Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - oldroverboy.

After the "fun" I had hiring in Dublin a few weeks ago, have researched for a week in Italy,

A car for 6 days is £170 plus fuel plus tolls, plus parking and also with the limitations and also entry into some locations.

Bus airport to bergamo, (2 nights) train bergamo-verona (4 nights) for 2 about £25, will probably go to Padua and to the lakes from bergamo and verona. all transport less tha £100.

Hotels are within walking distance of stations (20 mins) so will go ithout the stress, and the taxi verona to verona airport when leaving still won't be a lot.

Maybe we'll see Two Gentlemen (in Verona), or it will be Much Ado About Nothing (everywhere), or a Tempest in a tea cup if the weather isn't good. If we go further afield, will we see The Merchant of Venice, but, as it is a Romantic getaway, we could play at Romeo and Juliet ourselves. But, It's As you like it!....

Edited by oldroverboy. on 14/09/2017 at 14:15

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - SLO76
The Italians are mad on four wheels or two. Public transport is no less stressful though. Remember to have your ticket validated before using certain buses and all trains or you'll land a heafty fine and an aggressive intimidating visit from the Carabinieri. Insanity that you have to stand in two ques to buy and use one ticket and on top of that the Italians don't do ques, it's a fight to the death.

Spent an enjoyable couple of days driving round the lakes in an old banger I bought for £300 and got £300 back for when I returned then a few months later I flew to Rome for a city break and I've never met a more unpleasant, dishonest and downright nasty population in my life. Pickpockets, tramps thieves and the state trying to rob you at every turn. A beautiful country, shame about the residents. They'll never get another penny of mine.

Edited by SLO76 on 14/09/2017 at 15:19

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - FP

I drove through Naples in the rush hour once, without satnav. It was mad; people suddenly doing three-point turns without warning in moving heavy traffic, roads going from four lanes to two with no lane markings, scooters weaving through, pedestrians stepping into the road without looking, etc., etc. Not sure how I got through unscathed.

I've not been to Rome, but have visited Florence several times. I don't think the crime level is much different from the rest of Europe (though the cities are probably worse) and certainly wouldn't write off all Italians - I found most of them charming and have never been on the receiving end of sharp practice. Their worst fault, I found, was an inability to keep to time, meet deadlines and things like that.

I once performed Verdi's Requiem in San Lorenzo (Florence); it started 40 minutes late, owing to the late arrival of crowds wishing to hear it and some dispute over the number of seats the city's regulations would allow to be placed in the church. The mainly Italian orchestra and choir were pacing about. I said, "Relax, guys - this is Italy", which caused some amusement; however, some came up to me and said how much they hated themselves for this sort of disorganisation, but admitted they just couldn't help it. Apparently, if you want something to start on time, you say it's at 7:30 - English time.

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - oldroverboy.

I don't think the crime level is much different from the rest of Europe (though the cities are probably worse) and certainly wouldn't write off all Italians - I found most of them charming and have never been on the receiving end of sharp practice. Their worst fault, I found, was an inability to keep to time, meet deadlines and things like that.

Apparently, if you want something to start on time, you say it's at 7:30 - English time.

Have to agree.. When I lived in Geneva, we sometimes took the kids down to Turin in the Lotus Eclat...(and it never broke down) Nicely (illegally parked right in front of our favourite restaurant and no chance of a ticket). No problems driving it even with the wheel on the wrong side, as respected as a "sports car"...

I have lived in Europe and find the population as good as here in Blighty, as long as a person makes an effort to try to communicate with them. a smile and please, prago, grazie works well, plus my school boy italian/spanish, slightly better german and fluent french.

But there is plenty of outright hostility rudeness and agression here..

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - SLO76
I've been to plenty of other countries in Europe and would tend to agree that most are welcoming and friendly. Even the French who can be a little disinterested at first open up if you make an effort to speak at least a little of the lingo but the Italians certainly in the cities were openly hostile to outsiders. The Swiss were by far the most pleasant. A beautiful country populated by the nicest people. I'd go back tomorrow.
Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - oldroverboy.
I've been to plenty of other countries in Europe and would tend to agree that most are welcoming and friendly. Even the French who can be a little disinterested at first open up if you make an effort to speak at least a little of the lingo but the Italians certainly in the cities were openly hostile to outsiders. The Swiss were by far the most pleasant. A beautiful country populated by the nicest people. I'd go back tomorrow.

Oldrovermum was Scottish, (West calder) and as i as brought up away (as they say) I have had plenty of the openly hostile north of the border and plenty of the "welcome home too"

The kindest thing though that has happened to me anywhere was one rainy night in Edinburgh waiting for the train, and a bunch of young scots people took me under their wing. Mum had just had a severe heart attack, and i was quietly drowning my sorrows in the bar, and a double was placed in front of me, and we all talked till the train came.

Slo, please don't judge all italians by the ones you met. But I could make your hair curl with some of the tricks in the motor trade in Switzerland, Nicest people...How do you think they got so rich...Billions deposited from the likes of my first wife's family when they were "exterminated". and yet my mother in law was protected by a swiss pastor living in France .. for 4 years or so, at the risk of his own life, but before that escaped from one of the collection camps (with the help of a german soldier)

There are good and bad everywhere. I have seen it!

