Published: October 3rd 2011October 3rd 2011
Next to my HighSpeed train to Firenze - Man the Italians know how to do trains - Europeans in general do it way better than we do.
Ok, I still owe the blogosphere some info about our trip to Lyon last August but I just got lazy and haven't written it up. I will but it may take a while. Besides how much of the French countryside and pictures of food can you guys take? So, I will start posting stuff that's more culturally interesting and in synch with Italy and our stay here. So, on to the first of that type.
We finally got our car in Italy!!
Debra got her Carta d'Identita (Residency permission) in Torino which was the final piece of the puzzle required before the car could be registered, officially, in Italy. (my papers are just getting started - they waited for Deb's to finish first)
We found this macchina (car/auto) on-line after a long and puzzling search that included me taking weekend bicycle trips to many car dealers (connsessionari) all over Torino. Turns out that for us the best deal we could find was not in our home town. After our initial desire to get a sporty Italian car we opted to be more practical and maybe even economical. That may dissappoint some of you guys but living here for a
few months has removed some of the romantic delusion we had originaly crafted. There are lots of reasons but we chose the least Italian of cars - The Ford Focus and I am very glad we did. Although, this model Focus is touted as Ford's first world car and it does have quite a few european characteristics - drivability being a main one IMO.
I picked it up last Friday. Took a high speed train to Firenze then a regional to Empoli which is 30 minutes West of Firenze and is where the dealer (Carro S.P.A.) resides. My on-line salesman, Maurizo, and his interpreter, Dario, picked me up at the Empoli stazione at 11:26 when the train arrived (precisely I might add) and they took me to the dealership. It took about 45 mins to do some paperwork and show me around the car (all the manuals are in Italian so I had to ask a lot). Then I set the Nav to take me home and I was off.
It's a fully loaded 2011 Ford Focus 1.6L (gas not diesel) EcoBoost Titanium trim model. Got a pretty good deal, bought it used (usato) with just 6800Km
(~4200 miles). Drove it off the lot for 18,900 euro (~25K $). This model retails new for over 27K euro. Besides the turbocharged 1.6 EcoBoost benzina burner (great pep) with 6spd manual tranny, it has distance/parking sensors all around, remote keyless entry, auto parallel park, 4 wheel disk brakes, cruise control, ABS, Navigation, dual zone air, drive by wire steering (awesome feel too), leather seats, heated front seats and mirrors, Bluetooth pairs with multiple phones, iPhone/iPod interface /control, Zenon lights and more. It is hella-fun to drive and the Focus has a great maintanance and safety record. The drive back from Empoli took 4.5 hours but it was a pleasure and getting abour 40 MPG was also very cool. Great scenery as the pics should show. Now we can really travel. We love the trains here but there are some out of the way places (ski resorts and Lake Como to name a couple) that are just way easier by car. Oh, and you think gas is expensive in the USA - HA! - my first fill up (pieno) was ~63 euro or ~$84.00 for just over 14 gal. So, that is about 5.90/gal - I'm the one who is
Dario & Maurizo
Dario was the translator - Maurizo was he sales guy. I got a few words in directly but Dario really helped a lot. Did you know that the "clutch" is called the "frizone" in Italian
Anyway, we are driving our own car in Italy now and having a blast. I started to look for a bike rack which will extend my cycling a lot. - smiles -
Ciao mia amica,
Gary & Debra
There are more photos below