|Friday 24th June 2016
The UK decides to leave the EU – not what we wanted but the vote was close 52% to leave and 48% to stay.
However, we decide to head for Rome – about three hours away and instead of taking a direct route we do what the SatNav says and use the Autostrada – good call – the road surface is good and the traffic not too bad including a 10Km tunnel through some fantastic scenery.
On joining the GRA – think Rome’s answer to the M25 round London – we immediately get in the wrong lane and have to worm our way onto the correct
lane and the traffic is at a standstill – we discover that this is because of an accident just up the road – but we are soon past it and on to Camping Tiber – off at exit 6 on the GRA.
Registration is quick and we are allowed to choose a pitch – great and it’s pretty wooden and a bit on noise from over the river. We end up selecting one not far from a GB registered motor home – we later discover that they are Kiwi’s who have bought the van and are planning to ship it back to New Zealand.
We have selected a shady spot as the temperature is forecast to 36 Deg C in the next couple of days – way too warm!
This campsite is more like a holiday village, pool, bungalows and cabins for rent with a minimarket, bar and restaurant on site.
The campsite run a minibus into Rome in the morning (8.30am) and back at 5pm – cost 5 Euro return – so we book a space for the morning.
Saturday 25th June 2016
Alarm call at 7.am – shower, breakfast on off to the bus – which now has more people than seats – but we squeeze on board and are in the centre of Roma in a mere 25 mins – not much traffic on a Saturday.
The bus drops us a short distance from the Vatican Museums, but the queue is long and in the sun so we give that a miss and head directly for St Peter’s Basilica where we find another queue. So we stand in line and a couple ahead of us say that Carolyn may get turned away as she is wearing shorts. But we get through the first security queue only to be turned away at the Basilica entrance – But Neil goes in and takes a few pics to show her later – ever the gent!
We then take a City Bus Tour (two hours) – which is good, except for the fact that’s it’s baking hot and we are on the top deck with no shade – AND the bus stops so often for ages that there’s not even a cooling breeze. But we do see all the main sights and then we get off near the Trevi Fountain and find a really nice little restaurant for lunch.
Then we walk the streets to the Spanish Steps (closed for renovation), the Colosseum, and the Castel Sant’ Angelo, then back for the 5pm bus and a welcome dip in the pool.
Sunday 26th June 2016
Rather than taking the bus again into town we opt to take the train. It’s a 15 min walk to the station and a 40 min ride in but ok. Then we walk the streets again and decide to have lunch on the main street leading to the Basilica. Nice to people watch but expensive!
Then it’s over to the Pincio Hill Gardens for a view over the Piazza del Popolo and the city. The Piazza is hosting a pop concert later today and the young fans are already queuing in the blazing sun!
Monday 27th June 2016
We leave Camping Tiber and after a short wrong turn get on the GRA and then South on the A1 for Naples and Pompeii.
The campsite is situated right next to the Pompeii ruins and the train station – so on arrival in Pompeii you are directed up the main road with all the tourists (and busses) then past all the restaurants and then down into the campsite – all very strange but effective as there are staff waving you on at key locations.
We are again allowed to choose our own pitch and get a long narrow one with room for a back and front “garden” and space to park the car in line with the caravan. But it did take several moves to get the caravan in!
In the afternoon we sus out the trains and discover that if you buy tickets for the express train you are guaranteed a seat and air con!
Copyright Neil Tough @2016