Northern Italy Road Trip Part IIIAuthor: Jim and Donna C. (More Trip Reviews by Jim and Donna C.)
Date of Trip: October 2010
We then were led into a couple different rooms for some video presentations. You could tell that the concept of video and audio in a museum is relatively a new idea here. Kind of hokey, but you still get the idea. Seeing where Peter was kept prisoner was really cool.
We then made our way to the Trevi Fountain. There weren't as many people here as in the spring of last year. It was nice to be able to see it and get some good pictures. We did stop on the way to the fountain to get a little bite to eat. We both had toast (ham & cheese sandwich).
We found the Metro near the fountain and made our way back to the hotel. Once again, we didn't get lost...no problem. However, we were the last ones to enter our subway car when a woman with a baby nudged Jim in the back. He had his hand up and brought it down quickly to hit her hand out of his pocket. Not that there was anything in the pocket, but that's the first time (we're aware of) that either of us have been targeted to be pick pocketed. She was not a happy camper.
Walking back to the hotel we stopped at the restaurant that we ate at the night before. We were the only ones there for most of the time. We both had a plate of pasta, our last ones, before leaving Italy. Made our way back to the hotel, got most of our things packed up and ready to go for tomorrow morning when we check out and head for the cruise ship. We don't get picked up until 1130, so we won't have to rush around too much in the morning. Thank you Jim.
Monday, October 25, 2010 -- rain, overcast
Well, it never did rain yesterday, but we did get some last night and it's still drizzly this morning. We got up and finished packing. We went downstairs and had an omelet (yum) for breakfast. After breakfast we brought down some of our bags and asked for help with the rest. We then checked out and waited for our ride.
Jim had set up for a Mercedes E class to pick us up. It's a service that Boeing uses, so he was sure that we could count on them. About 1115 our driver showed up. We loaded up the car and headed for the Port, Civitavecchia. It's about 1 hour 45 minutes away.
The remainder of our trip is a cruise from Rome to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on board the m/s Westerdam. These adventures are detailed in another journal.
Summary for Italy --
Driving through Italy has been an experience. Jim has discovered some rules -- the half fender rule. If you are a half fender ahead of the other car, you have the right away. Disregard scooters altogether, they have a totally different set of rules. Bicycles are the unpredictable force on the road -- never could figure them out.
Pedestrians will move out of the way - eventually. We think we determined the unwritten rule for crossing a street. If eye contact is made between the pedestrian and the driver, the driver has the right of way. If the pedestrian ignores the driver, the driver must do all they can to avoid making the pedestrian either a hood ornament or mirror accessory.
When being passed, Italian drivers cut in very quickly. Also, road rage appears to be nonexistent. If someone makes a mistake there may be a few hand gestures, but it is quickly forgotten and life goes on so to speak. Stay to the right ,except when passing, and go with the flow. You shouldn't have major problems.
We saw a lot of Northern Italy. A lot of side roads, thanks to Lola. Some of the roads were very narrow and windy. We've been through the mountains, the Tuscan country side, villages, towns and cities. It's a beautiful country.
There is a lot of graffiti. Every town/city seemed to have graffiti, such a shame. They don't seem to do be able to do anything about it. However, the cities have street sweepers constantly going up and down the streets so they are very clean.
We never did really figure out the official / regular “dinner time”. Sometimes we were too early and other times we were too late. Finding in some towns that many restaurants close early on Mondays. So many rules to remember. Mostly we had luck finding something open starting around 1930 or 2000.
There are two different price lists for many cafes and restaurants. One is for when you drink at the counter or eat inside. The other is almost double the price if you eat/drink outside. They have to pay for that outside space, so it gets passed on to the consumer. We didn't notice this until our guide for our Venice Walk pointed it out for us.
All in all, we had a blast.
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