Location: Bridgewater, USA
We are on our last day here in New Jersey and we are ready to return home. All has gone well. We will miss everyone here. Our cousins have been unforgettable to us. We will remember them always. Thank you thank you.
Roberto & Lorenzo
Location: New Jersey, USA
We are in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Before I go any further, we will not be uploading anymore photos because the site will not allow. We have reached the limit. You will have to wait until after the 2nd November 2007.
We have spent the last 2 days in Pennsylvania where Tommaso and Lala have a 14 acre property. The country side is full of autumn leaves which are very colorful this time of year.
During the week we will visit the Statue of Liberty, New York City, Central park, Times Square and more.
We should post one final diary entry before we return home to Australia.
Thanks for looking at our site and leaving your messages.
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
We are in Stuttgart, Germany. We leave for Frankfurt on Saturday and will be there until the 16th October when we leave for New Jersey USA.
We will be in our final two weeks and will be actually looking forward in coming home. Lorenzo and I have enjoyed our trip around Europe so far but we are starting to get a little tired of `touring´. We have covered over 14,000km with our C5 in 85 days.
Till the next time thank you for looking at our site. Also we are finding it difficult to make calls from public phones as they don´t allow the use of toll free numbers.
Location: Vevey, Switzerland
We are in Vevey, Switzerland. This is where the Nestle factory is located, and also home to Charlie Chaplin. We haven't had too much time latley to update our site, we have taken so many photos. Soon we will post pictuers from Venice, Turin and Switzerland.
Please come back soon.
Location: Donoratico, Italy
On the 13th September we decided to take it a little easy and went for a drive to the medieval town of Bolgheri located about 10 minutes away from Donoratico. Its cute and very quiet this time of the year. Now we are seeing lots of German, Austrian, & Netherland registered cars. Compared to exactly one month ago the tourisim traffic has quietened down which is ideal for finding car parking spaces!
On the 14th of September we stayed in Donoratico and went for a walk around town to check out the surroundings.
The 15th of September was spent driving around the countryside and visiting the town of Volterra. Another town that goes back to the dark ages. The same evening we had dinner with our Uncle Dante and Auntie Manuela. They treated us like royalty.
The 16th we visited Siena. This is the town where every year the horse race event called the Palio is held. Dont ask me what its all about I suggest you look it up on the Internet yourself. Siena was very busy with American tourists. We could hear the accents from far away. Also the ice cream prices here were a bit more reasonable. A small one in a cup was 2 Euro and I could choose 3 flavours!
17th September we decided to wonder back to see two more coastal towns of the Cinque Terre. We also saw Portovenete & Lerici.
Ciao for now
Location: Donoratico, Italy
We took it easy today (10 September) so we decided to visit our auntie in Cecina. Later we visited a local jeweller, Boni. This is where dad worked as a watch repairer back in 1970s for a while. Enio and his son Antonio were pleased to see us.
The following day we went to Cinque Terre - 5 towns hidden away along the coast of Liguria, not far from La Spezia. We visited Vernazza, Monterosso and Riomaggiore. They were all very beautiful towns all with their unique characteristics. The road to get to these towns are very narrow and with lots of curves. We had to park the car up to 1.2km away then walk to the towns. Traffic is limited to residents only.
On the 12th September we visited Firenze. (Florence). It was well worth the drive and walk to see the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo and other attractions, including eye candy, if you know what I mean.
It was time I went to the toilet, so I asked a girl in a bar behind an ice cream counter if I could use the facilities. She said if I buy a coffee, she would tell me where the toilets were. I said What if I buy and ice cream instead? She answered Yep. So Roberto asked for a small cone, 3.80 Euro. (AUD $6.10) This one? the girl asked, holding up quite a large cone. Roberto asked, Is that the 3.80 Euro ice cream? No, its 6.80 Euro (AUD $10.95). Roberto told her that a 3.80 Euro ice cream was sufficient. The girl said, Im out of 3.80 Euro cones.
Then as Roberto was about to decide not to have one, she comes out with an offer of a 3.80 Euro cup, but with the choice of only 1 flavour. Roberto got an ice cream where the cup seemed only half full. A bit of a rip off. After asking for a small ice cream cone, she was trying to sell Roberto a big one hoping that he would have said yes. Just as well he checked first, otherwise he would have left the ice cream in her hands to eat.
Just to compare, in other towns you can buy a 1.70 Euro (AUD $2.75) ice cream with 3 flavours and you get more in the cup. Moral of the story, do not buy an ice cream in Firenze unless you have deep pockets, and be careful what is being offered to you.
At the end of the day we headed back on the Autostrada for Donaratico. Just after the Pistoia exit the traffic all of a sudden comes to a complete halt. People start stepping out for a breath of fresh air and to see whats going on. I turn off the engine and walk out to see whats going on. We hear on the radio that there has been a truck incident on the A11 (The one we are on) with traffic banked up for 13kms. We remain completely stopped for half an hour or so. Later on we start crawling along at a snails pace. To cut a long story short, a trip of 135km which would have taken little over an hour took us nearly 5 hours! An interesting experience.
