Sunday 17 July
Disembark in the late morning. Then, proceed north for an overnight in San Marino, one of the world's smallest and most ancient states, perched on Monte Titano. (B,D)Hotel: Titano
31, Ctr Del Collegio San Marino RSM-47890 San Marino Tel: 00 3780 549991007
Arcona, Italy to San Marino
What we did:
We had a good turnout for the included 9:00 breakfast despite it being a late night and then went back to bed
. It sure beats trying to sleep on the bus. We arrived in Ancona at 3:15 and went outside to wait in the sun for Julio to bring the bus. It was hot under the sun but cooler than Greece and nothing like the 46 C that Julio endured in the bus waiting for his turn to go. They don’t allow idling until you go so Julio was soaked in sweat by the time he came to pick us up. The unloading process for 180+ trucks and buses is long and not without risk since they disembark from the same place as the people. The first trucks all back out beside where the people are waiting to be picked up by buses. The truck driver we talked to while waiting said the Dover to Calais operation is much better and we agreed. We boarded our bus, left Ancona at 3:55, put our clocks back to 2:55 Italian time, and stopped just outside to change drivers saying "Arevadecia" to Julio and “Buongiorno” to Giorgio. We did a quick rest stop a bit later and continued on to San Marino the only other independent country besides the Vatican that’s inside Italy. We arrived in San Marino at 5:10 and checked in our rooms at 5:30 before exploring this beautiful place. Internet is free and some of us had trouble connecting but was fairly quick once I got on. We were lucky because there was a practice parade for the medieval festival coming up later this month. It consists of about 70 people dressed in medieval garb with drums, banners, bows and arrows etc. Archery was one of the reasons San Marino was never conquered and remains an independent state to this day. We went into the government house to get a picture but I think they said I could only take it from the door. Neither the receptionist or security lady could speak any English so we left without the picture because we didn’t know what we could do. There were a fair number of tourists checking things out but they were gone after supper and the place was essentially deserted. We had supper in the hotel restaurant and the view was spectacular. After supper we walked about to see San Marino at night and it didn’t disappoint us.
Day 19: SAN MARINO.