Tonight I am writing from a taxi, on the way to Verona (which is an hours drive away from where I am staying) to receive my new car – which I am demanding be a Mercedes (because Granddad has always wanted to drive one here). Why am I in a taxi getting a new car and what happened to my Alpha Romeo?

Quick pause, I am on the highway, the taxi driver just got a phone call and he is becoming frantic. He went from slugging along at a nice pace to driving like 150 in two seconds. What the heck!!!!

Anyway, where was I, oh yah, my Alpha Romeo stopped working; seriously. The car was working one minute and not the next. Not knowing Italian and having rented the car in Switzerland, I was up the creek without a paddle. Switzerland said it was Italy’s problem and Italy said it was Switzerland’s. This is my 11th hour of negotiating, dealing with countless Hertz people on the phone, tow-truck companies, mechanics and taxis.

Needless to say, I should have learned Italian. As of right now, the car has been towed away (no idea where to) and I am in a taxi to get a new car. The Italians and been VERY friendly and have gone out of their way to be of service to me. One gentleman in particular had the car delivered to him at his shop, analyzed it, informed hertz, told them it was unacceptable, got me a taxi, had the car towed and now I am on my way to pick up a new ride.

On a day that I was using to treat myself (relax by the beach, drink wine and finish my google book) instead turned into phone calls, being driven to towns I can’t pronounce and being taken to Verona by a mad man taxi driver.

It’s currently 10 PM and I am exhausted. I have no way to contact Granddad and the crew and I think I may spend the night in Verona. The thought of arriving to Verona airport (in 30 minutes) negotiating a new car and then driving back to my hotel does not look enticing. I think I will negotiate that Hertz put me up for the night (4 star) is going to be on my agenda. I will let you know my progress once all of this settles.


I arrived in Verona exhausted. The lady behind the Hertz reception desk had my car replaced. It was a downgraded Alpha Romeo. That, for me, was the last straw. I blocked the line where impatient customers sat until my demands were met. And they were. So now we are cruising in a Mercedes-Benz.

Our new Mercedes

Today we drove to Venice.