Maralyn's activity

Questions Asked

The exchange rate seems pretty good at the moment and we have booked our trips over to Italy for the year so are thinking about changing some money into euros for our visits.

Thu, 01/12/2012 - 16:55

My husband has just returned to the UK after a few weeks at our house in Picinisco, Lazio.  A few days ago he was with a couple of Italian friends and about to walk into the cantina when they told him to stop immediately and walk away slowly back

Wed, 05/11/2011 - 10:00

I was sent the following from a friend this morning.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 07:43

Having read a post earlier today about Ryanair I was very amused to receive the following from a friend who, coincidentally, had no idea of what I had read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I am in a bit of a panic because I cannot see any flights this year from Newcastle to Rome by Easyjet.  they still have it as a route on their website but with no flights put up for sale.   I phoned Easyjet and they said I would just have to wait

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:31

Fiumicino airport to Ciampino airport, can anyone tell me if there is a shuttle bus between these airports or is it a matter of going by train to Rome Termini and then to Ciampino station and by shuttle to Ciampino airport.?    Your help would be

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:26

Whilst Ron was at our house a week ago he said there was a short but very definite earth tremor which caused everyone to come out of their houses and discuss.  He is back in the UK now and a friend from over there has phoned us to say they have ha

Mon, 10/12/2009 - 14:21

My husband Ron is over at our house in Italy with our dog Tink.Yesterday Tink was growling quite fiercely at an aminal in the field next door to our house and not the normal growl when she sees a cat or another dog, but a loud one.Anyway the anima

Tue, 06/23/2009 - 19:38

Comments posted

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 18:12

We travel on DFDS from Newcastle to Amsterdam and then onwards to our home near Cassino in Lazio. Regarding the ferry, there are a few tips I would give you. The pillows in the cabins are thin and uncomfortable so we always take our own. The quilt is thin but the cabin is always warm so that isn't a problem.  Take your own toiletries, they don't always supply them. Travelling with a 3 year old I would also suggest you take some food and drink on board with you. Food and drink on the boat are dear, especially if you have drinks in the cocktail/cabaret room.  But I recommend the breakfast which is about 11Euros.  There is a huge buffet breakfast to choose from and ideal to have had a good meal before a long drive ahead.   Watch out regarding drinking alcohol on the ferry because when you arrive in Amsterdam you will be breathalised as you leave the boat. Have a good journey. Wish I was doing the journey for Xmas too. Maralyn

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 15:55

Gosh, what did you eat and drink for 400 Euros for two people!!  If you were wiling to buy dinner for TWO for 400 Euros then a 40 Euro tip shouldn't be a worry. Or is Australia that expensive? LOL Maralyn

Tue, 05/01/2012 - 19:16

  We all, I'm sure, have a tale of woe regarding Red Tape, Bureaucracy, and damn right Rudeness.........  I had a real smile when I read the above on your post Flip as I am currently trying to get visas organised for me and three others - one an Irish national - to go to Lagos in Nigeria as we are doing some restoration work in the Cathedral there.  Talk about red tape, bureaucracy and damn right rudeness!!! This has been worse than anything I have encountered in Italy.  We are due to fly next Tuesday but unless certain jobworths get there act together we will not be doing so.   Needless to say, after a three week stay in Lagos I will be flying to Italy to spend a couple of weeks in my home there, relaxing in the silence and beauty of the surrounding mountains and enjoy the heat minus the humidity of Lagos.  Mind you I love my job and having been there before, met some lovely people and enjoyed my stay in Lagos, I am looking forward to going - once I get our visas!! Maralyn

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 18:27

Isn't it strange flyingveepixie, that the amounts they charged me, and you, were similar amounts, ie about E35 to E40+.  This isn't a huge amount compared with the amount of time it took to get to speak to someone to sort it out and ultimately get nowhere.  Small enough to say "sod it, I won't bother raising my blood pressure any more trying to sort this out". One company was Hertz and the other Autoeuropa.  I also hate the fact they have all my credit card details, what with all the scams regarding credit cards that go on these days. Maralyn

Sat, 04/21/2012 - 20:34

For us it is still cheaper to drive down with our car, leave the car at our house near Cassino (Lazio) for the months we will be visiting until October and then drive back to the UK with it then. Ron, my husband, drove down this past week. We live in the northeast of England and have found the worse part of the whole journey is actually from here to Dover/vice versa.  Last year it took us 10 hours, due to traffic jams and accident, to  get home from Dover so we have decided to go on the Newcastle to Amsterdam overnight ferry and at least get a night's sleep before the driving starts. The fare was £158 for the car and cabin, more or less the same as going last year.  Ron then takes power naps at various times and sleeps in the car en route for a few hours during the next night and arrives at our Italian home about 26 hours after arriving in Amsterdam.  (It is an estate car and the seats recline right down). We used to hire cars but after being conned out of money for late pick up on one occasion and apparently no petrol in the car on another, both TOTALLY untrue and unable to get our money refunded to our credit cards, we decided to do the spring to autumn journies in our own car and have the car available for us and our family and friends to use. The house is used most weeks from April to October. It is an 8 year old Vauxhall and serves us well.  We fly from Newcastle to Rome and get the train to Cassino. No problems. In todays paper it mentioned the scams car hire companies are now doing charging almost double again in the country where the rental  car is hired, the money being debited from the compulsory credit card details. It said the main scam was to do with petrol and the huge excesses they put on, falsely. It suggested people be very aware and make sure the rental company are totally honest with them when booking in the UK. This is all well and good but our experience was with the rental company in Italy who deducted money from our account without even informing us. We had to find out ourselves what the deductions were all about when we saw them on our credit card statements. When trying to pursue the issue with the UK companies, they weren't interested. Ron did say he was shocked when he filled up at an Esso garage just south of Rome to find that it was over E190 a litre.  He did wonder why there were no other cars at the garage and has since been told that the Italians are avoiding Esso garages as they charge the most. (I think he said Esso).  All in all we have worked out the cost of us taking the car and flying to and fro and we find it is still the cheaper option compared to hiring a car - and you still have to put petrol in that and perhaps get conned!  Maralyn

