Leaving Italy......

3rd April 2013

We thought we had done all the major Italian lakes but we found another one! Lake Lugano lies half in Italy and half in Switzerland so we skirted around that on our way back towards Lake Como. For once we had a deadline to meet – getting to the free Moto Guzzi Motorbike Museum in Mandello del Lario for its limited opening times of 3pm – 4pm daily. Forgetting how windy, narrow and slow the lakeside roads are we made it with only ½ hour to spare before the large gates of the factory opened for visitors. We weren’t expecting a guided tour but an elderly gentleman discussed, at length in Italian, the history and finer points of each of the 200 bikes on display. We, along with most of the other multinational group of 30, managed to slope off and do our own thing. 

We re-visited Lake D’Iseo and Lake Garda, stopping at places we hadn’t seen on  way up before finally heading east and leaving the lakes behind us. The rain had been pretty constant for a few days and we weren’t sure what to expect as we parked up in amongst about 80 other campervans in a free car park on the outskirts of Verona. To date we have normally been on our own or with a couple of other vans at most.

A quick ¼ hour walk and we were in the city centre marvelling at the sights, Verona had everything we expected from Florence and Venice and MORE. Like Shrewsbury it is nestled in a tight bend in the river and a large part of the city is traffic free with subtle street lighting and signage. The historical buildings are bright and clean (the ones in Venice are black from pollution), the Piazzas are open and buzzing with people and with an easy climb up to Castel San Petro we were rewarded with fantastic views without having to pay through the nose for them. We spent 2 days walking around the attractions, across bridges, ambling along streets and soaking up the atmosphere in the squares, before setting off again. 

Juliet's balcony (of Romeo & Juliet!)
 Cittadella, east of Vicenza, was an interesting town completely surrounded by large fortified walls and a moat. Dave did a run round the town (getting some odd looks from the locals in his daglo lemon top and trackie bottoms!) – he’s guessing they are about a mile in circumference. Moving on we followed the coast from Lido di Jesolo, just east of Venice, to Trieste. Thereare some interesting seaside towns with long sandy beaches which must come alive when the tourists descend but we (and the plastic dolphin locked up in a beach hut) can’t help wondering where all the visitors are. Hotels are boarded up, caf├ęs are closed, shops have the shutters down, beaches have diggers and litter all over them, car parks are empty…. 

1 comment:

  1. The tourist season has moved on from our day. We used to be raring to go by mid April at the latest, now it's the last week of May.
    Kath, you are looking very good - life on the road obviously agrees with you.