Day 15 - Sunday, April 21, 2019 - Drive to Florence; Return Rental Car; Airport Hotel
Today was our last day in Monterosso al Mare. After breakfast we finished packing for our drive to Florence. Our hotel was in a combined package plan with our flights so we only had to pay the city tax of 9 Euros.
We thanked the hotel staff for our five-day stay and then walked our bags back up the hill to the Loreto Auto Parking Lot. With our green token in hand, we tried to translate the instructions, and then paid the 80 Euros for parking. Success!
In all of our driving trips we have learned that the flexibility of driving has a price, and paying for parking was a big one. Back on the road we programed the GPS for the Novotel Airport outside of Florence and joined the traffic going over the mountains from the coast to the main highway.
They say in Italy that all roads lead to Rome and on A12 and the Autostrada, all of the highway signs give the next exit city, the next large destination, and then always the distance to Rome.
The Easter Sunday traffic was predictable and unfortunately we saw several bad accidents. The fast pace of the Italian drivers has been a wonder to behold. Many cars, lots of construction, and Formula 1 “wanna-be drivers” made for some close calls.
We passed the Carrara marble quarries with their white pristine mountainsides. Carrara marble has been used since the time of Ancient Rome. Huge blocks of marble were in the production areas waiting to be cut into sheets or used for large sculptures.
It was not long before we saw the Tuscan Hills and the villages overlooking the valleys. Signs indicating we were getting close to Firenze or Florence helped us to really grasp that our Italian adventure was coming to an end.
Our first stop was at our hotel, the Novotel North at the airport. We checked in, dropped off our bags, and started to organize our room for our one night stay. The woman at the reception desk was very helpful and explained that because it was Easter Sunday all of the restaurants were closed.
She called one nearby and found that it was open so we went directly to the Roadhouse for our Sunday lunch and dinner. The Roadhouse advertised grilled steaks and all the ribs you could eat for only 10 Euros.
The wait staff was welcoming and we ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad and Vic tried the Chicken Wings. Not exactly what we would have at home, but it filled the bill nicely for our last meal in Italy.
Not only were the restaurants closed, but we also had to fill up the rental car and had a difficult time finding a gas station that was open. After driving around awhile, we did find a self-service location not too far from our hotel.
The Hertz rental facility was busy with travelers coming into the city and with those like us dropping off vehicles. Glancing at the odometer, we found we had traveled 2,358 KM or 1,465 miles on our 14 day round trip to and from Florence.
We found Lorenzo and he checked in our car and recommended that we take the free shuttle back to the airport to get a taxi. It was a great suggestion as there were no taxis at the car rental return station.
The airport in Florence was small and was not busy today. We found a cab to take us back to the Novotel. We booked a wake up call for 3:30 AM and a 4:15 AM taxi to take us to the airport for our 6:05 AM flight to Munich.
It was 3:30 PM; we spent time on the final day of the journal and reviewing the photos of our beautiful journey. We repacked our bags and had a good night’s rest before our two flights tomorrow.
The final day of GarciaTrips will be posted when we get back home to Monument Hill. We thank you for traveling with us and for sharing our adventures in Italy, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Cinque Terre.
We hope the Travel Bug bites you soon and we would love to hear of your next plans for seeing the world.
Accommodations: Novotel Hotel - - - Meal: B, L, D
If you wish to see all Hotel Evaluations — Click Here
Such beautiful side street photos! I see you drove through Lucca. Have you ever stopped there? It is a lovely city with walking paths along the old city walls and some nice museums. Hope you have safe and pleasant flights home. Happy Easter!
The close to another beautiful and exciting trip into Italy. You two are so blessed to have each other and enjoy traveling together. I feel blessed as well to be able to see all the pretty pictures you post land to see places I will not ever be able to travel to. I look forward to your synopsis of this trip. Love it too that you include me and take me in your pockets. Stay safe and may God bless you on this beautiful Easter Sunday here in Arkansas.
What a lot of driving and great adventures! The pictures today are wonderful, such beautiful flowers. Have a safe and uneventful trip home.
Yes sounded like a wonderful trip. So glad to share with you. Some really lovely weather while you were away, maybe spring is really here.
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I think this was one of the best - most enjoyable for me to follow along. Different places that I wasn't even aware of. Thanks for sharing.
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