30 January 2014

Life in Italy: Renting a car

I have wanted to visit the Shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello since His Holiness Benedict XVI visited the shrine in September 2006.

This desire increased after I read Paul Badde's excellent book on the Shroud of Turin and the veil venerated at Manoppello, The True Icon: From the Shroud of Turin to the Veil of Manoppello.

On Saturday, a friend and I plan to take a pilgrimage day to pray before the Holy Face and have rented a car to do so, there being no other truly simple way to get there.

Renting a car in Italy, much like many other things, does not follow quite the same process as in the United States of America.  On the car rental company's web site, after selecting the day and type of car I would like, I was asked to provide what kind of credit card I will be using to pay (Visa, MasterCard, etc.).  Curiously, I was not asked to provide the credit card number or the expiration date; I presume that information will be collected when we arrive for the car.

For some time now, I have been saying, somewhat tongue in cheek, that if there is a simpler or more efficient way to do something, it will never occur to the Italians.  Life in Italy is very good, but it is a good thing the Italians no longer run the known world.

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