ITALY TOUR 2013

Hi story it has been a few days since our last update, we have been rather busy.
Thursday 24/10/2013
A nice quiet night in our holiday park in the mountains so on the road early heading  north towards Rimini a beautiful drive through the mountain going through many long tunnels, the Italians really do know how to build tunnels. We drove till about midday then turned off and found a large car park right next to the beach  which only charged between 15th June and 1st September. There was one other German camper there  so we had lunch then Steve found there was official free wifi from the Calypso Club on the beach so we moved a little nearer for a better signal and sorted out business emails, sending the blog etc. then went for a long walk along a board walk through a wetlands area with a bird watching hide and beyond. Came back and decided this was a good place for the night  Steve downloaded the Times Newspaper and we both settled down for an evening of reading.
Friday 25/10/2013
Woke to a beautiful blue sky and the sea like a millpond, Steve decided it was too nice to move on and with good internet settled down to do a special booking for when we get to Florence, managed that successfully and both had a nice relaxing day which was nice after all the Churches, Temples and ruins we had so far experienced.
Saturday 26/102013
Left early again with the TomTom pointing towards Rimini, the first part was really nice roads, the biggest talking point though was the number of “Ladies of the day” at the side of the road. We are used to a few in Spain and now in France but these were about  every 1 km on ether side of the road  for about 50 km one was wearing just a body warmer short kinky boots and just a G-string and some looked very young indeed. They petered out as we hit the coast  road but then the speed limits came in, as I mentioned before the Italians seem to have reduced all limits by 20 kph. As we entered Italy there was a very large sign saying that the limits were  90kph outside towns and 50kph in towns now they seem to be 70 limits outside sometimes coming down  to 60 and even 40 at times on a dual carriageway then Ok 50  in the towns is acceptable but up and down sometimes very low for no reason gets very wearing.  We spotted a supermarket so stopped for a few things and saw a bank opposite and managed to get some cash with our French Card so now do not feel destitute after giving Lidl all the cash we had.
We carried on with the speed limits for a couple more hours then gave up and found the toll autostrada which was bliss for a couple more  hours spotted that all the services have dumping points so stopped to dump our waste and fill up with fresh water. Decided to pull of at 6:50 as it was soon to be dark and found a nice car park by the beach. But a good run on the toll road and it was only 6.50 quite a bit less than it would have been in France. Had a walk along the road but everything was under wraps for the winter. Everything suggests that the winters are quite harsh here. The nearest town was Torrette. N-43.80137, E-13.09305.
Sunday 27/10/2013
Left a little later as the alarm on the iPad decided not to go of, decided to set TomTom for the Principality of San Marino but again decided to take the Motorway to skip the awful speed limits. Arrived in San Marino about 9:50 found some parking a little outside as it looked as if it was going to get a bit tight in the Citadel and walked in. It took about 20 minutes and just up the road spotted a 48hour free camper stop. Had a nice walk round the town and Judy found two lots of Perfume she had been looking for, for ages as they don’t seem to make it now, so just to good to miss!!
The sun was shining, a beautiful day. We spotted a clock and realised why our alarm had not gone off. The clocks went back last night. Oh well no harm done, but Steve did say as we were travelling why is TomTom showing the wrong time, is Italy different? Now we know.
Walked back to the van and decided to move to the Camper Stop  for lunch and found a nice Bank next door had provided free (official) wifi with sign in so Steve decided to post the coordinates on the Wild Camping forum we belong to as he had done with the nice beach yesterday. The only trouble with the position was every so often there was a bang on the roof as a conker fell out of the tree above us.
Moved on about 3:30 hoping to find a Chocolate Factory exhibition we had seen advertised. There were plenty of adverts but none had an address or directions and in a place with such small roads it is not easy to troll around with a large camper. But we had bought some in a shop earlier so that would have to do.
Made our way to Rimini as Judy thought it was the Benidorme of Italy eventually found some parking which was free as it was out of season, even though the town was heaving. We joined the Italian promenaders walking up and down.  Looked for a resteraunt but nothing was open until after seven and the menu’s didn’t appeal as they seemed mainly fast food so decided to eat in.
Monday 28/10/2013 left the Parking after a nice quiet night and headed for Ravenna found an enormous parking area so parked and walked into the town. It was quite a way and we soon saw that we could have parked much closer. Walked through a really old but not very well cared for town gate an found ourselves in the old part of the town.  We came across a Piza like brick tower but not as high, not as beautiful and not leaning. Next to it was a large hexagonal building and as we peered in we could see beautiful guilder wall paintings, a lady came out and said that the entrance price was for five buildings in the city but we didn’t feel we had either the time or energy to do it justice so just wandered around the town and decided that it was a really full day to do it justice so walked back to the van passing through a market area, where we could easily have parked which had room for 368 stalls which were all marked on a board but it didn’t say when it was. So on towards Florence which was to be one of the high lights of the holiday, hope it doesn’t disapoint.
The drive took us across the mountains, very beautiful and quite narrow taxing driving. We arrived in Florence and drove to the parking point of interest suggested by the French Camping Car Infoseek site but it was marked as a tow-away zone for that week, probably for re-surfacing or something. So we headed for the next one and that was just a car park which allowed over night parking but it didn’t feel right so we headed for a camp site in the TomTom database. Didn’t spot it in time so pulled in to the Piazzale Michel Angelo which wuss heaving with people, so as to walk back to the Camp Site which was actually only about 100 mtr from the place we had tried originally. The Camp site was not very good and wanted €38 a night so we walked back to the Piazza to have a think and take in the incredible view of Florence as gradually dusk came down and the flood-lighting on the buildings started to come on, absolutely beautiful. With a full size bronze copy of Michael Angelo’s David just behind us.
Unusually the ACSI book had nothing in Florence but TomTom had one other Camp site across town so we decided to try that. Again missed the tight entrance gate, so parked and walked to check it out. The entrance drive went on forever probably almost a kilometre and ended at an enormous stately home. Which turned out to be a Hostel as well. Camping here was €26 and looked better so we walked all the way back to the van and drove up to book in. This would do for our stay to see Florence, it is 5km, plus the drive, into the city but there are busses right outside the gate.
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