Power steering fault - I thought!
Just got back from a week in Italy, where we had a brand new Fiat Punto as a hire car. Nice little runabout, actually - though the 1.2 is a bit weak outside of the town!
Got back in the 159 at Heathrow, at 11pm, and immediately panicked. The power steering had failed, it was heavy as lead!
Or not... actually, all that had happened was that I'd got used to the Punto's feather-light power steering, and the Alfa's more heavily weighted system came as a bit of a shock...
Something else that surprised me was just how many Alfas were in Italy, they are actually really common over there. Sometimes it seemed like every other car was one, and you'd quite often see three or four in a line in traffic - something you'd never see here.