Sales of high performance cars have fallen in Italy showing that even the rich are beginning to feel the effect of the recession.
Italians' love for fast cars is legendary. But glamour is, it would seem, no defence against the current economic gloom.
New figures from the Italian motor dealers' federation show that the country's best known luxury sports cars, Ferrari and Maserati, have seen their sales in Italy plummet over the past year; Ferrari's by more than 56%, Maserati's by 72%.
The actual number of vehicles sold is, of course, tiny. Just 248 Italians forked out for a Ferrari last year, not surprising, perhaps, when each car costs the equivalent of up to $300,000.
The head of the motor traders' federation blamed high taxes for the fall in sales.
However, while poorer Italians may register an uncharacteristic flicker of schadenfreude at the news that their richer compatriots are cutting back, they won't have much time to gloat.
Official figures recently showed that almost a third of Italians are on the verge of poverty, while the average Italian family is bracing itself for an extra €585 of government taxes.
legendary: legendaris, terkenal
economic gloom: resesi keuangan
plummet: turun tajam
forked out for: menguras kantong, membayar dalam jumlah besar
register an uncharacteristic flicker of: merasakan emosi yang tidak menjadi wataknya
schadenfreudea: perasaan senang ketika orang lain mengalami musibah
compatriots: saudara sebangsa
to gloat: merenungkan dengan hati senang
on the verge: berada di ambang
bracing itself for: bersiap-siap menghadapi