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.
TONI L GODMAN says
Naturally I'm saddened to read all about your frustrating "adventures" on Saturday....I trust that you two are snoozing peacefully....bringing all of your faithful friends "cheerful" news about Monday's adventures and resolutions.
Reminds me of that commercial where the guy's GPS is going "recalculating" as he plows through pedestrians and the bric-a-brac along his route. Glad you didn't get burned for a ticket!
That word is forever ruined. And we won't know for several weeks about the ticket - it's all cameras and surprises in the mail.
ah the notorious ZTL! At least the rental agency was open on Sunday even if only until 4 pm, cry when you bring it in the morning!
We've heard so many stories about the ZTL - now we have our very own. 🙂
Sharon J says
Oh no, how frustrating. It always sounds so easy and then things turn into a nightmare. On our first trip to Rome, we picked up our rental car at the Borghese undergound parking garage. The girl explained how easy it was to get out of town and off we went. Two and a half hours later, we were still in Rome and actually considered parking the car and calling the agency to pick it up. We finally found a really nice man who said he was going to Naples and would help us get out of town. We were going to Pompeii, so it worked out perfectly, but we really weren't in the mood at that point. We did end up enjoying our day, but had just as much trouble returning the car.
We now always use a GPS, but those zone things are really hard for tourists. Good luck finally returning the car.
I think Rome would be much more challenging than Florence - brave souls!