“Italy, dear Italy” Said no one ever…
We dropped out of the Fern Pass and instantly noticed well-kept roadside barriers give way to glorious lines of rust they are so great at producing here.
To be fair it was a great drive, the temperature had risen sharply coming over the Alps and we were making great time.
After a short stop we realised nearly everywhere was shut and we were wishing we’d bought a small RV like a converted Sprinter or something. Anyway, I realised we were only a few kilometres from Lake Garda and we should at least visit or try to find a campsite.
Well the moral of that story come simply down to “NEVER visit Lake Garda in the height of season!!”
But I started to note something about some of the roads we’d travelled on, especially where there were tunnels. I thought they had been revamped to the newer safety specs but then realised that over 50% of them were brand new.
Avoiding the tolls had been a great experience across Europe, but were a mixed bag in Italy. The roads were in a far worse condition, but we benefited from seeing so much that we would simply have missed.
I even paddled in the sea…. 😮
Italy is finally where Mc Donald’s became our friend!! But a friend of many sides. Sure, we all know their menu, but Italians do not share the same passion for the English Language like must EU nations and they can be damn right rude about it. The newly re-branded and fitted out Mc D’s have touch screen order boards that make ordering a breeze in your own language. Finally one issue that was later resolved (the hard way), Their Free Wifi would not let us register no matter how we followed their instructions. The reason was having UK phones, a problem over come once a local “TIM” sim card was purchased, but then so was the data tethering.
It did keep us in and around Assisi all day and that was a huge bonus.
That evening we went to Trevi, and on the rarest of occasions a place stole my heart, I could live in Trevi!! However, I also became top of the list as most sort after cuisine by the entire Italian insect population, most of those bites I’m still suffering with.
The next day: Pompeii
A bone shattering attack on the car and the occupants due to the quality (or lack, thereof) of the roads…
It was like stepping back in time, but in a very bad way. Hundreds of miles of new freeways, literally hundreds of new tunnels all funded by the EU in the most corrupt nation in the EU – and they can’t clean up a few roads to one of their most amazing attractions?? 😮
So we saw the ruins of Pompeii from the jiggle-worthiness of the car, and went in search of packs of stray dogs on Vesuvius… Ok, that’s not true – They found us!!
Vesuvius… a place of vacant buildings and derelict hotels, even abandoned helicopters, but also a place so magical, there is always a firework bearing it’s name in the box somewhere, and international sculptors have been brought in over the years and asked to let their creative juices flow with the abundance of lava rock there.
Finding one of the derelict hotels as the camera died, Gabby took a moment to do another of the 22 Press-ups for PTSD awareness.
We moved on, headed further south and ever improving EU paid for highways. I mentioned the trash and the lack of using rubbish bins here on Facebook. I’ll post pics that are a reality of the side of parking areas on Italian highways right across the country here in a few days .
But we had yet to off road the car properly and then… then we went to Sicily, technically the most “Protected” 😉 nation on the planet.