The beach at Alicante, Spain. Photo taken March 7, 2017.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Arrive April 27th.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Long driving day!

We left our Airbnb host Fernando at 8:00am when he was ready to leave for work. We had a long driving day ahead, so we didn't mind getting an early start.

We were driving from Bergamo to Rimini...a distance of 335 kms (208 miles). Definitely a long day for us, but even longer because we wanted to stay off the toll highways.

The only way to get anywhere fast in Italy is to use the toll roads. But it was going to cost €23 ($33 CAD, $25 USD) in tolls, and we figured we would see more taking the back roads.

And I think we did, but it was slow going at times. We left at 8:00am and arrived at 4:00pm! And really, there was not much to see along the way anyhow, and quite a lot of traffic! But of course we also stopped for lunch and stopped and did some grocery shopping in a town before our arrival.

Scenery along the way.

A typical back road.

We can't figure out the local drivers though. When it was a 70 km/h zone, they wanted to go 90....but when it was a 90 km/h zone, they were going 70! Also, lots of "silent policemen" along the way, waiting to take your photo if you're speeding. 

And tailgate! Right on your bumper! It is was easier driving in Romania!

It is spring here in Italy. The buds are coming out on the trees.

More scenery along the way.

Yesterday's drive, 335 kms (208 miles).

Not a lot to see in that region of Italy. At least not from the window of a car. I suppose if we had stopped in some of the places we could have found some interesting things.

But, we were on a mission this particular trip.

We arrived in Rimini (pop 146,000) and found our Airbnb. Met our host Rossella, and she got us settled in for our two night stay.

Our room.

The facilities.

The kitchen.

Our room is private, but the kitchen and bathroom are shared. Might as well be private though, because we're the only ones here!

Excellent value, for only €23 ($34 CAD, $26 USD) per night for the two of us. And a great location.

We had been in the car all day, and so we went for a walk. Most people come to Rimini for it's huge beach. It's a really popular spot in the summer time. Also, it has an interesting Roman history in the old centro area.

So, a quick walk down to the beach...

Pretty quiet at this time of year.

Ruth, with her hand in the waters of the Adriatic Sea.

But that was enough beach time for us. It's not really beach weather, with a high of about 14C (58F). We then walked to the old town center. 

The original Roman era town gate, called the Arch of Augustus.
Built in 220 BC!

The Arch of Augustus is northern Italy’s oldest surviving triumphal arch, marking the entrance to Rimini for travellers on the Flaminian Way built by Consul Flaminius in 220 BC to link Rimini and Rome.

The central plaza.

Clock tower.

Statue of Julius Caesar.

Pigna Fountain, built in 1543.

So, that was our quick visit to Rimini. 

The thing is, we didn't come to Rimini for Rimini. We came to Rimini because its located only 30 kms (18 miles) from the Republic of San Marino, the 5th smallest country in the world! And, it's too expensive (for us) to stay in the 5th smallest country in the world. Much cheaper to stay in Rimini, and then just drive to San Marino.

And so that's what we're doing today...we're off to see the Republic of San Marino, country #30 for us!

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16 comments:

  1. Town gate built in 220 BC - amazing history in your travels! Love it!!

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    1. It is totally amazing to see this gate and know that it still stands after all those years! The history in Europe is something else and we keep learning as we go.

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  2. That would be a long travel day on the back roads, but you are now settled in for a couple of days.

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    1. It was a long day and a slow one. Our average speed was only 55kms per hour and today we have another long one but hopefully we will get much prettier scenery on this drive.

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  3. 220BC!!!! I really have a hard time understanding that. And it still stands....bloody amazing.

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    1. Yep, it is totally amazing. They have done a little work to it, to keep it that way but for the most part it is still original. They sure knew how to build things to last back then!

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  4. I was not aware there was yet another country (besides the Vatican City) in Italy! Thanks for enlightening me!

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    1. We weren't either until we did a little research into where we wanted to head after Bergamo. You almost wouldn't know that you entered another country when you drive to San Marino, other than a welcome sign that is it, but then most of Europe is like that now, at least for the European Union countries.

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  5. You probably already know that you are only 163 miles (2 hours 40 minutes) via E45 and A13 to Venice. But you would still have to contend with Bologna on the way. I mention Venice because scientists have indicated that Venice is slowly sinking into the sea, some parts of which have already done so and, of course, cannot be visited by tourists. That little city is on my bucket list, and I will take many photos for my future great grandchildren as they may be barred from visiting it.


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    1. Yes, we are aware that Venice is close and our friends Glen and Steve said that we shouldn't miss it either but we really don't feel like any more big cities at the moment. I am sure that it isn't suddenly going to sink away in the next few years so hopefully we will be back to Italy to visit again and have a lot more time to explore the rest of the country and see Venice and Rome but not on this trip.

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  6. Long but very nice drive today! Lovely accommodations for the price. Enjoy your trip today to the 5th smallest country! Looking forward to you next post! Lots of history in this part of the world!

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    1. We have great accommodations for the price, one of the benefits of traveling in the off season.

      We had a wonderful day in San Marino, and you'll be able to read all about it in today's post.

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  7. Wow, you have a bidet. Hard to find in Mexico but they are real wonders for personal hygiene. Next house we'll have one.

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    1. We have had a bidet in quite a few of our accommodations over here in Europe. Have still yet to try one though.

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  8. Even if it adds time to the overall drive, we prefer back roads, too. Sometimes, ya gotta bite the bullet and hit the big highways, but only if you have to!

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    1. We do to but boy, we really haven't hit many of the back roads like we have back home here. Their back roads are still pretty busy and very, very slow. You hardly ever see the speed limit go above 70km/ph in most places. And, when one town ends another starts without any "country" in between. We weren't quite expecting it to be so built up everywhere.

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