Entry to the Motherland...

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Oct 23, 2009

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Friday, October 2, 2009

We must have gone through 500 tunnels. It appears that the Swiss have an infinite budget for blowing their Autobahns right through the base of any mountain in their way.  It is interesting when you are halfway through a 13 mile long tunnel, that you realize that there is no way to pull over should you need to rest or use the restroom.  Can you imagine the mess should there be a wreck at mile 7..? 

We knew we were getting close to Italy when we stopped at one of the fancy AutoGrills (auto stops along the autobahn that rival any roadside stop in the US) and the language switch from German to Italian...we knew we were getting close. 

The crossing of the border was much more obvious as we left Switzerland.. you see, when cruising the autobahn at top speeds, you pass through tiny countries (such as Austria and Lichtenstein)  with a blink of an eye, no border patrol, no stamp in the passport. But as we get off the superhighway and cruise along the shore Lake Lugano, we were stopped as we entered Italy and simply allowed to go along our way after a quick inspection of the passports.

It is clear the the Italians have redefined driving entirely. Thus far, the roads are half as wide as Independence Pass, and the traffic is frantic.  The Italians have a great feel for the width of their cars. But it is the giant truck drivers that keep the puckering to it's most intense level.  

The last mile to the Villa Serbelloni was the most nuts.  It's a rush to get off the ferry & instantly, the one way roads are barley wide enough for the mirrors. Dawn captured this tense moment with a couple of shots. The Pedestrians need to jut into the storefront entries to provide enough room for us to pass.  I was compelled to roll down the window and repeat "Grazie" a dozen or so times. 

Nevertheless, the ferry ride across Lake Como to Bellagio made the introductory journey into Italy worthwhile... bellisimo.
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