Billy the Bus's Blog

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Big Billy Trip 10, Montepulciano to Rome

ROUTE- Montepulciano to Rome, via Lago di Bracciano
Distance - 198km (2,047km total)

Our intention was to avoid Rome altogether, just popping to the Ciampino Airport around 6pm to drop Freya off for her flight. We had earmarked a campsite near a lake, about 40km north of Rome, which our book said was open until 31 October. Alas, it was not.

IMG_1992So we went to the nearest town, and hung about looking at the lake for a bit, and decided to plump for Rome anyway. We picked the Flaminio Village campsite (which we rang to check it was open) and headed in.

I had a bit of fun and games navigating the GRA (Rome's equivalent of the M25, but much more complicated). The confusion came threefold - one, the junction we wanted from the GRA was missing its number (6) due to recently completely roadworks and lack of signage. Two, the road we wanted was actually very near the road we were on, so in actual fact we didn't enter the GRA, just brush alongside it using its sliproads. And three, the road we wanted was called Via Flaminia, so as I followed signs saying 'Flaminia' I didn't actually realise I was heading out of Rome (toward the town of Flaminia). Once I worked all of this out, and turned around, I found the site no problemo.

IMG_2006The campsite here is lovely, and full of facilities. One of these is their own Tourist Information desk, who sold us tickets for an open top bus tour of the city. It was fun to see Rome by night, and afterwards we hunted for a nice little restaurant to have dinner. We ended up having the most overpriced meal I think I've ever had. This restaurant, which looked to all intents and purposes like a restaurant from the outside, was in fact a room with tables and chairs and decor, above another room with fridges and microwaves and work surfaces. I think for something to be called a restaurant it must have a cooker. I know this one didn't because I accidentally stumbled into the kitchen looking for the loo. I ordered lasagne, and freya ordered an eggplant lasagne thing, and we ordered a mixed salad to share, and a bottle of E25 Prosecco. The whole thing came to 65 Euros, which was hilarious since the salad was a bag of lettuce, some tinned sweetcorn, and some shitty cheap olives. Ho hum. When in Rome.

Final note of the night is to mention the luxurious toilets at this campsite. They are marble, kitted out with about 20 cubicles each containing a loo, a shower, a basin, and ecoutrements. Classical music was playing on a speaker system as I pooed. Quite lovely.


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