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - SLO76
"Slo, please don't judge all italians by the ones you met."

True. I do know a few here via my old business and several of the nicest people I know. Maybe they left to get away from the grouchy ones.

But you're right, we did find the staff in our hotel very helpful and cheerful. Sadly the prevailing attitude almost everywhere else was unpleasant.
Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - FP

I suppose I know France (and the French) better than other countries. I've always found most of the people very pleasant, welcoming and helpful, with two exceptions: in Paris they are generally offhand and uninterested, with the waiters enjoying a well-earned reputation for rudeness; and in Corsica people are wary, resentful of outsiders and tolerant of tourists only because there's money to be made.

My wife and I enjoyed a lovely few days in Basel earlier this year, visiting one of my sons who was working there at the time. I always feel how clean, neat and tidy - and, above all, how civilised Switzerland is. Yet there's something uptight, sanitised and retentive about the people. A few years ago I nearly bought a flat near Montreux on the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), despite the byzantine procedures one has to go through as a foreigner; it fell through at the last minute and left me with mixed feelings about whether it had been a good idea in the first place.

Of all the countries I've been to in Europe, I have found the Netherlands and the Dutch to be the most welcoming and relaxed.

As others have said, the key to oiling the wheels if you go abroad is language. The British are notoriously bad at this. Because English is understood so widely we tend to get very lazy and miss the point that, if you make an effort to speak at least a few words in the local lingo (however badly), you will immediately be viewed in a more positive light as someone who's prepared to meet others halfway. It means a lot.

Edited by FP on 14/09/2017 at 19:06

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - oldroverboy.

. A few years ago I nearly bought a flat near Montreux on the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), despite the byzantine procedures one has to go through as a foreigner; it fell through at the last minute and left me with mixed feelings about whether it had been a good idea in the first place.

Of all the countries I've been to in Europe, I have found the Netherlands and the Dutch to be the most welcoming and relaxed.

As others have said, the key to oiling the wheels if you go abroad is language.

I am of belgian descent amongst others, and have a belgian surname, but my first name is also belgian sounding, and with speaking fluent french and a bit of garbled flemish I get by extremely well. But I thoroughly agree with your sentiments about the Dutch and Swiss.

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - Ethan Edwards

I've AirBNB'd in Rome and I was really impressed with just how nice the hosts family were. As long as you are polite and smile you'll have no problem.

As with all big cities maintain situational awareness and you'll be fine. We were.

Use the underground.. it's cheap clean and fast. The busses ok. Only problem is that there aren't that many train lines. But just walking round the coliseum or in the Vatican..well it makes you wonder who else has been there over the years.

Well worth a visit.

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - Avant

SWMBO and I have just had 4 nights in Venice and now moved on to a hotel high above Lake Garda.

They certainly know how to fleece the tourists in Venice, but they do it in a friendly and helpful way. Strange not to see or hear any wheeled traffic for several days, but Venice is a different way of life and well worth seeing.

I don't have ORB's patience with public transport so we went back to Venice airport and hired a car for the next stage. I'm with Avis Preferred and so far it's been quite painless. SWMBO having had an unreliable Fiat in the 1980s and never wanted to see another, we're quite pleasantly surprised by the solidity of the Tipo estate - plain but hard-wearing inside and could be mistaken for a Toyota. Diesel - presumably a 1.6 - seems quite lively.

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - Smileyman

I found the street hawkers to be a problem, intimidating at times - at least perceived if not actual - and the scooters too - but Italy has some real gems well worth visiting, be it by car or train. Some of the motorways are facinating to use, marvellous feats of engineering, a mix of bridges and tunnels with wonderful vistas and changes of scenery at every turn. It's a country I've visited many times, by road from the UK, air, cruise stop-overs as well as by train within the country, and look forwards to returning to again. It may not be Switzerland for timekeeping, and certainly isn't for cleanliness (unlike Ticino is) but it works.

I can recall breaking down on the Autostrada (not far from Florence) back in 1976, AA 5 Star breakdown to the rescue, another time on the same trip (now in Rome) we had a puncture, expertly repaired and balanced in an 'old' looking tyre depot, those days one purchased petrol coupons in the UK before travelling in order to reduce the price of fuel, and visited "doggie" petrol stations (if I recall correctly Esso purchased all the AGIP stations in the UK) and of course trams, a thrill for any young Londoner used to red buses!

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - oldroverboy.

I remember hitchhiking in italy about 1974, ang got a lift from somewhere in Switzeland, going over one of the passes with no barriers in those days to Brindisi with a guy in a mercedes. I have good memories.

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - oldroverboy.

But, we are drifting gently off topic,

It was about avoiding the stress of hiring a car, (the last one was A**S.)

(Still waiting for them to come back to me about the untaxed hire car)

Going to Bergamo, Verona - No more car hire - expat

I visited the UK a couple of months back and didn't hire a car this time. On previous visits I always hired but it spent a lot of time parked. This time we used public transport and it was fine. I just couldn't face the British traffic this time. 3 lane roundabouts Yuck! M25 no thanks. Looking for parking - no way.

We also had 5 days in France in La Rochelle and everyone was very friendly and nice. Oh and the weather was great for most of the month.

 

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