GOTCHA, again, and again, Italy’s New Way To Collect Traffic Violations

There is nothing like coming home from an Italy trip and receiving a letter, or email saying you screwed up and it is time to pay. In recent years I have not run afoul of the law recently, but last year they got me good. Our trip to Italy took us to Padua and Vicenza both beautiful cities. The FAMOUS ZONA LIMITATO or limited traffic zone is found in many major cities in Italy which have congestions. My first experience  was in Rome back in 2009 while returning a rental car and enjoying the sights. I went by the Coliseum and several other location while heading to the airport. Never once did I see any  signs saying ZTL. 

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But the camera saw me. This was no big deal and paid by credit card. 100 Euros is not cheap but this was easy and I was notified soon after returning.

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TRAFFIC TICKET PAID BY CREDIT CARD 

This year while in Vicenza and Padua I saw one sign and tried to avoid the area. Apparently I did not do it very well. We were in these town in October 2019 and I received my first notification from Hertz/Thrifty on January 28 2020. A bit of time had gone by. I was told there was a violation in both town and I would be notified by the municipalities shortly and be advised how to handle them.

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ZTL SIGNS

SOME SIGNS YOU SEE, OTHERS YOU DON’T 

A lot to time passed. In fact I was not notified until December 2020 of the amount of the violation and the need to do a wire transfer. International wire transfers are not cheap. These were $45 each for a total of $90. The fines were $139 and $156.  Now we are talking about really money, no cheap lira banknotes from old times. The old way was quicker and easier. Certainly it was less expensive 

My advice is to be aware of limited traffic areas before you arrive in the cities. I did this successfully in Florence. I most likely will go back to Italy again (now that the fine is paid). I will plan more carefully.. Elven years between violations and It is not the end of the world 

 

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DUOMO PADUA, ITALY

 

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DUOMO WITH WATERCOLOR FILTER 

 

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VICENZA , ITALY

 

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SALVATOR DALI VICENZA ITALY

 

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MUSEUM OF JEWELRY , VICENZA ITALY 

 

I have not posted much this month, but will continue with posts about our previous nineteen trips to Italy.  2021 has to be a better year. To escape the virus and so some travel we purchased a motor home and this has helped us travel safely. 

 

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OUR RV IN APALACHICOLA, FL

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ANGELA HEADING UP I95 IN COCA FL

 

TI AUGURO UN FELICE ANNO NUOVO

I WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Waking Up To See A Different View

I follow a Facebook group which features posts on traveling to Italy. This morning I woke up to a post by Keith Mountford featuring a view of an Italian town and I knew I had been there.
I quickly went to my photo library and found the photo I took from the same spot. Keith had painted an amazing watercolor from the same spot.

We both stood on the same spot, and we saw the beauty that was there.

 

My photo is below.  We are taking you to Bellagio on Lake Como.

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Lake Como is in the background. This was taken in September 2019 

 

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This is Keith’s water color. It is beautiful 

Visit Keith’s web site at 

https://www.keithmountford.com

 

Keith has signed limited edition prints for sale on his website.

With everything going on and our all being restricted in what we can do and where we can go, seeing the post of Facebook mad my day a bit brighter.  Ciao,, 

Vicenza

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Vicenza is one of those places that does not get enough credit. My first visit was in 2018 on a bike tour. I enjoyed it but was only there for 18 hours and then back on the bike. As we left our hotel and walked into the center of town we came upon this picturesque scene. Ponte San Paolo crosses into the main part of Vicenza.My next visit was in October 2019 with great weather and no crowds.IMG 1716

The town is filled with many interesting sights

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Piazza sei Signori offers sights, shopping and dining. 

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As night fell we found this wonderful portico. It was worth coming back in the morning.

 

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The Duomo of Vicenza. IMG 0672

My wife wanted to attend service and we just made the mass time.

 

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Corso Andrea Palladio

 

IMG 0983  Palazzo Chiericati houses a collection of art from thirteenth to twentieth centuries. Salvator Dali’s Statue stands in front.

