Iceland to Italy via the UK travel blog

The beach somewhere on the west coast

My souvenir sea shells

View from our balcony

Sunset in Terracina

We waved goodbye to Villa Donna Elisa at 7am and joined the commuter traffic for the trip to Naples airport. If we needed to get there in a hurry the roads likely would have been clogged, instead it was clear sailing and we pulled into the car return at 8:15. Dave and Julie’s flight was scheduled for noon so we certainly had plenty of spare time.

We returned one car, took the shuttle to the airport, booked another car for ourselves then hopped on the shuttle bus back to car rental. In between we had a quick stand up breakfast and said our farewells to D&J. And then we were off north along the coast road to our next stop in Terracina but this time driving a slightly beat up Fiat Bravo. At least we fit in with all the other beat up cars on the road.

This was a brilliant day to be tootling along beside the sea as the sun was shining, the roads were relatively empty and we were under absolutely no pressure to be anywhere at a certain time. No commitments. We were as giddy as school kids at end of term. It was the first time we had seen so many people exercising since arriving. We passed several packs (herds?) of cyclists wearing colourful lycra outfits; mostly male but a handful of women too were cycling. My back hurt just looking at them bent over on their bikes. And there were joggers too all along the coast roads. So we stopped the car and walked along the beach.

The town of Terracina is obviously a popular family summer resort judging by the hotels. The sandy beach is straight and runs for a long way, and so does the sidewalk. March is just ahead of the season and most places were either closed or under renovation: our hotel was open and under renovation. Robert found the Torre del Sole on Trip Advisor and if it wasn’t for the high ratings we would have driven right on by. It was a modern structure, tall tower, round, balconies, white(ish), big pool and party area and on the ocean all for €90 bed and breakfast.

Turned out to be a delightful stay. We had a third floor room overlooking the ocean, well equipped room, nice balcony, WiFi that worked and staff that were really cheery. (love those cheerful workers) The town of Terracina appears to be down on its luck, feels a bit forgotten and is in need of good cleaning. Even the historical section was drab. There wasn’t a single restaurant open along the sea front, so we bought a picnic and ate on the balcony.

Tuesday morning we continued on the coast road for as long as we could before turning inland to head east to Roma. In the town of Anzio we looked for any signs or monuments from WW2 as this was an Allied landing spot. Only later did we learn about a beachhead museum so sadly left the town without visiting any wartime spots. Clearly the war flattened the city as all the buildings look 60’s style with flat roofs, 3-4 floors high, uninteresting and in need of paint. Likely all built in a hurry, or so it felt.

Robert was a star, along with Doris-the-GPS-navigator, driving into the heart of Rome. It really wasn’t that bad at all, the roads weren’t that busy, the traffic was manageable and we found the hotel. What more could you ask for? The doorman had to jump in the car to navigate us to the parking spot behind the hotel, but that was about the only issue in our desire to get there on our own.

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