All roads lead to Rome?!

From Nice we took another bus for 1 euro: number 100 that goes from station J.C.Bermond in Nice to Menton, a small town on the border with Italy.

Again we had two variants:

  1. To go through Florence and take the route E35 to Rome;
  2. To take the road E80 along the coast.

Menton - French side

In Menton I said “A bientot” to France. But for several hours after that I was so happy to meet French drivers. At least, I can say something to them. In Italy I feel myself dump…

Lusiano taught me several words:

Bongiorno – Good afternoon

Buonasera – Good evening

Grazie – Thank you

and “the perl” of my Italian vocabulary:  vai a Roma? – are you going to Rome?

We just said “goodbye” to a man who picked us up in Ventimiglia (the first town in Italy after the border). He told us that 30 years ago, while hitch-hiking in Italy, he was stuck in Ventimiglia for 24 hours. Finally, he took a train. He confessed: that was the worst autostop in his life. Well, nothing has changed in Italy for the last 30 years!

A bientot, dear France!

In Menton we were waiting for a lift for more than an hour. Two women, driving out of a parking, stopped on a turn and our glances crossed. They said to me something – and finally we got a ride. The first question the driver asked was a joking about killers-autostoppers… hmmm…Bad reputation of hitch-hiking in Italy in action.

In Italy people have a point that taking a hitch-hiker “on board” is a doubtful and probably dangerous adventure. As my friends told me, the situation is not better in other coutries of Southern Europe, like Spain and Greece.

What will be further…

In Ventimiglia we tried to catch a car on the entrance to the route E80 – unsucessfully. Then Lusiano found a huge truck parking nearby. We spent about 40 mintutes to ask drivers who were awaken. Everyone’s departure was appointed for the next morning. But we got used to stay in shitty places in wait for a ride, so it’s fine : ) And view is awesome here, just have a look))

Picturesque truck parking in Ventimiglia, Italy

Following drivers’ advice, we camped just in the middle of parking, near administration building. Not to loose our “bon chance” we posted a paper on wall with just two words: “Genova. Roma”. And in 20 minuted a Bulgarian driver Christoff ordered us a lift and invited us to spend night in his car.

The next morning it’s appeared that his plans had changed… Then we were picked up by ex-hitchhiker, I already wrote about that above.

… Way to Rome was long and tiring. It was the longest time I’ve ever waited for lifts. We reached Genova by E80, then another small town – Messa. There we were stuck again: in the middle of the day, when the sun heats the most. A couple of hours waiting… We were already going to have a nap under the bush, but I decided to make the last attempt. And found the man who was going to Rome through Florence!!! That was our “lucky ticket”. Several hours of driving – and we are in Eternal city!!!

Eternal city

Output: autostop in Italy doesn’t really work! In France we got 5-6 lifts a day and still had much time to relax on a beach. In Italy we spent all these hours on a gas station.

And noone speaks English, of course : )

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