Wednesday 16th July.
We are parked up tonight in a car park in Vicenza. According to our Camperstop book we should have all facilities for €8.40 per night. In fact it's €10 per night and we've found the water tucked away in the far corner of the campsite but there is no electricity or toilet dump. I realise that for those of you reading this purely for our fascinating travelogue these details are of no interest to you but I thought I'd keep you up to date anyway.
It was a longish drive today from Venice and we broke the journey first with a Lidl stop and then for a coffee. It's interesting shopping in Lidls in different countries. The bi-weekly special offers are about the same from country to country and so are the basic foodstuffs but local variations can be seen in the ready made foods and chiller cabinets. For yogurts in Greece substitute Mozarrelo in Italy. Ready made Mouzaka in Greece, Ravioli and Tortellini in Italy. Italy has lots of dried and cured ham and sausage which you don't see hardly at all in Greece. So tonight we dined on some Tzatziki I made a few days ago and some ravioli with pesto sauce we bought earlier. The other thing about Lidl is that they do very little branded goods. So, for Southern Comfort read Southern Belle or suchlike. As we are in Campari country I picked up a bottle of "Bitters" which was the right colour and what I thought was a bottle of soda water. Bitters and lemonade anyone? One thing which is common to both countries is the guys who hang about and offer to take your trolley back to the park so they can have the €1 deposit.
The coffee stop on the way here highlited a few cultural differences also. Since arriving in Italy we've been really disappointed with the coffee. The Cappucinos have been rubbish and the espressos, whilst being ok, have comprised of a tablespoon of coffee. We were missing our refreshing Fredo Cappucinos from Greece. They must do them here, I said to Phil when we stopped at about 2pm, so we asked the waitress if we could have two Fredo Cappucinos. It didn't translate too well but eventually we got the message across. Then she served us with two cold, tepid actually, Cappucinos. After a bit of Google action we discovered that Fredo Cappucinos are a Greek invention, unheard of in Italy, also that no one in Italy drinks Cappucino after 10am. As I sit here I can visualize an Italian guy giggling to himself and when his wife asks him what's so funny he replies that he can't get over thinking about the English couple she told him about who ordered the cold coffee in her shop earlier in the day.
So, after a few wrong turns and inadvertently cutting up a couple of Nuns in a Fiat 500 on a roundabout (I'm sure one of them stuck two fingers up at me, well I'm sure she wasn't making the sign of the cross) we ended up in this car park and after a snack set off to explore Vicenza. What a lovely city this is. Famed for the C16th architect Palladio it has a beautiful main square, a central area accessible only to pedestrians and cyclists, many examples of the architect's work and a beautiful Cathedral. Hardly any tourists so it was easy to move about, maybe we'll stay another day.
The main square in Vicenza.
I'm determined not to buy diesel here in Italy, it's about €1.75 a litre, so I filled up in Greece. But I am getting a little low on LPG for cooking and hot water so I've been checking the prices as we've driven along. Saw some today for €0.62, not a bad price, slammed on the brakes, swerved onto the forecourt. Closed for lunch! Only in Italy eh?