PS Photos will be arriving soon as I forgot to prepare them for Planetranger! Oops!
Location: Rome, Italy
On the 6th September we left mums town of Futani after about 20 days in the area. The weather was getting cooler and in fact on some evenings needed to wear a long sleeve shirt.
From the 7th of September we arrived in Rome and checked into a hotel not far from were our friends Arianna and Luigi reside. We visited various tourist attractions including Via Condotti, Piazza di Spagna, Colloseo, Forum, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, and Piazza San Pietro.
All the attractions we visited were very busy, but Trevi fountain was choc a block. If only some of Canberras tourist attractions had half the people we would be laughing.
In between these places we also did some shopping of the DVD and music kind. Mondadori and Ricordimedia Stores were the places we visited. I purchased various Movies from Carlo Verdone and the latest CD from Zucchero. Lorenzo on the other hand purchased some Latin dance CDs. Quite good listening I think.
We are now back in the town of Donoratico which is located approx 70km south of Pisa. Unfortunately my cousin Ettore does not have Internet so we are relying on the local Internet café.
We hope to have pics from Cinque Terre very soon. The sights were incredible.
Location: Futani, Italy
Our Auntie this week has been having rat problems around the house due to the upgrading of the local street pavements. I have not seen them but she says that they are the size of a small cat. Yuck.
We went to a beauty pageant which the manifests said would start at 21:00h. I arrived on time and was waiting until 23:00h when the program started. With this and other past experiences, I have learned that the Italians are never on time with anything. Beauty pageants are still in full swing here, and by the looks of this one, there didn't seem to be any minimum age limit.
Mosquitoes here are interesting. They are always out on the prowl, even during the day. They move very quickly just like a fly. We both get bitten regularly even inside the house. Fly screens are only on some windows.
Cars are all very dirty and dusty. We gave ours a wash but the next day was just as dirty again. The area is pretty dry and dusty as there hasn't been any rain for quite some time.
If anyone out there would like to know something further about our travels please drop us a line.
Roberto and Lorenzo
Location: Futani, Italy
This week has been extremely hot and humid. Temperature have reached 40 in some places. We have mainly stayed in town and traveled the surrounding areas when possible. The countryside not far from us has been subject to fires and has kept the emergency services extremely busy.
It has also been quite a while since decent rain has fallen. Some towns have their water supply completely cut off during the evenings so the coastal tourist areas can benefit. There is no warning when the water will be turned off. It sounds more serious here than it is back home in Australia.
The beaches in Palinuro are very clean. In recent years they were voted the cleanest beaches in Italy.
The driving here is quite an eye opener. Since my last visit in 2001 traffic has increased plenty. Parking spaces are just about impossible to find unless you arrive early or lucky enough to grab one as soon as someone leaves. The other option is to park where you are not meant to, which is what everyone does.
Italian drivers do not follow any road rules unless they have to stop. They do not understand how a simple roundabout operates. Everyone shuffles through very slowly from all directions. Driving straight though with a right of way will guarantee a panel beating job. Another classic is speed advisory signs. No matter the speed limit you will be passed by just about everyone even if traveling way over the signposted limit.
Lorenzo and I are well and plan to leave for Rome on September 6th when we will visit some good friends of ours Arianna and Luigi.
Till the next time - Ciao
Location: Futani, Italy
We arrived in mums town on Tuesday and we have settled in well. I think for a little while our time will be spend with the uncles and aunties and we will give you further news when we have the chance. Our cousins have wireless internet which is also very fast for this part of southern Italy.
The weather is very hot and the traffic on the roads and towns is extremely busy. Futani is located about 20km from Palinuro which is a very popular beach destination for tourists near and far.
Will be back soon!
Location: Benevento, Italy
All is well. We are visiting relatives in the Benevento area, south of Italy. No internet to be found. We will be in touch ASAP. I have sms'd my sister Anna for this entry.
Hi to Roberto and Lorenzo's family and friends,
Just letting you know that they are doing well in Italy. The weather is hot, the car drives nicely, and the italian women are gorgeous. Well that's what they would say if they could find a place with internet!!
As soon as they find an internet cafe that's open more than just Monday Tuesday and Thursday there will be more news and photos for you to see. Until then you'll have to admire the Lamborghini one more time.
Take care, from R & L's sister Anna Nappo.
Location: Toscana, Italy
Entry here is coming soon.
Location: Monaco, France
We spent the day in Monaco, which is only 20 minutes away from where we are staying in Nice. The weather was very hot and humid right from when we arrived at about 10am.
The bay was filled with luxury yachts and the odd rubber dingy. We walked along the main promenade and started to follow the formula 1 circuit. We could hear the roar of engines and straight away we knew even before we could see them that it was no ordinary car.
