Our great expectations of the Adriatic Coast combined with the promise of a full service pitch had us driving in thinking that we may have to stay in Lido delle Nazioni until Camping Tahiti closed five days later. We were out of there in two nights.
First for the campground: We should have prophesied the end of our visit when Reception asked for our wrists in order to attach non-removable plastic bracelets. We are not the plastic bracelet kind of people. We much prefer that business take it upon themselves to remember who is a paying guest and who is not. On the plus side, our pitch came with its own private toilet, shower and outdoor dish sink which were nice; unfortunately the star attraction was the millions of mosquitoes. We were eaten alive.
As for the coast, the area is run down and not very inviting. The seaside is almost completely segmented into private beaches (Campground Tahiti has one of them), their entrances protected with chain link fences, making a walk along the coast seem like you are venturing around a prison yard. With a storm brewing, the Adriatic wasn’t beaconing either and thus we spent our one full day in the area playing tennis (terrible courts), visiting the Thermal Spa (not nearly hot enough for this time of year) and dining in the nearby village of Comacchio (easily the jewel of our stop.)
In Comacchio we found Crusties and lots of them. Crusties is a name I gave to all the old men in Barcelona: They looked like they had spent their lives on the sea and could not get used to walking on the stable earth. As in Barcelona, the Crusties of Comacchio gaze out of their unflappable eyes, gesticulated wildly, discussing lord only knows what. Commachio is full of them. I managed to get two of them in a photo of the town, but you have to look carefully—I didn’t want to be obvious.
Along with the Crusties came a good dose of authentic Italian life. At cocktail time (Prosecco and local olives) the Crusties gathered for their drinks and smokes while there was never a woman to be seen. We figured the women were home making dinner. I have rarely wanted to speak another language so much in my life: Oh to eavesdrop on their conversations! What do they talk about with such excitement hour after hour after hour?
With nothing garnering our attention more than swapping at the mosquitoes, we knew we had to get back on the road and thus headed deeper into Italy and into another country; San Marino. Nothing beats mosquitos like the oldest republic in the world.
PS: For those of you wondering how in the world we could drive by Venice twice without stopping, I give you this: We try to visit the out of the way places on this trip. Venice can be easily toured without your own transportation and most likely much more enjoyable without your own dogs. If you have not been there but are planning a trip, prepare yourself for some of the ugliest scenery in the world on your drive from the airport to the water taxis. The area is a marsh-land (hence the mosquitoes) and covered with low-rise industrial buildings.