"So we are all pretty familiar with the escapades of Clark W. Griswold. He innocently stumbles, bumbles, fumbles, self destructs, destroys and plows through life like a human wrecking ball. Well, everyone has a moment or two like these epic eff ups in life.
Florence, Italy has zones called ZTL's in which cars are not allowed, only by permit. We were staying at a hotel (designed by Ferragamo) on the Arno River near the Ponte Vecchio. I called the hotel in advance and they said we could drive directly there and park and they provide the permit. So we drove. Into Florence. In the dark. In the ZTL. And got very lost and then very confused. Circuitously meandering through the maze of the city like a lab rat for a clinical trial of a high-grade barbiturate, we found ourselves driving into a pack of zombies. Turns out they were tourists. They were staring at us in bewilderment, with the look of "what the heck are you idiots doing?!" Brushing against our rental car. Wanting to pound on the hood like Ratso in Urban Cowboy, "I'm walking here!" We plowed through the crowds.
With the glow of Google Maps on the phone from the back seat, I say... "I think we are on the Ponte Vecchio." Like, we are DRIVING on the Ponte Vecchio. This bridge is probably in the top ten of famous bridges in the world. It was built originally in Roman times and then rebuilt in the Middle Ages. In its current form, the structure dates from the 14th century and is now covered with tourists and jewelry shops. We rambled through the cattle herd of Tevas and fanny packs to the end of the bridge where two Carabinieri (cops) stood. I did my best to speak Italian, which I studied in college. I probably said, "Me sorry. Me dumb. I like pasta. Wine. Thank you." To which the cops reply in English, "Do you realize what you have done?!" We just asked if we could park the car at the base of the bridge and have someone come get it and park it for us. They obliged."