Tomorrow, Monday, we drive into the outskirts of
We will drive to the store because:
- We know how to get there.
- There are no one way streets or pedestrian or resident only streets between here and there.
- There is a large, free underground parking structure.
- We don't go on a toll road.
Tuesday we will take SITA into Florence's centro storico—SITA is the usually comfortable, always on time, streamlined, dependable bus system that services big towns and little villages of
Florence is a city of cameras--not just those carried by tourists. The city has hidden them everywhere--who knows how many candid shots of each and every tourist are on file somewhere. These evil eyes will without fail snap your vehicle license if you are on a street you should not be on--and since these seem to arbitrarily change mid-block, you will get caught.
So far, we have received two of these mail surprises for a total outlay of €164/$211.88. The only consolation being that born and bred Italians are as mystified as we are about how to "drive" Florence and they get their share of tickets, too.
In the future we will be exceedingly careful with the ticket from the A1 toll both. It is expensive to drive the autostrada under any circumstances, but, try losing your ticket to learn just how expensive it can be. In our humanitarian effort of 2007, we have experientially researched this question in order to share the knowledge with you.
After almost having a toll ticket float out the window one day, we learned to always put the ticket in a very secure little nook on the front of the dash board. And that is where Ken insisted he put it as we drove to the booth at Valdichiana on our way to Montepulciano. But--it wasn't there.
Pulling over to the side of the far lane, we casually looked on the floor and under the seats, sure the ticket had simply fallen out of its little perch. When we didn't find it quickly, we began the process of tearing the car apart--still certain that it had to be somewhere--we hadn't even had the windows open during the drive. After 10 minutes of frenetic searching, we faced the fact that it just didn't exist anymore--maybe it never had. Did Ken just push the button and neglect the ticket-but the arm wouldn't have gone up then. Did it drop on the ground when he took it? Was he imagining putting it in "the nook?" Whatever--we were now facing the toll both without a ticket.
Ken walked to one of the booths--which amazingly had no cars in line--and communicated using his limited Italiano to the toll taker with limited inglese our predicament. The very nice man told him to pull the car up to the booth. He then charged the toll amount it would have been from the point we entered the A1 to that gate. Then--he gave us a long form that in reality was a ticket for having lost our ticket.
The fine was the toll cost from Milan to the Valdichiana. So-- Ken made another trip to the post office--where we are now known for more than buying stamps. And--the next day he discovered the home of our lost ticket--it is lodged somewhere in the heater vents. We can hear it fluttering around, making an aggravating sound while it reminds us of €34/$43.92 lost.
I wonder if we can get our money back?