One for the Road
Around the World, Day 18: Tremezzo, Italy to Padova, Italy: Late morning we checked out of Hotel La Perla, the charming family-run hotel in Tremezzo where we have been for the last three days. The twin sister owners both had to retrieve their husbands so all could bid us farewell before we left. All kindly inquired about Ken's health and wished us safe travels.
|View of Lake Como (photo from Wikipedia)|
Leaving the narrow, winding state highway SS340 behind, we entered the Italian motorway system north of Milan, quickly transitioning from A9 to A8 and then to A4, which spans the breadth of northern Italy from Turin to Trieste. Unlike the state roads, Italy's autostradas are well-designed, meticulously maintained and free of road kill and other litter. A4 maintained three lanes in either direction for the length of our trip, always with guardrails or other physical barriers between eastbound and westbound lanes.
|Pullout areas for emergency use only|
After paying more than €18 (about $25) in tolls on the A4, we learned a bit about how the highway is so well maintained. Still, at least the money appeared to be well spent on the actual road, rather than disappearing into some black hole as tolls on so many deteriorating, potholed highways in the U.S. seem to do.
|Number in circles denote speed limits for that vehicle|
Arriving in Padua around 4 pm, we checked into Hotel Belludi 37, strategically located between the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua and the city's massive square, Prato della Valle. Delaying our departure from Tremezzo due to ill health squeezed us to less than 12 hours in this fascinating city, so we hit the streets right away. Just across the street, the basilica was our first stop. Constructed between 1232 and 1310 and repeatedly enlarged since, this shrine to St. Anthony draws pilgrims from all over the world. The interior of the church features spectacular mosaics and frescoes as well as a baroque chapel showcasing the relics of St. Anthony.
|Basilica of San Antonio (photo from Wikipedia)|
|Il Prato (photo from Wikipedia)|
|The Bo (photo by Juan Emilio)|
With both of us plagued by sore throats and facing an early start tomorrow, we cut our sightseeing short after the university, found some dinner and returned to the hotel, regretting that we didn't have more time to spend in this historic city.
Tomorrow we have a tight schedule as we drive to Trieste, 126 miles away and try to return our Italian car rental in time to get over the border to a Hertz office in Slovenia for another car, thus avoiding a $500 drop-off charge. And both the rental offices close at noon because it will be Saturday.
- Miles driven: 217
- Weather: Sunny, 55° to 74°
- Tunnels: 27
- Trucks on A4: 16,283
- SOS pullouts: 195
- Statues in Il Prato: 78
- People enjoying sunny afternoon in Il Prato: 893
More Photos from Today
|Guardrails on motorways often are two levels high|
|Some offerings of an FTD florist in Padua|