made friends with all 3 I headed off to the local shops to get some dog food and some aluminium dishes to feed and water them.

I decided that I should not feed them every day as that would perhaps ensure that they gave up any hunting activities as I guessed that they could perhaps catch some mice or other small snacks. So I started to visit them every second day and we became the best of friends. The largest and oldest of the three was obviously the boss but as he is almost blind the other two manage to grab some of his food. But when I gave them everything in a single bowl he would eat about 70%, the black and white guy might get 20% and the runt of the group managed to grab the remaining crumbs.

So I refined my feeding strategy and using 3 bowls placed a good distance apart I managed to get them to share the food rather more equally. And over the 3 weeks of our friendship the runt grew a little as the other guys allowed him to get a bit more of the food, so really it worked quite well. And then one day I met their owner and he proved to be a really nice guy called Antonio and he thanked me profusely for looking after them and he confessed that he sometimes did not come every day so yes, sometimes they got hungry BUT they had plenty of water.

Well that was August. Now I go most weekends to Amalfi and of course I go to see the guys. They are great!!!

Call or text or whatsapp me on +39 333 8153190 or email me on


A fascinating visit to a historic ceramic factory on the Amalfi Coast

Vietri sul Mare is perhaps the most famous town for ceramic tiles in the Naples area of Campania, perhaps one of the most famous in Italy. But the surrounding area, not just the town, still manufacture tiles and other ceramics using the traditional methods.

I went recently with Daniela to a local ceramic factory in Cava to choose the new tiles for their next hotel room restoration. The factory is a truly amazing place where the tile decorations are made totally by hand. The Aurora Hotel in Amalfi was built in 1959 using these tiles in every room, with different patterns and colours in each bedroom, and this is one way that the hotel continue to support the local economy, to keep their traditions alive and to offer their guests a real taste of traditional Amalfi Coast life.

Feast your eyes on this amazing factory, the workers and the products. Amazing.

Call or text or whatsapp me on +39 333 8153190 or email me on


The ONLY sensible ways to travel around the Amalfi coast area……….

As a sort-of local (I have lived part time in central Amalfi now for 4 years) I travel here from Roma all year round and I really love to explore the local area. The locals out of season are very open and friendly (there are about 3,000 inhabitants) but during the summer peak season the population grows to over 30,000!! So of course nobody really has time to talk to you.

I generally use my motorbike and/or car or van to travel to Amalfi but in the summer I use either the motorbike or public transport as there is nowhere to park a car. Car parking is a major problem as the town’s 2 car parks fill up very early  and cost 30 Euro per car per day, and then visitors cannot stay as the fines for incorrect parking are terrible!!. Around 150 Euro tow fee plus 30 Euro fine.

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So during the peak season which is June to September you should use the EXCELLENT public transport. The main two are SITA buses ( and Alicost ferries ( Both work very well indeed and hey, let the bus and or the ferry take the strain and lean back and watch the scenery!!!

Call or text or whatsapp me on +39 333 8153190 or email me on

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