Ciao Ravenna. We returned to Rome.
With much regret, we departed Ravenna on Friday around 1pm after visiting the mosaic studio of our friend Alessandra. Go to the previous blog and there is a link to work she did in a church in Orleans, MA. It took 10 years to make, ugh. We americans don't have the patience to wait that long. So, we have one last cafe in a cafe with the sisters, and we headed for Rome.
I have to say I like Ravenna. Even without directions, I was able to find the right road to connect us to the Autostrada. Maybe I'm getting better in Italy (not really, I'll tell you later. So we headed south along the A14 along the Adriatic Coast. Near Ravenna, it's so flat we were not able to see the water. This was one of the reasons we chose this route, so we thought we would be dissappointed. Patience paid off.
About half way down the coast near, Ancona, the road and the land raised up giving us beautiful panoramic views of the sea. Wish I had one for you, but somebody (not me) forgot to take the camera out of the back of the car, and like my dad, I don't stop for any reason, but gas and to pee (even that is discretionary). The rest of the trip was uneventful to Rome. About an hour south of Ancona we turned west in Pecara toward Rome using the A25.
It's crazy what a difference a few miles make. Once inland, we started to see snow and it became much colder. Initially, the autostrada rides in a valley in the Appini mountains. Then, the tunnel (galleria - word of the day). It was 20 kilometers long! We got out the other side in a winter wonderland. Fortunately, only enough snow to be pretty, but not enough to be dangerous.
Fearing we would not make the rental return in time, I hauled ass averaging 130 kph. We made it to Rome in only two hours. Well, we made it near Rome in only two hours. It seems that I forgot that yesterday was the Friday before Christmas, and like Americans, Italians were trying to get out of town to return home. It took us an hour to get the last 10 kilometers. Worse, it took us an hour to find the rental return by the train station.
Even though we arrived before they closed, the sole clerk was nowhere to be found. What the hell do we do? The counter was in the train station. Needless to say, we couldn't just leave the car on the street. Well, finally he returned after our third attempt to find a place to park (impossible in Rome). Basically, we ended up just dumping the car in the garage where Thrifty parks their cars. There were no spaces, so I left it in the aisle and the keys with the cashier. That's what he said to do. I guess I will just dread this until the credit card bill comes.
So finally, Lucia and Chiara were waiting for us outside the garage. We loaded up and off we went to return to Rignano. With a couple of phone calls, dinner was literally waiting on the table for our return. Everything was better for us.
Now, its off to bed. More to come.