It was a Ferrari, and then there was another. Then a Lamborghini. The parade of Italian sports cars never ended. Everyone was showing off their expensive toys, and everyone was taking the opportunity to look and take a picture. I think we saw more Ferraris and Lamborghinis in one day that one would see in Australia an 10 years!
After a while we noticed that two of the Ferraris driving around would appear over and over again, but with a different passenger. We later found out you could do a lap in a Ferrari for a fee. We did not even want to ask!
I was breaking out in a thirst and said to Lorenzo that we should find somewhere to buy something to drink. Not far from the Casino we bought three 500ml Evian waters for 7.80 Euros. About $12.60 Aussie dollars. Money well spent - Not! But certainly required.
As we walked around and headed through the hotel tunnel, we stopped in the souvenir shop located just before the tunnel exit. Now how many of you would have known that? We certainly didnt know until we reached it. It was busy.
As for the car parking at the hotel, I still dont know how Lorenzo managed to park it underground yesterday. When I was exiting with the side mirrors folded in there was less than a 15cm gap on either side. It was the most challenging car park exit I have ever done. It was obvious with the scapes along the wall that not everyone could negotiate the entry and exit. I just managed to drive out with the assistance of Lorenzo not a scratch. We returned tonight we decided to park the car in a nearby public car park. A little dodgy, but better than risking scraping the side.
I have said to Lorenzo that the next time we book accommodation anywhere; we are going to make sure that it has air-conditioning. Our room is so warm that we are in the foyer (which is air-conditioned) typing this. The things we do for you!
Location: Nice, France
We walked the streets of Montpellier, where the centre of the city is closed off from traffic. Hiring a bike for the day costs only 2 Euros, around $3 Aussie dollars. Nearly every man and his dog, actaully owns a dog. They are allowed inside shopping centres, public fountains and everywhere in-between.
We went to a local shopping centre, Auchan, where you can buy just about anything, all in one store under one big roof. From DVDs to motor scooters, life jackets to bread. The selection is so vast and the isles are really wide.
We went for a drive to a place called La Grand Motte, which is one of Montpelliers local beaches.
Leaving Montpellier for Nice, we encountered our first traffic jam. Cars were stopped, then crawling, across a 3 lane motorway. Air conditioning never felt so good.
This afternoon we detoured by St. Tropez, on our way to Nice. The bay covered with luxury yachts and liners. The roads were fairly busy, and it was hot. Our car display told us it was 37 degrees C. Lots of nice cars in the area including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and Austin Martins. There were motor scooters doing exactly that. Scooting left and right, in between traffic and where ever there was a space.
Arriving at Nice late this afternoon, we had to park our car in our hotels underground car park. It was the narrowest and steepest entry to a car park we have ever seen. Lucky the side mirrors bend inwards, or we wouldnt have fit.
One good thing about our hotel is the free Wi-Fi internet connection, where we can use the internet from our room with our own notebook. I wont that theres no air conditioning and no fly screens.
Location: Montpillier, France
23-24 July 2007: This morning it was raining a little, as we took a cab to the Citroen Headquarters. Within 20 minutes or so, we were handed the keys to our brand new Citroen C5. Looking on the clock, it only travelled 4kms. We drove out of Paris and towards blois. We arrived mid afternoon, checked into our hotel and had a little rest.
We later caught up with some Australian friends Sondra, Warren and their family. Sondra showed us around their town which we must say is a very nice place. It is very clean, has well looked after gardens, and there is no shortage of tourist, due to all the huge and many castles that are in and around this area. I would recommend Blois to any one who is travelling in France.
The following day Sondra took us a castle in called Chambord. It was massive. The entrance from the main road to the castle is 3kms long, surrounded by a dense forrest. We would really like to thank Sondra, Warren and their family for showing us around their beautiful town, and hope to see them again soon.
25 July 2007: We left Blois at around 9.00am and headed for Montpellier. In doing so we cross the Millau bridge, which is along the main autoroute cutting from the north to the south of France. We stopped to admire the Millau bridge, but we wen't the only ones. There were heaps of people who had stopped to
admire this amazing piece of engineering. It really really high. Infact 1 of the 7 pillars is taller than the Eiffle Tower.
We arrived at Montpillier at around 6.30pm. We will be spending 2 days here to explore what the south of france has to offer.
Location: Paris, France
Its our final day here in Paris, so we went to have a look at the old parts of the city. We walked along the shores of the Seine were they have set up the "Paris Plages" which is an artificial beach area with a prominade where people can jog, kids can play in the sand, enjoy rock climbing, boules and many other activities. There is also a beach volleyball area.
Walked over to the Palace Royal, and checked out the lovely gardens and surrounds.
We visited the Pompidue area and checked out the shops that sell a huge range of postcards, prints and works of art. We returned to our hotel and had a rest ready for tomorrows departure.
Tomorrow morning we catch a taxi to the Citroen headquarters not far from our hotel to collect our brand new Citroen C5. This is how we will be travelling around from now on. Can't wait.
We will then travel 250km south west to the town of Blois. Here we will catch up with an aussie family we met in Sydney some years ago.