The weather was perfect right up until the day we were to leave when a huge storm hit. A big tree branch fell on our rental car, breaking the windshield! The polizia came and filled out a report, so we were not held liable. But things got worse, and the ferry we were to leave on was cancelled. Not just once, but three times! We finally got aboard the ferry, and were resting in our little cabin when the fire alarm went off. No, not a drill! Everyone was told to bring his paperwork and any medicines necessary, and to go to the lifeboats.
The ferry was full of Italian army troops, and since we were not too far from shore, I didn’t panic! The light on my life jacket did not work, so a series of helpful young men tried to fix it. No luck. But the ship’s engineer, Simone, told us that the light was activated in water, so not to worry.
The little fire was extinguished, and all was fine. Rough crossing to Civitavecchia, and we did not arrive until 2am. No taxi at the port, but it didn’t matter because there were no trains until the morning any way! Pouring rain and wind, we trudged 20 minutes to the nearest hotel. Chia was a champ trotting along in 4 inches of water. We arrived at the hotel drenched, and saw the sign NO DOGS ALLOWED….I begged the hotel desk clerk to take pity on us, and he did thankfully. Our rooms were pretty bleak, but clean at least, and we got the train to Florence the next morning. Whew!
A memorable trip, and one I would like to take again, but not so late into the fall!