Ciao Italia! Easter Monday in Ancona

Zagan the motorhome is in the waiting area outside the ferry ticket office at Ancona, and he’s excited (N43.61307 E13.49985). Normally these blog posts come from where we’re sleeping, but since we’re kipping in a luxury cabin (we’re hoping for our own shower!) aboard the SNAV Aurelia this fine evening, I’ve gone a bit early. Our ferry for Split in Croatia sails at 8:15pm, costing us €245 (for our 6m long, 3m high, 3.5 tonne motorhome with a pet-friendly cabin). Ju’s research didn’t throw up any camping on board options, even in April, so we’ve gone down the rent-a-room route. Expensive, but awkward otherwise with our beloved pooch. We need to wait here until 6pm, then we can go sit next to the ferry somewhere and wait to board.

The waiting area at the ticket office in Ancona
The waiting area at the ticket office in Ancona
Team Zagan's chariot for this evening's nip across the Adriatic Sea
Team Zagan’s water chariot for this evening’s nip across the Adriatic Sea

But for a bit of roof-beating rain in the night, we both slept well and left our freebie beach-side spot in Numana refreshed. Using some (again free) WiFi we’d downloaded the All-of-Europe maps for the CoPilot Caravan app on Ju’s Android phone (win a copy for yourself here!), and ran it alongside our TomTom for the trip here to Ancona. Testing will continue over the coming days, but our very early assessment is: it’s taking us a wee bit longer to select our destination in the CoPilot app, but its routing made more sense than the TomTom. Ju normally checks the map and takes somewhat longer routes to keep us on wider roads, preserving my sanity by equal measure. The CoPilot app chose the same route as Ju, while the TomTom would have had us heading up a 18% hill which we drove yesterday, and we know is slooooowwww. So far, so good.

It’s Easter Monday today, and everywhere but the market at Numana is chiuso, closed. Ju fancied stocking up on a few more Italian goodies, but no chance, the supermarket we headed for was chiuso, along with the entire retail estate around it, tutti chiuso. If you’ve seen ‘I Am Legend’, you’ll know what I’m talking about: post-apocalypse dead, devoid of the usual wasp’s nest of cars and vans, not a person to be seen. Giving up, we headed here, bouncing along some fairly serious ‘ploughed field’ tarmac and around the usual whacky lay out of roads you seem to find at big ports.

Arriving daft-early, Ju dragged me out for a walk around the port. I’ve mentally left Italy now, I’m already on my way to Croatia (20 degrees and sunny, oh yeah) so wasn’t fussed about seeing it, but I was just being lazy really. I’m glad she made me go, as we had the good fortune to bump into Pete and Judy, who we last met four years ago (FOUR YEARS!) at Lago d’Orta. By incredible co-incidence, they’re here in their Hymer heading for Greece (I confessed my jealousy – but we’re heading for Nordkapp and to Nordkapp we must go – not further south)! After a good chat, we left them to go get a brew before heading onto their boat, have fun guys! If you fancy heading to Greece, Pete and Judy put together this fab list of places to stay when they were last there – hopefully we might get an updated copy after this trip.

A few photos from Ancona below guys, the town is well worth a wander, just a few minute’s walk from the ferry ticket office.

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Baroque in Ancona
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Nope, the fishing boat wasn’t called Micky Mouse!
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Ancona port
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Backstreet Ancona
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The Mole Vanvitelliana in Ancona
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The Roman Port at Ancona
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What the Roman Port looks like now
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Is this picture messing with your head? Sorry, it’s upside down!
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The grand old entrance to the Port of Ancona

Right, that’s it, time for Ju to start taking her sea-sickness pills. Our month in Italy is up, although there is talk of possibly sneaking back in up at Trieste (we’ve been there before though, so would need to find somewhere else to kip!). As ever, it’s been a ride. If there’s one thing Italy can pretty much guarantee it’s this: you will have to try hard to get bored!

Charlie is ready for action with his passport and ferry ticket, look at the excitement on his little face!
Charlie is ready for action with his passport and ferry ticket, look at the excitement on his little face!

Oh, one last thing (mostly intended for my Mum and Dad): our Internet SIM won’t work in Croatia (well it would, but would cost the Earth). We’ll see if we can get a local one for a decent amount of money, otherwise we’ll be using WiFi so posts might not go up every day. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE DEAD, BEING HELD HOSTAGE OR HAVE GONE NATIVE. :-) Love you guys.






  1. As always, I’m looking forward to the next part of “our” journey ! Rick Stein was on the island of Korcula the other day (so it’s safe now). Looks great.We’ve never been to that part of the world and eager to read your views and experiences.

  2. Rick Stein is the best ,,,watched all of His Shows inc the Documentary of His Family Tree from Germany, plus nothing wrong with liking and wearing ralph lauren even if He is sent them for free.
    I also think that it’s a very good idea to point out where is safe and where is not as GlorYa has thoughtfully done above.

  3. Hi J & J – we’ve been following your blog for a few years now as we have been saving and planning for our own trip. All your info has been invaluable to us so a massive thanks for sharing it. We are a week away from our travels now and it all feels pretty surreal to be this close after all the waiting! We are camping out on the drive as our house is now empty waiting for tenants to move in. We hope to meet you both someday and buy you a beer! Lidl beer naturally! Enjoy Croatia :)

    • Wonderful! It does feel surreal, know exact what you mean! Congratulations, the efforts will be worth it! Have fun and hope to meet one day, cheers, Jay

  4. J&J
    Just having a chuckle at your picture of the ferry terminal in Ancona. On the day we drove into that carpark in August last year it was a very hot 38c, the carpark was full of coaches, motorhomes and cars and hundreds of very bewildered tourists. Dispite all the anxiety, shouting, pushing and shoving inside the terminal I noted all the staff seemed very unconcerned, just another hot day in Ancona I suppose.
    Still enjoying your travels !

    • I reckon we can easily imagine such carnage, it being Italy and all! One benefit of travelling out of season: the lack of queues and the cooler air. Everything’s starting to come alive now, cafes and shops opening up, campsites being spruced up, resturants getting a few guests. Fantastic. Cheers, Jay

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