It wouldn’t happen at Stanstead!


But then, maybe in a few years it won’t happen at Perugia either! Having said that the Italians will always be Italian …… Oh, I do hope so!

I’m talking about airports and San Egidio in Perugia or, as it is now called, San Francesco di Assisi. We have been flying in and out of this one on virtually a monthly basis for the last couple of years and enjoying the luxury of being able to park without charge. Over this time the airport has been rebuilt and the surrounding rough area we and lots of other expats used as a parking area, re-surfaced, so we expected our ‘free parking’ would come to an end soon.

The ‘end’ came a bit sooner than hoped and, on returning after a longer than expected Christmas trip to the UK we found our lonely little car in an area with signs saying “Cars in this area will be towed away” (in Italian, of course).

Well, it hadn’t been, so the only problem seemed to be getting it out of the area. Being Italy nothing could have been simpler! My husband went to the coffee bar and wheels were put in motion! (Literally!) A few minutes later after the message had been passed along a line of happy, jovial airport staff, (you see why its different from Stanstead!) the barriers were opened and in he went to rescue the car.

Unfortunately our car, obviously very put out after being left on its own for so long, refused to start. Did that faze the staff? Were they grumpy, disinterested, downright rude? Not at all! The barman (again) knew where to find some jump-leads and lots of airport staff anxious to be of assistance and/or glad of a diversion from normal duties came to help.

Out came an airport car and the jump-leads and a few minutes later our little car stuttered to life again! Lots of smiling, gesticulating,’ grazies ‘ and ‘pregos’ later and we were on our way (a bit of a flat tyre but not to worry!)

I do hope these misadventures don’t come in 3’s as the saying goes! Last time we returned from the UK our car was fine but we had forgotten or lost the car-keys! It was very worrying and very inconvenient but again the airport staff were excellent and so friendly and helpful. So were the AA! We have breakdown cover with SAGA who use the AA and they arranged for us to have a hire car. Fortunately there was a spare set in our house so we only needed it for one day but, if that hadn’t been the case we could have had the car, free of charge, until a replacement set had been located. It certainly pays to have good insurance!