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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Out of Venice, on to Umbertide

On the morning of our departure from Venice, we didn't look forward to getting our bags over to pick up our rental car.  With the S. Marcuola stop closed, it was a choice between Ca' D'Oro on the Canal Grande, or Guglie on the Canale di Cannaregio.  They were about the same distance, but the former would call for crossing three bridges, the latter one and the start of another before turning.  I asked at a hotel about getting a porter, and got a card for someone to call.  I was expecting high prices, but this porter, Shadhen, available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., tel. 333 224 1939, quoted €10 for two bags to Piazzale Roma, which seemed too good to be true.  We got him to come after we had the apartment cleaned as well as possible; there was a bit of a delay for him to find our location, but he got there and we also put our carry-ons on his cart.  It was hard to keep up with him on the walk to Piazzale Roma.  I thought it was fair to give him €30, which made him happy.  Compare that to the vaporetto at €7 per person where technically the bags need a ticket too, and it was very nice not to need to handle our bags.

We were at the Europcar office right around the appointed 11 a.m. time.  There was one agent on duty, and it was taking time to check in the previous customer.   Eventually they got to us, booked with a Kemwel voucher.  With our car type of Fiat Bravo or similar, I was skeptical when the agent said we'd get a Fiat 500 L.  A Fiat 500 evokes one thing for someone with a long history with Italy, not good for a long drive, but this was in fact a roomy enough car for our purposes, and a diesel.  I got my bearings well enough to get turned around and onto the bridge out of Venice, being especially alert to follow the speed limits, since I see many stories of people being caught by the speed cameras there.

We joined the autostrada, and it was overall a smooth ride.  We stopped for lunch at an Autogrill near Bologna.  I had cannelloni that could have been warmer, and Margaret had a nice cold plate of mozzarella, prosciutto, tomatoes, and olives.  We exited the autostrada at Cesena, and yes, the machine at the booth accepted my non-chip credit card.  Then it was a superstrada through the mountains to Umbertide, with some slowdowns and maybe one scary moment with lanes merging to one because of construction.

Arrival in Umbertide has been pretty calm, getting initial food from my longtime friend Angelo's grocery store.  On Saturday we had the farmer's market shortly outside our door, we did a little more shopping, and we've mostly had time to settle in before the arrival of friends expected tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. It all looks lovely. I really like your Fiat! Enjoy your time at your second home.