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 09:29

Oh dear, poor Nigeria always gets such bad press when it comes to scams. Granted, there are scams coming from there. Give a dog a bad name etc., I deal regularly with various organisations in Nigeria and they always do bank transfers to my account in the UK in advance of me producing the goods so I cannot complain.   In turn I have had cheques bounce, credit cards unauthorised etc., from people in the UK but never from Nigeria.   Unfortunately the minority of scammers in Nigeria are giving the whole country a bad name.  And scams are done worldwide but it has become the norm that a scam is from Nigeria. With me wanting money in advance of goods people abroad I deal with may think I am a scam merchant?! LOL But I agree, watch out for your property on the internet. Best of luck with the sale. Maralyn

Mon, 01/16/2012 - 18:51

Thank you for your suggestions.  I am coming over three times during the year for a total of 7 weeks but Ron, my husband, will be staying at the house longer than me to do some work on the house and land. I cannot wait to come over but it won't be until May due to work commitments. We don't have central heating in the house so it was no pleasure being in the house a couple of years ago during the winter. It was warmer outside - minus 4C inside! One day we will get it installed but meanwhile I tell people we can't be at our house due to lack of flights from Newcastle to Rome during the winter, not that I am a wimp! Maralyn  

Answer to: Canopy porch
Wed, 08/24/2011 - 17:46

We would like to build a canopy above our front door but our problem is that our front door has an arched "borrowed light" window above it and then the whole frame is then edged in an arch made of stone.  This means that if we put a canopy above the stones it will be so high above the front door itself.  And if we put it lower it will cut off the top of the arch which spoils the effect.  We think, as the house is about 200 years old, that the original door was a wooden arched one.    Anybody got any ideas for us then please. Sorry to intrude on your thread. Maralyn

Mon, 08/08/2011 - 18:35

After no problems hiring cars for a few years, the last two times I did I was certainly diddled by Hertz and Autoeuropa for absolute lies on their part which I tried to fight but it came to nothing.   Firstly, Hertz. They gave me a car which was only half full of petrol and said I should fill likewise upon my return. The car was also dirty inside and out.  I returned it a week later, three quarters full and remarked there was more petrol in it than when I collected it.  About a month later about £48 was taken by Hertz from my credit card. When enquiring about it they said I left the car empty.  I denied this and the only way I could have proved it was by producing a receipt from the garage near the airport.  Of course, over a month later I did not have this (if I actually got one). They would not take my word for it and said nothing was on their sheet except the car was empty of petrol. This is a blatant lie on their part.   Autoeuropa.  They charged me over £50 saying I had picked up the car hire late, after their offices closed at 11pm so charged me another days hire because they had to have someone wait for me.  I said I picked it up about 8.30/8.45 and at 11pm was sat in an ice cream parlour with friends who had travelled with me, some 120ks south of Ciampino.  They said that couldn't be true. Even Easyjet were helpful and produced an email confirming I was on the flight arriving at 8.15.  So what was I meant to be doing until 11pm when I supposedly picked up the car?  They would not believe me and still charged me. I tried fighting it to no avail.   I am not a liar and was extremely upset that they took money from my account a good month after my return to the UK.  I felt well and truly conned. I don't like the way they keep my credit card details open after my period of hire.  I run a business and when a transaction is complete I destroy the customers' cards details.   Now we bring a car from the UK at the end of March and leave it in Italy for just under six months. We get a train from Rome to the nearest station to our home (Cassino) and a friend picks us up for the 20 minute drive home.  This is a lot cheaper in the long run, even taking into account the journey from the UK to Italy/return in our car, and we feel pleased we are not giving these dishonest companies our money.   We did however, prior to these problems, rent cars from Europecar when booking with Easyjet, and in spite of the prices being a little higher we never had a single problem.    Just make sure you get the forms they fill out signed by them for the condition of car and petrol, both on arrival and return.  I wonder if these scams are just in Italy or worldwide? Maralyn  

Answer to: Hot enough ?
Thu, 07/14/2011 - 17:18

Please keep the heat there for at least next week, minus clouds and storms.  I am flying out on Monday for a week for our village festa and after the dizzy heights of 17C today, cloudy and sunny, chilly tonight and rain due over the weekend, well I just want HEAT!!!! Maralyn