More and more people are choosing to travel to Calabria, which is a good thing for those of us in the tourism industry. They read our sites, maybe book a room at our B&B … they might even buy the eguide full of Calabria travel tips … then, they ignore us.
Sadly, this summer, my husband and I have seen couple after couple come through Catanzaro, visit our B&B, then ruin their vacation.
How? They refused to rent a car.
Many of these couples emailed and asked about transportation options before they arrived-and every single time, we recommended they rent a car. Yet, they arrived, bright-eyed and ready for their Calabrian adventures without a rental.
It was heartbreaking.
Why? Because you won’t see the best of Calabria without a car.
Lest you think I’m lying, let me repeat.
You won’t see the best of Calabria without a car.
This is one of the main tips in my ebook, I stress this point to all of my travel consulting clients and mentioned it in my interview with the Eye on Italy Podcast team. This sentiment was even echoed by my fellow expat-in-Calabria blogger, Michelle in her interview with About.com … and for the record, I mentioned it there, too.
The thing is, I understand why some people are wary of driving in southern Italy. They’ve heard of high-winding roads and fast-driving Italians, Carabinieri stops and traffic jams, illegible traffic signs and frustrating road construction.
But let me tell you. Nothing is as frustrating as finally arriving in bella Calabria, then being imprisoned inside your B&B or being limited to a five-block neighborhood for entertainment and meals.
In fact, we’ve seen this happen so many times that we are considering not taking reservations for people who don’t rent a car. Sound tough?
But we take a personal interest in guests who visit our B&B and when they aren’t having a good time, we know it-and we know that taints their judgment and their opinion of Calabria and our bed and breakfast.
When you are in Calabria, you’ll want to be free to explore the ruins near Roccelletta, visit the medieval towns of Gerace and Stilo, take a self-guided tour of Le Castella. All of these things would be hard, if not impossible, to do without the freedom of a rental car.
So, please. If you are traveling to Calabria and don’t want to risk ruining your trip, listen to this.
Rent a car.
Rent a car.
Rent a car …
Oh, please. Rent a car.
I’m curious what people in other parts of Italy think about car rental vs. public transport. Weigh in, won’t you?
Traveling south? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip to Calabria or southern Italy.
Photo: Global Jet via Flickr