A Little Coffee Goes a Long Way

italian planning consultant guided tours women
Efficient Autostradas cross Italy from top to bottom and east to west. These super highways are (for the most part) well maintained and make covering longer distances easy. But they aren’t free.

The Autostradas in Italy are toll roads. This means that you pay to use them. That rate is calculated by distance traveled. Before entering the freeway, you are given a ticket from a toll booth that marks your starting point. On exiting, you give this ticket back and your balance due is calculated.

This ticket is everything.

Several years ago, I spent time exploring the Basilicata and Puglia regions in Southern Italy. This part of Italy had completely won me over but there were obvious differences from the areas I knew in the north.

Places like Tuscany are a well oiled tourism machines. In contrast, I found tourism as more of an afterthought in many areas I had just visited. I gave myself a headache in Matera trying to decode the erratic opening times of the churches that I wanted to visit. There was no urgency or concern that the schedules might be hindering visitors’ experiences.

Pondering all that I had learned and how I would incorporate this into giving my clients the best possible experiences here, I found myself entering the autostrada.

But where was the toll booth? Where would I get my ticket?? There was absolutely nothing there. I had no choice but to keep driving and deal with this down the road.

My time on the southern freeway finally came to an end just south of Naples. I meekly pulled up to the tollbooth and rolled down my window. With empty hands held forward I simply stated, ‘No ticket.’

No ticket?? (the astonished response)

No. No ticket. (my straightforward answer)

Ahh…no ticket. (a sigh and knowing nod)


Si. Espresso. (is this for real?)

He reached across his window to mine holding a small, piping hot to go cup. We locked eyes, lifted our little cups in the air and threw back the coffee in one gulp.

Va bene?

Yes, indeed. That was good.

I drove on, smiling all the way back to Tuscany.


italian planning consultant guided tours women

italian planning consultant guided tours women

italian planning consultant guided tours women


italian planning consultant guided tours women



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Once in a Lifetime Travel is a passionately run company focused on mindful and fearless travel through authentic experiences and connections. We feature small, fully

guided group tours to Italy for women

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Andi Brown, Once in a Lifetime Travel ©copyright 2019



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