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Trip to Italy, 2-12 August 2004

The trip was undertaken by Kitrossky parents with three children: Shifra (almost 16), Nehemiya, Gedaliya (both 9).
Car and all living accommodations were ordered beforehand through Internet. In most cases Google enabled search for B&B in some pace was enough. We took clothes, a lot of food, some utensils, dictionaries, guides. The route was planned by us with the help of friends.
The first part was to arrive from Lod to Malpensa, near Milan. "Alitalia" company was not good both to and fro. Click the picture to see our starting position in Lod.

First contact with Italians was in Milan, where we put our chart with luggage on the transporter by mistake. It resulted in one man falling on the transporter. He was vainly trying to stand up till we helped him. Usual man would kill us or at least shout – he was in dangerous and the same time funny and humiliating position. He just mildly said that charts were not for transporter, as written on the wall.

The second part already on car was to arrive to Verona. I did not suspect that distances are so great and speed so fast. Drivers make 140-150 km/h on the freeway with poor lights. The road tolls, sometimes one takes ticket from the wall and pay at the end, but some times it is beforehand. The sum appears in the window by lights, so it is easy to pay. On the other hand, once one learn numbers and basic words, it is rather easy to understand. The pronunciation is easy to discern. People willingly help, but not many speak English. My main impression on people of Northern Italy was of polite, calm, mostly blond people. I was in my scull cap, and felt curious glances, heard murmour behind the back, sometimes they turn to have a better look from behind and even laughed a bit. We met also Muslim people here and there without any incidents. Some were also a bit embarrassed and spoke English between them in order not to attract attention.

We arrived to Verona after about 4 hours drive toward midnight. Out host Igino (Arena House) was so kind as to take us this time from the city entrance and spoke good English. We would never find the place, which is situated in the historic center of Verona, very nice and near walking distance from places of interest.

It is possible also to arrive by local plane to Valerio Catullo airport! The poet was born in Verona. At least two pays of Shakespeare take place in Verona; the least known is "The two gentlemen of Verona". Our host gave us permission for parking, which is not easy on these old streets.

The next day we went by car to Dolomite Alps, see page of pictures. The trip took all the day, we did not manage to visit any of towns except Orisei. Funicular took us to about 2200 m, the air is very pure.

Next day we saw Verona itself then took things and went to Venice with a stop near Garda lake (see photo). And then we went to Venice. The road is fast again, but near Venice there is a difficult junction, when one must avoid going by mistake to Triest and former Yugoslavia countries. Venice itself was build in lagoon in order to make its conquest difficult. But in 19th century a bridge was built with roads and railroad, it takes to Roma square, then the city starts , where there now transport o wheels! So, one must prepare less luggage to take from mutli-floor parking  to place of living. Click to see our stay in Venice. Separate page is about our visit to Joseph Brodsky burial site in Venice. We planned to visit Vicenza, but it turned out that fast highways and city visiting are not good together, so we took direction to Florence, on the way we lost once the highway, and the speed fell dramatically. Still it took less than we feared, something between 3 and 4 hours. The host in our place in Florence was very patient to explain the way. See Florence page here. We got very tired there due to a great wait to enter museum and also going by foot. So we flied to Milan visiting Pisa on the way. See Pisa page here. Spending there about an hour we sped to Milan. The drive to Milan along the Ligurian shore towards Genoa was long and hard. We hoped to see this part of Mediterranean Sea, but it was after sunset and the road is many places in tunnel.

We arrived in Milan very late into a simple hotel, it was enough for us for one night. It was fairly easy to find by map. We saw Milan in the morning (click here), prepared to leave Italy, but first went to see Maggiore lake. But we did not find the right turn, and arrived to Varese with its small lake. Short bathing, food and we left to Malpensa airport. It is not so easy to find, but we managed. Once we entered the crowd to the flight we felt back home!

Final accords - weary father waits for plane in Malpensa.