Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leaving Venice and the Back Pack Saga

We enjoyed our stay in Venice and we would certainly say that it is one of those "to do in one's lifetime" experiences. From the taxi boat bandits to the lost or stolen back pack, it only added to the colorful memories.
Two nights gave us only a small taste of Venice and if the opportunity arose, we would return. With Sue's 60th on the horizon, it could be an option although her thoughts are with a Spanish theme for 2012.
In our short stay, we saw a flooded San Marco square, the running of the Venice Marathon and a relaxed few days before heading off to Milan, well almost.

Goodbye Venice - maybe some time in the future we will return.
After much angst, I said to Sue that I didn't feel very confident in taking the leased Citroen into a city of 1.5 million inhabitants. I actually freaked at the thought so we changed our plans and booked in closer to Malpensa airport where we would leave the C3 and fly out for a few nights in Paris before flying back home. I had the Alfa Romeo Museum on my personal itinerary which was in Arese, half way between Milan and Malpensa.
We decided that leaving Venice to pick up the car would be by the water bus this time, and it proved to be economical and a very pleasurable method. We saw more of the local sights and saw more of the local people on their way to wherever local Venezians go during the morning. We even met this huge dog out with his master - where do you walk a dog in Venice?

Our bags were packed into the C3 and we were off down the road towards Milan. Again we passed by cities with names that we had only read about such as Padua, Verona and as we left Veneto and on to Lombardy, we passed by Brecia and Monza. Why didn't we have more time to explore these cities?

We arrived at Arese and did the usual, I'm lost thing before approaching a local delivery van driver. We asked the whereabouts of the museum, but he didn't know. This didn't stop him from helping us though. Next thing he was on the phone to his brother and before we knew it, we were following him at break-neck speeds to where he took us directly to the door of the museum.

Well let me say, I was in 7th heaven. Having owned Alfas in the past, I have a passion for them. Yes, I know - they rust, they are temperamental, but they are just gorgeous. And that exhaust note, what can I say!!!
Nuvolari, Fangio both add to the mystic of Alfa Romeo.
Unfortunately, all of my photographs of the cars at the museum somehow were deleted, but if I close my eyes, images of the museum reappear. (these pics appear by the courtesy of the internet).
After some time, I felt a nudge from Sue - time to move on but not before I put in a request to meet the curator.
Being a member of the home based Alfa club, a life member of the club suggested that I introduce myself and mention his name. This I did and had an opportunity to discuss some of the classic Alfas we have in Australia with him. He was aware of some of these rarities as well. A great experience...

Back in the car we took off to find our hotel for the night before catching our plane to Paris,
This was not an easy task. It had not stopped raining since leaving Venice and this made navigation all the more difficult. We had Mappy maps - in subsequent trips we have take our Tom Tom (Tommy or when we are mad at him, Thomas)
After many U-turns we still couldn't find our hotel or a sign leading to it, so out of sheer frustration I decided to stop out front of another hotel that might send us in the right direction. Sue went in and came out with the most supercilious look on her face - this WAS our hotel.
I drove around the back to unpack the car while Sue investigated our room.
While taking our bags out of the car and giving it a general tidy up before returning it the next morning, I made an amazing discovery.
The contents of our back pack (remember the back pack) lay on the floor behind the seats. All of our travel, accommodation documents and plane tickets, all of which Sue was able to download while in Venice were there on the floor.
Can you imagine how I felt when I walked into our room and handed the file of documents to Sue?
How they came to be left in the car before catching the water taxi into Venice I don't know. What I do know is that whoever souvenired my pack pack had our tooth brushes and toothpaste.
Our last meal in Italy was a short walk down the road from the hotel at a family establishment. It was fun to observe the dynamics of the owners and staff. Momma sat waving her arms and issuing commands while watching the television.
From what we can remember, it was another enjoyable experience as we rolled back to our hotel room with full stomachs and just smidgen too much vino.

It was a very sad occasion when I had to give back OUR Citroen C3, but we've had the occasion to continue the fantastic "Drive Europe" leasing program on subsequent trips to France.
A phone call to Mr Moroni ensured the pick up of our cute C3 at the appropiate time before our flight. The C3 served us well. Its 1.3 litre diesel engine delivered an average of 4.9 litres per 100 kms over the 3500 kms that we travelled. We leased the car in Australia through the Australian Citroen importer from a lay called Ellie. She has been our contact on the three occasions that we have leased on subsequent trips. Providing you need a car for a minimum of 17 days, it is an excellent program. Our time in Italy had come to and end and so had most of our first overseas holiday together in 20 years of marriage, but not before two more nights in Paris.

More on the Alfa Romeo Museum if you have the interest or time.


  1. Well what an amazing piece of luck to find the documents were in the car all the time.

  2. It was a relief and yet a felt very sheepish when I told Sue.

  3. It great to have your own driven car but it is much convenient If you hire a taxi in Venice, but you should always take official taxis from the ranks and in nearby towns the taxi ranks can usually be found in the main piazzas.


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