 

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Dali’s Sculpture 

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The Teatro Olympico was the last work by the architect Andrea Palladio. His works are all through the city. I was not completed until after his death. The painted scenery gives the incredible illusion of depth.

FROM WIKIPEDIA Andrea Palladio

Born 30 November 1508
Padua, Republic of Venice
Died 19 August 1580 (aged 71)
Maser, near Treviso, Republic of Venice
Nationality Italian[1]
Occupation Architect
 
Buildings
Villa Barbaro
Villa Capra “La Rotonda”
Basilica Palladiana
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
Il Redentore
Teatro Olimpico
Projects
I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura(The Four Books of Architecture)
Andrea Palladio (/pəˈlɑːdioʊ/ pə-LAH-dee-oh, Italian: [anˈdrɛːa palˈlaːdjo]; 30 November 1508 – 19 August 1580) was an Italian Renaissance architect active in the Venetian Republic. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily Vitruvius,[2] is widely considered to be one of the most influential individuals in the history of architecture. While he designed churches and palaces, he was best known for country houses and villas. His teachings, summarized in the architectural treatise, The Four Books of Architecture, gained him wide recognition.[3]The city of Vicenza, with its 23 buildings designed by Palladio, and 24 Palladian villas of the Veneto are listed by UNESCO as part of a World Heritage Site named City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.[4] The churches of Palladio are to be found within the “Venice and its Lagoon” UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

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The view straight on brings you to the rear and a manner so realistic it looks like a real building.

 

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From Wikipedia “Since 1994, the Teatro Olimpico, together with other Palladian buildings in and around Vicenza, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto.”

 

 

Quick video of the Olympic Theater in Vicenza. Italy

There is a lot to see in Vicenza, Take a look on Google for more ideas. It is a pedestrian friendly city. Be careful to read the signs for traffic limitations, you may receive a ticket if you miss the signs to stay out of a certain street. 

Public transportation is good. A number of US service men and their families come to town with our base close by. 

MILAN, ROME, LAKE COMO AND MORE ONE MONTH FOR TWO $4500

In five days my wife and I leave for a month in Italy. The cost is about $4500 which includes airfare, car rental for fifteen days, Airbnb apartments with wifi, ac, and kitchens, one extra night in Miami on return.  A similar tour from Globus costs $5,400 and does not include airfare. And it  is for 10 days, not 30.    I have not included meals in my trip, and Globus usually does include some meals. Globus states it’s meals as follows “Full buffet breakfast daily; 2 lunches in Gabiano and Vercelli; 2 three-course dinners at a local restaurant in Milan”  So that is two lunches, two dinners, and breakfast each day.   

If we were t compare the Globus tour to mine, it would cost approximately $15.000 plus AIRFARE to get close to mine. PS, I purchased my tickets from AirItaly in February. I flew with them last year and it was a perfect trip. 

The best way to travel so inexpensively is shoulder season,  We fly out of Miami on Sept 19th and got airfare for $780 round trip non stop for two people.  Flying into Milan less expensive than going to Rome. You can get rail or air transit to Rome at very reasonable prices. So why not see more, do more and enjoy more with the $10,000 you can save by doing it on your own.

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Our Airbnb in Milano. Elevator service and lots of windows. 

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Our Airbnb in Vicenza

Each of our reservations has reasonable rates. Rome was the most expensive costing $120 a night for a first floor apartment in the Campo Dei Fiori neighborhood. We like this area as you can walk to the Vatican, the Ghetto, Piazza Navona, and many more locations. Bust stops are just a block away. 

IMG 1714Vicenza, Italy last fall.

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Milano, trams are the best way to travel.

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Prada, Milano

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II , Milano

Prada, Versace, Pasticceria Marchesi, Luisa Spagnoli. Tod’s , Giorgio Armani, Gobbi 1842, all these and more await you at the Galleria 

Follow the blog next week as I report on our trip. Airbnb review, dining, shopping, and doing it on a budget.

What I Loved About Tuscany Part 2

Siena is beautiful. From the towers to the countryside, it is full of beauty. 

