Monday, 10 February 2014

Italy - A few days in Italy en route to France

We arrived in Ancona on time at 17:00, although we thought the ferry was an hour late seeing as our clocks said 18:00, but of course there is an hour difference between Greece and Italy. We set off to a nearby camperstop as it was getting dark, only to find it more of a camperpark than an overnight stop. we didn't like it so off we went and decided to simply park up at a motorway services and head for San Marino in the morning. We had it on good authority from former Rhodesians Graham and Louise that San Marino had a good clean campsite. And thus we found it too, with sleet and rain greeting our arrival, soon followed by snow flakes dusting the ground.

Light snow in San Marino

Entering San Marino from the autostrada (motorway) we bypassed an Air Museum by chance, which had Joan rolling her eyes in exasperation. Well, guess where did we go looking around the next day. A good thing too because rainy weather set in on the following two days curtailing on-foot exploring of our surroundings, except for a rushed visit to the nearby mini-market.

On the small matter of airplanes:-
Clark Gable from 'Gone With The Wind' fame, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, President John Kennedy and others - what have they all got in common? Click the link below and find out! Read the story beneath the picture  > >

The clouds opened up, the thunder and lighting struck and the Wi-Fi connection petered out after the second almighty bolt of lightning late evening on day three. All dues to the camp management who had the connection restored by afternoon on the same day.
So on to Florence, determined to find and stay somewhere for two nights as we did not succeed on our last visit in 2013. Through rain and sleet we soldiered with Fifi the motorhome, through the mountain pass from Bologna to Florence navigating to a camperstop (very few proper campsites open in Italy during winter) in suburban Florence. He wanted 20 Euros per night, no toilet, no shower, iffy Wi-Fi in what was a glorified storage yard for scrappy campervans. It was late afternoon, we stayed the night and was off after the second coffee came morning. The second time no luck in Florence. Don't think we'll bother anymore.

Not wanting to leave Italy on a low, we decided to motor north via Portofino, that snazzy hideaway for the good and the great on the Ligurian coast.

We travelled down the hillside and bypassed this obviously wealthy and sought after destination. It was evident by the surrounding homes, the cars, the dress and fashion sense that this is not a destination for those who count pennies. We stopped at a designated camperstop nearby, had a cup of tea and then hit the road for our last night in Italy, spent at a filling station just short of Genoa.
A dedicated parking area for large vehicles, so all above board in a lovely setting on the mountain road (toll road) approaching Genoa. And with Wi-Fi signal to boot! Small cafĂ©, clean and serviced toilets and we cleared Genoa with its myriad of tunnels by 11:00 after rush hour and with a drizzle staying with us until we reached the French border at Ventimiglia / Menton on the Cote d'Azur.
If you have not travelled this road from Genoa into France, do so, the many many tunnels are mind boggling varying in length from 100m to 2km and more. In and out you go for many miles, heaven knows what this toll road must have cost to build.

And all of a sudden you see turn-offs for Nice / Cote d'Azur .... !

Kiss and fly
First 5 minutes free
Only in France!

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