Bucharest’s Old Town, also called Lipscani area or Historical Centre, is what was left after the former communist dictator Ceausescu finished the work done by the allied bombings of 1944. And what’s left – around 300 historical houses, a few churches and the remains of the old palace and court of Vlad Ţepeş (1459-1462) – is unfortunatelly for the most part managed by Bucharest’s City Hall which has spent years delaying the most needed restorations. Old Town was Bucharest’s merchant area starting with the middle of the 17th century until the middle of the 20th century when the owners were arrested by the communists and the houses were taken over by the Gypsies. The Gypsies didn’t take good care of the buildings so the houses slowly degraded. Nowadays some of the owners or their heirs came back to reclaim the properties but some are still disputed and degrading still. Some of the buildings have been restored and are now functioning as restaurants, cafes or shops as on Smârdan Street. Finally, in 2006 the City Hall chose a Spanish company to start rebuilding the infrastructure in the Historical Center but early this year the project was stopped due to a quarrel between the City Hall and the contractor. A few streets are already restored but most of them are pretty difficult to walk as they were dug up for the planned street repairs. I’ve heard many people say that this area has great potential and it could transform into something unique in Europe. It seems like the City Hall achieved this already. It is indeed unique to walk along rudimentary wooden planks in the center of an European capital.