This is a holiday in Italy – Ferragosto or Assumption Day (The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life). But our car rental agency at the train station should be opened. This is also a Napoleon birthday (1769). We woke up at 10, left the hotel at 11:30. For 4 nights in Rome we paid €314. We bought the bus tickets at 11:46 (€3). When we reached Termini – the train station (12:45), our rental agency (Maggiore Rent) said that it is too late, and our car is gone, rented out. So they knew how to make a reservation, they just did not know how to hold a reservation (brilliant Seinfeld joke). We had to go to airport Fiumicino (€30) for an available car there.
For €826.42 we were planning to rent a car for 19 days. We picked the car at 14:06 with odometer reading 9,352 km, and started northward for the town of Viterbo. This car (Fiat Punto 1.4) has a small 1.4 liter engine, and is not really designed to be an automatic. However, it is an automatic, and it works just fine on flat roads.
|First miles on an Italian 4-door car|
|First we need to load of fruits and water, but all supermarkets are closed for the holiday. This one was actually open from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM||We arrived to Viterbo (region of Lazio) – first stop on our trip around 17:00|
Very soon we stopped for a break for food (15:12) at a service station (Area di servizio Arrone Est) on a ROMA – CIVITAVECCHIA highway 8 km from Rome. I also need a small emotional break, as driving a new car with new controls, in a new country, with new speed limits, with new road signs could be a little challenging. Even a cheap automatic car. For €3.90 we’ve got fresh squeezed OJ, coffee and pastry. We didn’t have any provisions in the car yet, and as if in a desert, Lira collected some water from an inconvenient low tap into a small bottle.
Highway quickly ended (toll €2.10 at 15:33), and we hit the rural roads. All supermarkets were closed due to a religious holiday, but our emotions soared high. Garmin GPS with Europe memory card worked just fine, and we reached Viterbo Best Western hotel (Via San Camillo de Lellis 6) in 2 hours (around 17:30). The building and the parking lot all told us a good story, and we had an idea for the price.
We got the room with everything for €60 including breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi and even Mini-Bar.
We had about 4 hours to explore the city. It was couple of mile away. The city is surrounded by stone walls, but there is a lot of car movement inside the walls.
|Evening sun is mild, and people are out on main square||Are we here alone? All this is built for tourism and exploration||The only place where we actually saw an old worn out sign for Public Toilets and a curious old mouse living there in a quiet solitude|
Despite the holiday, there are plenty of restaurants open all over the old town, and we found the most hidden treasures (those without outside sitting), barely visible from the street (Meli Massimo – Via delle Fabbriche, 20). Of course, the credit card machine was broken just for the holiday (€45 -21:35). We learned a lot of new words conversing with waiters, and they even let Lira to keep the menu with our comments on it.
Here in the hotel everything is brand new and great. But we have to go to sleep right away and only allowed to go back to this moment in our memories. There is very little time really for everything and anything in our lives.
Navigate through the List
- Italy 2012 August - Roma, Firenze, Napoli and between (2018/04/19)
- Aug 10-11 FRI-SAT - A two-day flight to Rome (2018/04/23)
- Aug 12 SUN - First steps in Rome - Pantheon (2018/04/27)
- Aug 13 MON - Vatican (2018/05/01)
- Aug 14 TUE - Colosseum (2018/05/05)
- Aug 15 WED - Getting the car - Starting North - Viterbo (2018/05/09)
- Aug 16 THU - Bagnoregio in Lazio, Orvieto in Umbria (2018/05/13)
- Aug 17 FRI - Orvieto - Montepulciano - Siena (2018/05/17)
- Aug 18 SAT - Siena - Villa Galileo - Firenze - Day 1 (2018/05/21)