04 Oct Italian Job
OK maybe not the Italian Job but the Italian road trip.
Carla and I decided to do a Euro road trip down to Italy, this is the adventure we had.
So we decided the car wasn’t big enough and we needed extra space, we’ve been saying this for a while so a trip to Halfords was in order and we purchased a roof box. FYI the car is a Mondeo estate. We now have a brand new roof box adoring the top of the car. Next a new tent, our little tent wasn’t up to the mark so we got a 6 man tent, this may have been a mistake it is huge.
The tent may not look that huge from the picture above but check out the one below with Carla sitting in it. This will give you a sense of scale.
After getting a few other bits and pieces together we where ready for the off. Ferry Booked with P&O Ferries £37.99 on special offer and a hotel in Ashford we are on our way.
Arriving in Ashford we check in to the hotel get our selves sorted and then off for a bite to eat. Ready for an early start down to Dover which is only 25 minutes away.
Carla getting into holiday mode. Drinks 2 for 1 at Chiquitos
Nothing to exciting here 9.25am sailing to Calais. I have lost count of how many times we have made this journey over to France and every thing is normal we must not be on high alert at the moment French passport control and British border control didn’t even bother opening the little windows to check our passports just a casual wave on. So much for checking everyone in and out of the country. We boarded the ferry and one hour 30 mins later we are in Calais although this is were I do complain P&O Ferries have changed their breakfast and you no longer get black pudding or toast with your breakfast. You have to pay extra for toast grrrrrrrr.
Other than that it was just another non eventful crossing and for me the water was calm thank god I don’t do well on rough crossings.
Arriving in Calais
We decided that we would go through Belgium and Germany to get to Italy instead of through France, 2 reasons 1 we have been through France many times and 2 there are no tolls in Belgium and Germany. Saving 100 plus euros we will be paying enough tolls so less in this case is better.
Our first stop for the night, not far into the journey but enough considering its about noon you get into Calais with the time difference to the UK.
Route de Bastogne 373
6700 Arlon Belgium
This was rather a pleasant place to stay although it did feel a bit like a retirement home lots of the older generation with their camper vans and caravans, we were the only tent there. They did have a nice little restaurant which everyone went to early and was a reasonable price. The staff here where great and couldn’t be more helpful. We enjoyed our meal out side under one of those gas heaters. They did think we were mad and said it was winter. Hey were British its not cold yet.
NEW YORK TOILETS
They did have funky toilets here for some reason in a New York style.
The trip down Germany was easy, although you do have to watch out on the motorways, with the unrestricted speeds you have to make sure you look well behind you if you want to overtake as they could be coming up on you at 150 mph. Over double the UK limit.
We also stopped at a McDonald’s for breakfast, placed our order and paid at the machine and got our token!! and sat down and wait for the food to arrive.
Arriving in Fussen we found the campsite easy enough.
Uferstraße 42, 87629 Füssen, Germany
Of all the places we stayed on our trip this was probably the biggest disappointment. I say this because it out of all the places we stayed had the most potential to be the best. The staff/owner lady couldn’t really be bothered. We asked if they had any cabins for the night, she said they were full but honestly they weren’t, she showed us to our pitch, electricity, nope not for tents. The toilets old and dated. But hey its only 18.00 euros a night.
Come on owners of this place get your act together build a new toilet and shower block get some electric running down the field and you have a gold mine.
Overall 2.5/5 out of frustration.
Having said that to wake up here with the views wow so stunning.
Well not quite we had to get through Austria first.
Boy they have a lot of tunnels in Austria and 9 euros later we make Italy.
OK getting excited the trip is really now beginning. A good few hours later and stunning countryside and 25.70 euros in tolls we make Venice. Stopping at Camping Rialto just outside Venice (Islands) I have a soft spot for this campsite. We have stayed here before and even though they must get thousands of visitors a year they recognised me from the last time. I must have made an impression. (cough). They managed to find us a cabin to stay in for a couple of nights and at 39.00 euros a night for Venice that is really cheap, try staying in a cheap hotel in the centre of Venice and it will cost you 200 euros a night. The cabins are nothing fancy, they have a couple of beds, lighting, heating and electric. Its surprising how much we need electric so its a must if your stopping somewhere for a few days, charge the phones, laptop and in my case the batteries for my vape. (e-cig).
The beauty with this campsite there is a bus stop right outside so leave the car hop on the bus and you are in the centre of Venice 10 mins later all for 3 euros return.
Now you can walk around much of Venice but it is quite large so I do recommend getting a day ticket for the water bus. Just like a normal bus but on water. It is though 20 euros each for a 24hour pass. Ouch 40 euros gone on bus fares.
Make no mistake Venice is beautiful but busy, very busy.
