Travel Journal – Rome, Day Four

Today, we packed our bags and left Cola Vatican, taking a taxi to the outskirts of Rome where we hired a car for a little road trip out of Rome!

We had pre-ordered a car with inbuilt satellite navigation. Unfortunately, when we got to the car hire place, we were informed that they didn’t have any cars with inbuilt GPS and offered us a map instead. This was rather annoying as we were already worried about navigating Roman roads without having to figure out a map as well.

True to form, the moment we attempted navigating the Grande Raccordo Anulare (the main motorway which circles all around the city), we immediately veered off onto the wrong turn-off and began going the wrong way around the GRA!

We finally found our way onto the A12 and our Grand Italian Road Trip began!

The Italian countryside was incredibly different from the lush, green Norwegian countryside we were so used to seeing. However, it’s not without its own beauty. We were driving through the countryside of the Tuscan region and the umber landscapes and sparse trees brought to mind images of movies like Stealing Beauty and Under the Tuscan Sun.

Tuscan countryside

After a few hours of driving, we finally made it to the portside city of Civitavecchia.

We had a little trouble navigating the town and finding our hotel (thanks to my little Italian phrasebook, I became quite an expert at asking Dove el… ‘where is’), but the people of Civitavecchia were pretty friendly and helpful with instructions. One of them gave us the prerequisite little tourist’s map of the town and we were soon at our hotel.

After a tad more trouble figuring out our online reservations, we finally got to our room – which had a balcony overlooking the seaside! The view alone made up for all the hassle we had encountered on our road trip thus far.

Orbetello - Room View

We wasted no time in heading down to take a walk along the harbour. Surprisingly, it was a lot colder by the seaside than it had been in Rome where it’s still summer-hot. It was pretty quiet as the summer tourist season seemed to be over and there weren’t any cruise ships around (apparently Civitavecchia is the place you go to to start your cruise trip from.)

Orbetello view

Orbetello Harbour

Victory Day Kiss statue

And for some reason, they had a huge statue of the V Day Kiss on the harbour!

There were lots of restaurants and bars by the shore and it didn’t take us long to walk down to the port and the old forts of Civitavecchia.

We then stopped at a couple of bars for some aperitivos before choosing a small Italian restaurant at the end of the harbour for dinner.

None of the staff spoke much English but with the help of my little Frangelico Italian-English phrase book, we were able to ask them to recommend us some dishes. As we were by the seashore, we were immediately inundated with lots of delicious seafood! We basically ate as we did every day we were in Italy – until we were groaning! The langoustines were by far the best – they were huge, fresh and incredibly yummy! We were definitely spoiled for seafood there!

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