Three elderly men sit and talk on the palm-lined Independence Avenue. The hugely proud old men of the Eritrean capital call themselves Asmarinos. In their youth, under Italian colonial rule in the 1930s, the Asmarinos were not allowed to enjoy such pleasures. The thoroughfare, with its almost surreal Italian landscaping, was then called Viale Mussolini and was totally off limits to the indigenous Eritrean population. Today this dark side of the Italian occupation seems almost forgotten. The old Asmarinos are proud they still speak Italian and follow, in many ways, an Italian lifestyle - most visible in their dress code.