We crossed from the French Alps into the Italian, driving over the border inside the Tunnel de Frejus, a 12k subterranean road that can be used for the outrageous sum of 58 euros!
To leave France and enter a different country is to go out of my comfort zone. We’ve holidayed a great deal in France, so much so that it feels like putting on a comfortable old pair of slippers. We visit France every year at least once and far more than say, our own capital of London. For those of us with motor homes the travel is easy. After so many years of confusing the population with my basic French I’m finally able to make myself understood and elicit a response in French without smirks, blank incomprehension or arrogant ignorance.
Last year, with the help of a phrase book I began to feel my way around the Italian language, at first mixing it up with Spanish, a language it resembles and then grasping a few useful words. ‘Lavaccine gietone’ was one phrase I practised rolling around my tongue-enough that I was able to go and request a washing machine token and actually get what I asked for.
So having crossed the border I rifled around in the book box- a box that contains all our useful travel documents, atlases and guide books-for the Italian phrase book. I reached the bottom of the box to find two French phrase books, neither of which we need, but no Italian one. Husband, who’d spent days preparing the box declared ignorance on the subject and I suppose I only have myself to blame for the omission. Ho hum…
We are passing through the north of Italy on our way south towards Croatia so the lack of phrase book is insignificant. We’ll be crossing a number of countries whose languages I’ve no clue about at all, meaning that stressing is pointless. In any event we have arrived on the shores of Lake Garda in late afternoon sunshine, a soft haze like gossamer hanging over the water which laps gently on the quayside here at Pescheria.
Is it any surprise that people flock to the Italian lakes? Pescheria is outrageously beautiful, with pastel painted buildings along the water, bars and restaurants lining the streets, their tables outside on the cobblestones, their lights reflected in the lake. A flotilla of leisure boats is moored in the marina. The evening continues warm enough to stroll without a jacket.
The sun becomes a bright tangerine casting a gold column down across the water. We are here for two nights but I am sure we will return and next time I’ll make certain I have the phrase book-just in case I need something else besides the lavaccine gietone…