A Bump in the Road

Our drive in to Florence did not go well.

Mid-morning, we left Levanto and stopped in the town of Lucca for lunch and a stroll. Lunch was delicious and Lucca charming.

Our plan was simple – drop the car at the rental agency and roll our cases over the bridge to our little apartment. But fifteen minutes outside of Florence, at 5pm, we discovered that Europecar closed at 4pm. Our conversation went like this: “Perhaps we can drop the car after hours? The rental car agency is just across the bridge and to the left. If we just stay away from the center of town and any residential streets, we’ll be fine.”

Wrong turn. Red light. One way.

Without the Zona Traffico Limitato, our story might be different. But these areas of town are limited to locals and carry hefty fines for tourists driving rental cars. And when I say hefty fines, I mean hundreds of euros. Keith dodged vespas and dawdling bicyclists while I slung expletives and our GPS barked next moves and the unholy word, ‘recalculating’.

As I write this, our car is stowed for the night in a lot. We’ll return it tomorrow.

Our little apartment is comfortable and the garden is lovely; I promise to tell you soon. But for now, goodnight, I’m going to sleep.



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