Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
Maxim Hotel Verona
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Friday, June 15, 2012

After a relaxed breakfast and a prolonged linger around the peaceful courtyard of the Villa Bertagnolli, we set out for our drive to Verona.
First stop however would be the Europcar office in Trento, where we would attempt to change our car for one with air conditioning (as ordered).

We followed the mountain route from the B & B in the hills above Trento toward the township's centre some 10 kilometres to the north.
Our GPS brings us to an address in Trento that is meant to be the Europcar building. In my best Italian flavoured English I ask the attendant in this 'Europcar office turned photo printing shop', where the Europcar office had moved to. Neither she nor her (English speaking) assistant knew of any Europcar office, or where they may have moved to.
In frustration I exit the shop that has the same address (emblazoned over their door) as the one noted on my Europcar pamphlet that lists all its Italian offices.
I stride 20 steps (and 3 shopfronts) to the left and cross a driveway which I happen to glance up. Lo and behold - I see the familiar green logo of Europcar. I walk down the drive to the office entrance. It has a picture sign on the door of a clock whose indicated time has passed some many minutes ago. I sense this could be the start of a wild goose chase. Rather than wait indefinitely, we elect to sightsee the town and then, time permitting, return to try our luck in an hour or so.

The hour passes and in true Italian fashion at lunchtime, everything except restaurants close for lunch. There is no point waiting a couple more hours so we set off (with open windows) toward Verona.

The scenery is majestic so we keep to the secondary roads to accommodate stopping for viewing and picture taking opportunities. We pass Castel Beseno - the largest feudal fortress in the Trentino region; the Castle of Avio - one of the oldest and most famous fortified monuments of Trentino; and other small villages and landmarks which make the slower travelling most worthwhile.

After a few hours we are approaching Verona. The GPS is set to take us to the Verona branch office of Europcar and within minutes we are parking in the Piazza Renato Simoni where the Europcar office is located.

The young girl behind the desk speaks perfect English and explains that it is not possible that our car has no air conditioning. She insists that all Europcar rentals have air and maybe there is a problem with the unit.
However, before coming out to inspect the car she confirms that our Fiat Panda is not the class I had ordered and that I was being charged the wrong (higher) rate. She apologised for the 'mistake' (yeah right!) and altered the contract price to reflect the lower class I had been given. Of course, she 'couldn't' swap vehicles for the correct class as being a holiday weekend she had none available.
Walking toward the parked Panda I was musing to myself how she was going to avoid giving me an upgrade when the air conditioning problem couldn't be resolved.
I opened the door, started the motor and turned the dial to Blue. "See!" I stated instructively. "No cold air!"
With a deft hand movement, she pushed inward on the dial (who would have thought?) and a small light illuminates in its centre.
The advantage of driving a Fiat Panda is its small engine capacity (fabulous fuel economy), its slow top speed (can't get into trouble by speeding) and its compact size which comes in handy on narrow streets.

The rest of the day is spent exploring Verona and looking for Romeo. We end our day with a pleasant evening meal at a parochial osteria located in a small piazza that we stumbled upon by chance when looking for a parking spot in the old walled city.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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