We had originally planned to end our winter road trip in Ravenna, in Italy, spending four days at Alighieri Theatre Charming Suite but we felt that we had been on the road long enough, and so, in very nice communcations with Silvia, the owner, decided to postpone until later in the year.
However, we also felt that the journey from Nice to Zrenj was just a bit too far to do in one go, so decided to amble along the rest of the Cote d’Azur and then up into Italy, having a last night in Brescia. The day started well and we did indeed amble along the coastline of southern France. We definitely saw how the other half live, as we did a few scenic stops…
We’d left Nice quite early, and so were able to watch as the sun rose. A very uplifting sight in early January!
Have to say Le Cap Ferrat was astonishingly beautiful – I can only imagine the opulent lives that must be lived out there…
For old-style Riviera glamour…this forested peninsula between Nice and Monaco has always attracted the rich and famous, who were drawn by the light, the peace, the views of sea and craggy Provençal coastline, and the cobalt waters all around. Yet unlike much of the south coast, it has remained remarkably unspoilt, with none of the Waggish elements of St Tropez. As you stroll along its coastal footpaths, which reveal tantalising glimpses of grand villas and gardens, you almost expect to bump into David Niven, Somerset Maugham, or Charlie Chaplin – all of whom once had homes here. Yet despite the away-from-it-all feel, it is only 25 minutes from Nice, and even closer to Monte Carlo.
And so, onto Italy, crossing the border at Ponte San Ludovico, just beyond the beautiful harbour town of Menton, which is smaller and a lot less flashy than its neighbours on the coast. As we climbed higher up into Italy, we left behind the South of France temperatures, which at one point got up to 17 degrees, meaning we had the air con on in the car for the first time in the year. But, back to winter reality in Italy as we hit the motorway for Brescia.
Last time we’d stayed in Bresica, we opted for quite an unusual choice of hotel. You can read about it here. It was mooted by *one* of us that we stay here again, because we knew there was secure parking and given the faff we’d had with parking over the last two or three nights, it made sense to do so. But I don’t always go for the sensible option and had found somewhere else, that looked really nice. But, didn’t mention parking…
…and unfortunately, that was where things went a bit awry again. The hotel is very close to the historical centre of Brescia, but on the edges. The very helpful receptionist did show us to a car park where we could leave the car, but again, stuffed to the gills as it was, we didn’t feel that we wanted to leave it somewhere that was pretty exposed. So, after it being explained to me that perhaps the better option might have been to stay again at the hotel we knew 🙄 we made a decision. And it was decided that we would forego the room – again, thankfully not overly expensive as out of season – and do what we thought we wouldn’t do because of the distance. Head back home.
A bit longer than 4 hours later, and definitely more than 374kms later (because we got lost getting out of Brescia), we arrived at our front door. And guess what? Our builders were still there. At 9pm. On a Friday evening. Now, that’s dedication to a renovation 😉
And with that, our five and a half week trip, in which we’d covered more than 10,000 kilometres, spent fantastic times with family and friends, eaten amazing food, spent a fortune on petrol, toll roads and ferries and generally had a blast, had come to an end. Would we do it again? You bet we would!