Italian Dreaming………..Cars & Navigation……….

Posted by Gillian Gillies | 02 Jul, 2013 | No Comments on Italian Dreaming………..Cars & Navigation……….
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I am just back from a very indulgent two weeks holiday in Italy. I’ve been fortunate to visit this country several times before but I liken Italy to an onion in that it has so many layers you have to go several times so that you can really get beneath the surface and truly see what the country is like.

We flew into Rome and spent 3 nights here – it’s a loud, bustling, vibrant city with lots of gorgeous people wearing lots (or sometimes not so much……) clothes. They just ooze style out of every pore. Every hand gesture, every mouthful of food, it’s all just so stylish it makes me want to weep.

I love the guys on their Vespa’s as they go of to work. Nothing like a sharp suit with brown leather brogues.

Orange Vespa.

We didn’t have a Vespa – kinda of tricky with two suitcases – so we had a little Fiat – I so want one but fear I’d be flattened with an SUV on the city streets of Toronto.

We drove our little car from Rome (no mean feat – I love how they take a 3 lane highway and make it four or five lanes if they feel like it) to the Adriatic Coast, back into Siena and then back to Rome to fly home.

If you really want to explore this country and get onto all the back roads you need a nav system(s), maps and a good sense of direction – now I had two out of the three and was somehow crowned the chief navigator…………maybe this was where we made our mistake but I’m going to blame the technology. We did really well until we reached the outskirts of Siena, this was where our nav systems kinda let us down, the maps didn’t have enough detail and the fact that I don’t know my north from my south became glaringly obvious……….. My personal phone (yes I have two – it’s the only way I find I can switch of at the weekends, one goes in the drawer and one comes out) is a BlackBerry and Mr.G. has a Samsung. The BB nav system talks in a calming, yet authoritative British accent but when faced with an Italian word it switches to a really perky, fast-talking, high-pitched female Italian voice that you’d have to be Italian to understand. The Samsung has an American accent and it makes no attempt to talk in Italian it speaks and sounds like an American tourist who couldn’t care less about trying to pronounce things properly – its hilarious…………..anyhow both phones were rubbish and took us through one gate in Siena (it’s a walled city with multiple gates around its city walls) up and down almost every side street and at one point had us headed into the Campo at the very heart of Siena…………

Note the only pedestrian traffic!

I just about died laughing and I thought Mr G. was going to have seizure at one point. It was like something out of the Italian Job, this little white car hurtling down narrow cobbled side streets that we really should not have been on………………just as well it was Italy, where really no one could have cared less and no one stood in judgement. Actually no one even raised an eyebrow. It was mid afternoon on a Monday and people were either napping or just getting up after a nap or were tourists like us who had no real clue either.

The message in this tale, pick your nav systems carefully and don’t put the directionally challenged person in charge – if this fails at least go to somewhere where the locals are so laid back they couldn’t really care what you do! That’s what we did!

More Italian pictures coming soon……..more interesting design ones I promise! I just had to get this all of my chest first.

Have a fabulous July!!


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