Torre del mangia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

 Torre del Mangia towering above of the Palazzo Pubblico
 
Torre del Mangia.
The Torre del Mangia is a tower in Siena, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Built in 1338-1348,[1] it is located in the Piazza del Campo, Siena’s premier square, adjacent to the Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall). When built it was one of the tallest seculartowers in medieval Italy.[2] At 102 m, it is second tallest after Cremona’s Torrazzo (112 m (367 ft)) the Asinelli tower in Bologna at 97 m being third.

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Piazza del Campo

 

IMG 5336From the top of the Torre. 

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My favorite lunch. 

 

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We found a wonderful BnB just outside of Siena

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The Duomo

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A small salumeria we picked out our lunch. 

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Siena is a good home base for touring around Tuscany. It is definitely car country to access all these beautiful spots. 

To be continued. 

Bargain Airfares To Italy

It s that time, lower airfares for fall travel. Just booked my fall trip for my wife and I. 

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Now is the time for searching the fares. My two tickets cost less than one several years ago. No baggage, but we travel light.

Try Google Flights, Momondo.com, and be flexible.  Use the flexible dates that can lower your trip quite a bit.

 

My flight is on AirItaly which I used last year and was very pleased with them.

 

Good hunting.

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Cycling Bolzano to Venice, 2018 Complete Video

I left Miami on September 26 to fly to Milan and start a wonderful vacation. I had three days in Milan and then I would take the train to Trento where I would meet my group to begin the tour. 

 

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Lift off from Miami.

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Highspeed train to Trento from Milano.

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I mounted a GoPro on to the handle bars of the rental bike.  I did get some vibration, so I had to adjust it using the video editor on my Mac.  For the most part this did well with the exception of cobble stones. 

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A bike path through the vineyards and down to the lake. 

The cycling was amazing, of the 230 to 240 miles it was about 90% on bike paths, some with the most amazing views.

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Riding along the Adige river

With the Dolomites in the background the trip got better by the mile. 

The video gives a riders perspective of riding from Bolzano to Trento, Riva del Garda, Verona, Vincenza, Padova, and arriving in Venice ( Mestre)  I had three nights in t Venice/Mestre which was another wonderful experience.

 

Here is the link to the video which in on Vimeo.  https://vimeo.com/305380233

 

 

I hope you enjoy it.  

Greg 

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The opera house in Verona, Italy

Wandering Milano With Caterina

This was my third trip to Milan.  I wanted to see and do some different things.  Airbnb experiences helped me make the most of my time for a very reasonable price.  I had arrived in Milan only 5 hours ago, found my Airbnb and was headed over to where our small group would meet to see some of the unique sights that are not always on a guided tour. As I was walking around, I got a text saying they were ready to start and where was I. Seems I did not read the start time but the end time ……MENO MALE. I was just a block away so I got there on time.  It was a small group with only 4 people and Caterina, the guide.  Two were from Belgium and one from Great Britain. Once again the only American.Caterina

Caterina, our guide.

We  met near the public gardens (Indro Montanelli) for what would be a 2 1/2 hour walk. We would go from the old to the new. And some of the most ultra modern architecture with prices that would make Manhattan look like a bargin.

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One of the classic residences.

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Amazing art decorates the outside of these residences.

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Our vintage tram a great way to see any city at a slower pace.

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Some of the modern building with high price tags.

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A Tesla showroom.  No price tags.

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Piazza XXV Aprile – Porta Garibaldi

 

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I have visited Eataly in Rome and New York City. No I had a chance to roam the one in Milano.

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If only my local Publix in Florida would have some of these delicacies. Ho fame. 

 

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Search out Catalonia’s walking photo tour of Milano on Airbnb Experiences. Here is part of her description “The Neoclassic and Art nouveau district of Porta Venezia. A residential area that represents the true everyday life of the Milanese. The brand new, sparkling and luxurious GARIBALDI’s area which is our ending point where you can easily take subway, tram, train or taxi. CUSTOM EXPERIENCE: If you would like to participate in the experience but on a different time or day, write to me and if I can I will try to organize one with your availability.”  

Here is a link 

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/263117?euid=0af081a7-e582-7ee2-6cf1-0c7842fdc298

 

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