- Fizzy Thoughts: Italy Trip: Day Fifteen

Italy Trip: Day Fifteen

Friday, October 05, 2007


An adventure! After a few wrong turns we got on the SI-FI (Siena - Firenze) road to go to Siena (the town where they have the famous horse race, the Palio). the road into Siena isn't very user friendly. We totally guessed on where to exit, then followed signs for the Duomo. We finally parked on a sidewalk (just following along with the other drivers). We followed more signs and walked to the Duomo.

We cheaped out and didn't go inside. Instead, we walked to the Campo, where the Palio is held. It was pretty stark. And hot. The streets were noisy, and for some reason I noticed the exhaust here more than anywhere else. But it was fun to see the different flags and streetlights and fountains indicating the different contradas that participate in the Palio. After we walked the streets of Siena we drove to San Gimignano, the medieval Manhattan with its old stone towers. There is really only one main street. It gets considerably less crowded the further down it you walk. Very touristy, but still lots of cute shops. We stopped for wine and bruschetta at a pasticceria. The house chianti was excellent and we even got a complimentary plate of bread and cheese and prosciutto drizzled with balsamico. That freebie made us huge fans of San Gimignano. We're so cheap. :-D

We slowly wandered back to the car and were feeling all cocky that we figured out the automatic pay for your parking machine. That was our mistake. About 10 miles down the road we stopped for diesel at an Agip station in Poggibonsi. The diesel pump didn't seem to fit in the gas tank and an old Italian man pointed to the other pump. Lance kept asking diesel? and he kept saying yes. But as soon as Lance pulled the pump out he smelled gas, not diesel. We drove around a roundabout and immediately felt the difference in the car, so we hightailed it back to the gas station and called Avis to admit our boo-boo. The gave me the number for the Florence Avis, and Stefania saved the day. She called the tow truck, which arrived in about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, he wouldn't drain the tank, only tow the car. In five minutes, our lovely Alfa Romeo was gone and w were sitting at the gas station waiting for a taxi that Avis was sending to take us to Florence to pick up car #2.

Luckily, the taxi turned out to be the driver for Avis, so at least we didn't have to pay for a taxi ride to Florence. The other charges will show up on the rental car bill. Can't wait for that. By the time we got to Florence, it was around 11pm. Stefania, however, had our car ready to go. So in no time we were driving off in our new car, a VW Passat. With a full tank of diesel, thank god.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

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~Mark Twain

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