Italy – Both Stunningly Beautiful AND Petrifying, All At The Same Time!

On leaving our freebie parking spot in Ventimiglia, last week, we were thrown straight back into the madness that is Italian traffic! I say, once again, they are completely mad! We pootled along the coast, desperately trying to avoid the suicide jockeys, both on two wheels and four, as far as Imperia, before we managed to escape the insanity and headed-up into the hills! Here, at least, the traffic lessened although the road surface didn’t improve one iota! Poor Sebo and his contents were shaken like a James Bond Martini until we reached our destination for the night, Garessio in Piedmont. Now, it has to be said, Garessio has nothing much to offer other than a free Aire and, having parked-up, had lunch, filled-up with water etc, we upped-sticks and soldiered on up to their ski resort at Garessio 2000 – or, rather, their “former” ski resort, since it’s been non-functional due to bankruptcy since 2014! Nonetheless, the scenery was quite pretty and we managed a walk before dinner, despite the low outside temperature! We even spotted a couple of roe deer grazing in the forest but, unfortunately, Harley spotted them at the same time and, naturally, ignoring our calls to come back, promptly chased them away before we managed to get photos!

What was really sad about Garessio 2000 was the ski condos – pretty sure the five blocks of apartments built directly facing the slopes cost quite a bit of money originally BUT arenow being sold at €12k for a studio apartment and €39k for the one bed-roomed variety! Shame really, cos it’s a nice wee place to ski!

We spent a peaceful night sleeping on the car park of the ex-ski resort, availing of free wifi! pretty good signal too, thank you! But, onwards we must go – and downwards, to Genola – a free Aire, next to a huge camping accessories shop, offering free services, including electricity! Yeah,we can plug in and cool the fridge! We more than paid for our parking spot by venturing into the accessories shop and spending €45 on freezer packs and a cool anti-mozzie door curtain which goes pretty well with our decals! Oh, and I finally managed to find a decent pair of shoes in the shopping centre there!

Next stop was Barbaresco – a UNESCO site on account of it’s vines – and I can testify to that fact! So may vines….and hugely expensive restaurants!

Unfortunately, by this stage, the weather was pretty pants and Barbaresco was pretty closed but, we took a stroll around the place but balked at the €5 charge to take the lift up to the top of the tower, reasoning that the view from our parking spot was every bit as good!

From here we headed for Ovada – another free parking spot with services. Unfortunately, on arrival, we discovered this to have been commandeered by a “resting” fair but we managed to squeeze in anyway. The town, on further inspection, proved to be quite dull and I’m not sure it would be any better in decent weather but… gave us a free bed for the night so we shouldn’t complain! I have to say, at this point, we are not really “feeling the love” for Italy…..hopefully that will improve as we continue our journey!


Hi, Roy again. Karen will keep y’all updated again soon as we are a little behind due to internet coverage and all that. I’ve got a few personal comments. Italian drivers are mad, we all know that but it’s only when you’re here you realise that they are barking raving mad!! They sweep from side to side looking for an overtaking opportunity like a Formula 1 driver on speed, off slips on motorways are fab ways of ‘undertaking’ instead of using the outside lane of a motorway! Wing mirrors double up as stabilisers to stop them tipping over, indicators are only for MOT Use i.e. once a year!!! Seriously barking the whole lot of them!!!! If this was Benidorm Madge would have a leccy chair tuned by Ferrari!!!!! Wish me luck!!!!!!