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Author Topic: My First Drive in Italy  (Read 1142 times)
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neil-yaj396
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« on: 07 March, 2014, 06:00:14 PM »

Last week I visited Italy for the first time for a snowboarding trip to the Alps. As we were going to a relatively small resort hiring a car for the full week turned out to be the cheapest way of getting to and from the airport at Malpesa. I hired a car from Avis via the Flybe website which was described as a Renault Megane (or equivalent), dull, but no doubt it would do the job.

On arrival I was offered an upgrade to a brand new Audi A3 for ten Euros a day. This seemed a reasonable deal so I agreed, however in Italian maths 10 x 7 = 400! Not such a good deal after all! I politely declined and said Id take what Id originally ordered. To my delight a Lancia key was grumpily thrust into my hand. The little Musa happily swallowed up three guys and our luggage, including a pretty large board bag. The car was easy to drive and it wasnt until I started it the next day that I realised that it was a diesel.

Unfortunately on day three the Musa let us down. Id parked it at the bottom of the car park surrounded by four foot walls of snow. I suspect that a pool of very cold air settled around it that night and froze some water in the fuel filter. Bloody Lancias/Italian cars came the jibes as we shoehorned into the other BMW hire car which fired up fine. By the time we came back in the late afternoon whatever had frozen had thawed, and that was the only problem we had with the car.

What I found amazing was that whenever we parked up in the large car park near the cable cars about 25% of the cars were Lancias! Fiats (mainly 500Ls) were the only other Italian cars that appeared in any sort of numbers. There were never more than one or two Alfas. As you can see from the picture below one of the many Ypsilons had become something of a permanent resident! Having seen so many Lancias it is a bit easier to understand why Fiat are a little reluctant to delete the brand in Italy, if not elsewhere.

The night before we were leaving came with a forecast of a couple of feet of snow. Luckily we decided to park the Lancia in the car park in the town square. The next morning we had to wade out of our chalet through thigh deep snow. The Musa had to be dug out of the car park, but only as far as where the snow plough had driven through. There then followed a tense twenty minutes driving in appalling conditions, until I caught up with two ploughs which I then followed down the mountain. They eventually stopped in a tunnel and I apprehensively overtook them emerging back out into driving snow. However within only a kilometre the snow completely disappeared to be replaced by pouring rain. We had breached the snow line and within ten minutes we were on the Autostrada heading for the airport. The car only used thirty odd litres of diesel during the whole week.

So for a week I was the owner of three Lancias and one of them in Italy, brilliant!


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« Last Edit: 07 March, 2014, 06:07:14 PM by neil-yaj396 » Logged

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