Lessons from the Road #6: Venice to Ramazzano

Lesson #6:  You learn more when you get lost—and it can be fun. At the very least it provides you with a good story.

Our last day in Venice, we left Erasmo early to pick up a rental car and drive to Ramazzano, a village in the Province of Perugia, where we had rented a villa for a week. Ultimately, twelve of us would be meeting there. It took us several hours to get there, as we wended our way over to the coast for a bit, hoping for views of the Adriatic. We also stopped in a little village for a quick lunch of sandwiches, sparkling water, and some lovely chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies. Then we drove onward through lovely country, with beautiful hills and villages and tunnels through the mountains. We arrived at the villa mid-afternoon—after stopping and asking for directions only once, and then only few hundred yards from our destination.

Il Pino is a lovely villa at the top of a steep hill, providing excellent views of the surrounding countryside, with its vineyards and olive groves.

Villa our buildingFrom My Villa Window

Villa Walk View4 Villa Walk View Villa Vineyard Villa Olives

There was even a fig tree growing near the main villa, where I stayed.

Copy of Villa Fig Tree

Villa Fig

Four of our fellow travelers arrived shortly after we did and we got settled in and gathered around the pool for a visit.

DSCN2734 Villa Pool_Hammock

Two more friends were to arrive at the train station in Perugia later that evening, and one friend and I went to pick them up. The owner of the villa had given us directions for getting to the train station, and we followed them there without a hitch. However, the road that took us to the train station was one way, so we couldn’t just follow those directions in reverse after we had picked up our new arrivals. In addition, I had inadvertently taken our map, along with the other things that had been in my lap, into the villa when we had arrived there earlier, so we were mapless. We winged it for a bit, and then realized we’d made a wrong turn somewhere. Fortunately, we hadn’t gone too far—we didn’t end up in Assisi or anything. After some cursing about the quick decision making needed at the roundabouts, much laughing, and a stop at a service station to ask directions, we made our way back to the villa. The trip to the train station had taken about 15 minutes; the trip back had taken 45.

All part of a day’s travel in a foreign country, right? We learned more by getting lost, shared some laughter, and got a story we wouldn’t have had if all had gone completely smoothly.

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