Love Love Ti Amo Italia!

Discussion in 'Italy' started by YukonJac, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    After many loooong years of slogging my way through appalling London traffic (operating my little pet services business), I can finally say one good thing about the experience; it gave me guts of iron behind the wheel, which has been invaluable as I fight my way up the Italian Riviera. I have at last escaped the Big Smoke and am now headed for the Etna Smoke.
    I'm on my dream gap-year - just me, the Murvi and very importantly, my fabby little dog Murph - love ya Murph (THE best silent back-seat navigator/travelling companion on the entire planet)!!!
    I spent a couple of weeks getting this far, firstly eating my way through the French family's orgiastic holiday feasts in Burgundy. I then continued my toll-free obsession to Menton via Castellane (the Route Napoleon) and crossed into Italy there.
    The Italian Med coast road is hell and a brutal shock after the wonderful emptiness of French roads, but I'm determined not to pay a toll (for a good while anyway) and have slowly driven the length of it up to here. Yes, the Italians deserve their reputation as the most anarchic, aggressive drivers in Europe, but once I gave up being gobsmacked by their lunacy, it became quite entertaining. I've mostly survived it and am now just outside of Genoa and waiting for tonight's ferry to Palermo - a 21 hour crossing. No regrets avoiding the autostradas - it is all an experience to be had (and a fear to be conquered).
    Once you find somewhere safe to park, the dozens of towns and cities of the Ligurian coast are such a delight to explore. Today, it was Arenzano and market day. What luck - but it made me absolutely CURSE an earlier shop at bloody Lidl! No more Lidl!!!! Markets and local shops - support the locals and you will be rewarded with REAL food, most especially in Italy (I say this to myself - shop where you wish of course). Absolutely charming, down-to-earth and inspiring to trawl a bustling Italian market. I went straight back to the van with the wonderful little artichokes I purchased, steamed them and simply melted a little butter with garlic to dip the leaves in - voila! I thought I could drop dead right here, in shivers of ecstasy - but that wouldn't be any fun because it's just the beginning.
    Anyway, to all the solo gals (and undecided guys) out there in Funster-land, if you are dreaming about touring Italy but worry about the infamous chaos and facing it alone, I'm doing it the hard way and have been just fine so far - cool head, cool wheels. I had driven the length of Italy and wintered in Greece many years ago - it is all entirely do-able if you are reasonably confident, flexible and well-prepared.
    Long post, I know, but bliss is to be shared.
    Jacquie
    P1060184.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
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  2. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Thank you for sharing your adventure, I look forward to following it sounds like slow and easy is a good way to travel. (y)
     
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  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Nice little read, good to see you are getting somewhere, I had to go back and re-read your last thread with dodgy fridge, to see if that was sorted, then look up google to see where Genoa is, thought you had driven the entire length of Italy in 48 hours without using a toll road :)

    now know the fridge is not fixed and Genoa is barely into Italy (y), looks like a good way to avoid those Italian drivers :)

    enjoy and good luck with the fridge (y)
     
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  4. Fenman

    Fenman Funster

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    Enjoyed reading that.(y)
    More pics would be great.:whistle:
     
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  5. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Ahh, the blinking fridge! Less said...
    Already did the length of Italy to Brindisi toll-free quite a few years ago - no mean feat!! Yup, Genoa is only just into it, but if you take the coastal road, it feels like you've done quite a bit already - crikey. I plumped for the ferry this time because it is so reasonably priced and I think it'll be magic to sail into Palermo. I hope to meander back up the long way when Spring comes along and there's a bit more flora and fauna around:).
     
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  6. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Our favourite European country just love the insanity of the place. We've been to Italy in van and on the motorbike 5 times in last 2 years.
    Love it :)
    Enjoy (y)
     
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  7. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    Great read, look forward to hearing more of your exploits. I've always found the Italain toll roads to be reasonable but nothing beats shopping at their local markets. (y)
     
  8. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    You are right David - they are much more reasonable than the French tolls. Just me making a 'project' out of avoiding them and at the same time forcing myself to explore more and slow down. It's such a luxury to have time! I'm nowhere near retirement so this is a massive revelation.
     
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  9. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

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    Sounds wonderful Jackie. Look forward to reading more of your adventures. What do you feed your dog whilst travelling?
     