Especially around San Marco
What can I say………..
Carla enjoying her Gelato in Venice.
After more walking around this beautiful city its time for a Spritz and a coffee Italian Style. At only 10.50 euros it wasn’t a rip off either. I loving Italian coffee.
After spending a couple of days in Venice its was time to move on next stop Florence. Oh wait checking the map what do I see and not far out of our way.
It had to be done……
Live the dream……
If you are a Ferrari fan or a F1 fan which I am you have to visit this place, Its 16.00 euros each to get in and well worth the money. the history and the heritage you can feel it in this place. They only thing you are not allowed to do is touch the cars but like everyone else you can’t resist you have to touch, you don’t just see and listen you have to feel to get the full emotion. Ferrari if you are reading this make a car that’s in the centre of the museo just to touch.
Touching the Ferrari just before getting told off, in a nice way. Ok i look like a prat but hey its worth it.
and then a quick visit around the corner to the factory.
Yes I bought something from the Museo or rather Carla bought it for me.
Made a huge mistake at this point on our way to Florence just a word to all watch your fuel gauge I have to get fuel on the autostrada in Italy wow is fuel expensive had to fill you with diesel 80.00 euros for a tank full, unleaded was even more. At one point I saw unleaded at nearly 2 euros a litre. Future reference fill up in the towns only 1.34 euros still expensive but much better.
Via Generale C.A. Dalla Chiesa, 1/3, 50136 Firenze FI, Italy
We stayed at Camping Firenze for a couple of days, as campsites go they have it sorted, We stayed in brand new bungalows at only 50 euros a night. they are spot on. Plus for 3 euros each they lay on a bus service into Florence. They even have a supermarket on site and the restaurant is great, Carla enjoying a glass of vino above.
I think I have found one of my favourite cities it is so stunning,
They even make you a cappuccino beautifully.
This is a city with style and funnily enough a smell, Florence smells, it smells of great Italian food. It makes you hungry. We tried Mamma Mia HERE
Great little place with good service and great food at a reasonable price.
There is so much to see here, we just didn’t have enough time to see it all. We shall return I’m sure for another visit.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME
This is were I get a bit down, don’t get me wrong Rome is a great place to visit. The history that is Rome is amazing, The Colosseum, The Forum all out of this world.
The Trivi Fountain
The reality though is tourism is destroying tourism. The Trivi fountain for instance so beautiful but you virtually have to fight your way through the crowds to see it.
I don’t know what the answer is, do we restrict tourism and if so how? Not Rome I’m sure it would survive but some places that rely on tourism would cease to be, some of these cities even countries rely on tourism to exist.
Without it they would be virtually bankrupt. Tourism brings in billions each year.
I as well as you are creating this dilemma. Do we stay at home or just put up with the crowds and keep supporting the madness.
While in Rome we stayed here:
Camping Village Fabulous
Via di Malafede 205, 00125 Casal Palocco, RM, Italy
The place is good if a little dated now.
Cocktail time in Rome
Pompeii with 2 i’s is the old bit that was covered by the volcano Pompei with 1 i is the new bit it gets confusing we had to look it up.
When we got there we had a little scout around and had lunch at the restaurant opposite the entrance at Porta Marina Its a great place to have lunch.
We were getting our strength together for the day ahead.
While in Pompei we stopped at
Via Plinio 127 – 80045 – Pompei (NA) – Tel. +39 081 862 40 78 Mobile +39 366 90 54 916 – email@example.com
What can I say about this place, it’s very close to the Pompeii site, 50m or so but thats about it. 30 euros a night for a dump. I don’t normally get bitten but something had a feast on me. Over 50 bites. The bungalow we stayed in is an old caravan that probably should have been scrapped 20 years ago.
Anyway lets not dwell on this place to the ruins.
Carla as wanted to go here since she was a child and wow it doesn’t disappoint.
At 13 euros each to get in its well worth a visit.
It covers such a large area and the cobbled (rocky) streets where you can see the ruts in the stones from all the carts.
Death as he sat.
Looks like something out of Dr. Who
First time I’ve ever visited a brothel.
We even got to see the Pink Floyd exhibition
Just a little video of Carla walking down one of the streets in Pompeii.
We had a fantastic time here and would recommend people go see it before the volcano blows again.
That’s are time nearly done in Italy but we had to stop off at Lake Garda on our way home.
Arriving back in England
Some useless info for you.
We drove over 3,050 miles
Averaged around 52 mpg
€170.90 on Tolls
€391.00 on fuel (approx)
€530.00 on accommodation (tent pitches, cabins, bungalows, hotels)
PS. Italian Pizza there is no such thing. I tried loads from north to south and they are all different. Eat the ones you enjoy.