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  10. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Well, she's only 7kg so I can afford the room to take a ton of her usual (Burns) and I make a kind of luxury paté to augment it with. In the past, though, I have used Purina One which is of decent quality and available through most of Europe - garden centres and the like usually carry it. Couple of cuties you have there!
     
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  11. Cat53

    Cat53 Funster

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    Just interested for when we go on our travels. Ours are raw fed so hope to continue in that vein when we travel. :) Max and Phoebe are their names. My fur babies, mad as hatters but oh so loving. :D
     
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  12. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    They are adorable - bit of grooming involved with CPs!?
    Murph eats semi-raw but she is programmed, like me, to be flexible for travels. If I had a fridge/freezer that was reliable, however, I would probably always make her food. Never had a reliable d**n fridge in my vans!
     
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  13. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    We buy raw frozen for our two (Nutriment) and if we cram the freezer, we can manage 4 weeks away. Hoping to get to Italy round about April, taking 5 or 6 weeks. I'm sure when we run out, Val would have them on filet steak and I'll be on Supernoodles :(
     
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  14. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I'll be interested to hear how Mutt, sorry Murph, fares on the ferry in terms of what arrangements they have.

    I suspect you could just do without a fridge, folk did until fairly recently. My family went camping in Yugoslavia in the sixties without so much as a cool box. Just shop regularly for things like salads and make use of tins for main meals unless you can buy meat on the day you want to eat it.

    Best of luck and where will you be heading after Sicily?
     
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  15. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Well, I think I may need your help DBK - just to contradict all of my glee.....I'm in the queue about to board the Palermo ferry and notice my left rear tyre is almost flat!!! Couldn't see any obvious puncture, sidewall seems ok. Trying not to panic (looks like we have a 1/2 hour yet to board), I get out my manual, realise I may have a pig of a time getting the spare down from under the chassis, but I go to find my jack kit. Upon inspection of the kit, I see that the tyre wrench is broken in half and completely useless!!! Now I would have thought this was something Murvi would have checked before releasing my 'fully refurbished' three year old van to me. I guess not. I know they are great but...
    Anyway, here I am, still trying not to panic - I have a can of Holt's Tyre Weld, but I see the instructions state the vehicle must be driven for at least 6 miles after the can is emptied into the tyre. It is not 6 miles to board the ferry and I am trapped in the queue. So here is my cunning plan - I hope the thing doesn't go entirely flat before we board. I'll sneak on and wait until we arrive tomorrow, then use the tyre weld before we disembark and limp from the ferry to the nearest service station - keep in mind this will be nightmarish Palermo, late on Saturday evening. So question to you is...have you ever had to drop that spare from your Murvi? The bolt behind the rear wheel looks almost impossible to access. On second thought, I think will just have to find some help in Palermo or ring the AA since my tyre iron is useless. This is just a test, right?? (n)
    Could be worse - could ALWAYS be worse...

    Wish me luck and will post late tomorrow to let you know the outcome.

    :)
     
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  16. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I've dropped the spare as a test but I agree it is as awkward as can be but they are all more or less like that. Some MHs don't even have a spare.

    Given it is the rear tyre you should be able to creep on even if it is flat - except ground clearance will be substantially reduced but hopefully (easy for me to say at this distance) you should be fine but it depends on the ramp angles but as a PVC you will be better off than those in more traditional vehicles with massive rear overhangs.
     
  17. YukonJac

    YukonJac Funster

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    Yes, I sure should've had a go myself before I left and at least I would've noticed the ruined tyre iron. Changed many a tyre before so didn't think it would prove an insurmountable problem on this van. Def hop I can make it up the ramp - have the Thule Easybase and bikes on the towbar. Well, looks like we are about to go - life on the edge!!!
     
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  18. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    If it's just the wrench (spanner, tyre iron? ) you should be able to borrow one from another Fiat MH but this assumes the jack works and the spare is inflated, which shouldn't be assumed and in the dark not worth finding out if you can avoid it!
     
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  19. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Hope you can get your tyre sorted.
    If you can get on the ferry ok, I`m sure there would be someone around to assist a "damsel in distress" If nobody shows up hold the tyre wrench in your hands and start wailing uncontrolably.
    Seriously, I`d be suprised if the ferry attendants didn`t offer assistance.
    Good luck !
     
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  20. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    :laughing: That's what I'd do ! Minus the crying! It worked for me many a time before I found Ralph:blush:
    Even if I was capable of doing it myself!
     
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