City to avoid in Italy

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Nov 10th, 2018, 08:30 AM
  #1
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City to avoid in Italy

In May of 2018 we traveled in Italy in the car rented at Fumicino airport near Rome. We visited Napoli, as well as several places in Puglia, including Arberobello, Locorotondo, Trani, Lecce, Otranto, etc. On May 28 we parked at Polignano-a-Mare, shopped and dined in that place, but upon return to our car found a parking ticket. Upon close inspection of the premises I found a sign stating that it is a paid parking. Seeing that three out of ~10 cars parked there had tickets when we returned, I can only conclude that the sign was made inconspicuous on purpose, to trap all who do not expect cities to behave like racketeers. We never encountered anything like this in European countries we visited, including Portugal, Spain, France, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, etc., or in Asian countries like Turkey, China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia, or in Latin America. I see it as my duty to tell others about our experience and warn people against visiting Polignano-a-Mare. First, the part that is actually ďa mareĒ is small and totally fake, designed for tourists. The rest of the city is drab and uninspiring. The signage at the parking in that touristy part of Polignano-a-Mare appears to be specially designed to trick you. So, if you donít want to be cheated, do not visit Polignano-a-Mare
justtourist is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 08:33 AM
  #2
 
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Uh-oh these types of complaints never end up well received here!
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 08:36 AM
  #3
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To PalenQ
My duty is to warn people. What they do with this info is their business. If they have nothing against city authorities behaving like crooks, they
justtourist is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 08:52 AM
  #4
 
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I sympathize with you but in dozens of past posts like this the victim is often blamed. I would do the same as you are doing.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 08:52 AM
  #5
 
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You're plastering travel websites with this gripe. If it was SO annoying to you, why did it take you 5 months to mention it?

You don't have a "duty" to do anything other than figure out and respect the laws and customs of the places you visit. Yes, "figure out," as in walk around and search for signs, ask locals if it's ok to park there, etc., etc.

Italians don't want or need to put any effort into "tricking" tourists. Tourists can easily do that to themselves, as you seem to have done.

You parked illegally. You got fined. End of story. BTW, if you by chance parked in ZTLs in other places in Italy, you may still be on the receiving end of fines by mail. It can take months for them to reach you.

Last edited by StCirq; Nov 10th, 2018 at 08:54 AM.
StCirq is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:00 AM
  #6
 
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That was just a mild rebuke compared to what's coming -always blaming the victim and never the other side. I believe you when you said you looked for paid parking sign and I believe you when you say it was rather discrete but Fodorgarchs like St Cirq won't.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:11 AM
  #7
 
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Originally Posted by justtourist View Post
To PalenQ
My duty is to warn people. What they do with this info is their business. If they have nothing against city authorities behaving like crooks, they
We relieve you of that duty sir. Spend your time better in future and avoid warning the world of tourist traps because you were too lazy to look for signage of parking.
However well traveled you are ! Or maybe it is also your duty to show the world that even you can be stupid despite your extensive experience ?
thibaut is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:15 AM
  #8
 
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Hmmm. People in my town get parking tickets all the time. And some of them live here! How can that happen?
Jean is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:21 AM
  #9
 
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All that money spent on a European vacation and one gets upset over a parking ticket ? Get over it.
historytraveler is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:28 AM
  #10
 
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well, no chance I'll ever go there anyway.

LIve and learn, when driving in a foreign country, it is prudent to look for any parking fees anywhere inside a city, but especially a lot. I guess I always look for signs about fees in any parking lot, and it wasn't clear where this sign was. I definitely would look for signs in a popular tourist area. I"m used to most parking lots having fees everywhere I've traveled, if they don't, it may be just at certain hours like the middle of the night or maybe Sunday. I suspect they weren't trying to trick people (and I notice you don't even mention what the fine was, parking fines are not usually that high), as it would seem to me, they could easily make more money by collecting parking fees, high if necessary in a tourist area, than from parking tickets. I suspect it's just the way they do things in that area or Italy and being a foreigner, you don't like it. Or if you've never seen parking machines in public lots, which are pretty common in lots of countries.

Depends how secret this sign was, I would not actually do what the OP did, as I said, I always look for what parking fees are. And if I were driving, I'd check things out on their website probably. It describes the parking situation
https://www.polignanoamare.eu/dove-parcheggiare.html

This article shows a picture of the ticket machines mentioned above
Bed and Breakfast Polignano a Mare (Italy - Puglia) - Santo Stefano

So if that's true, there are machines around where you have to buy parking tickets, and that isn't unusual to me. If there was no machine like that and only some small sign hidden behind bushes, yeah, I would agree. I guess seeing all those parking tickets on the cars didn't matter. But if the parking fine were 50 euro or less, I'd just consider that not too bad for what you got, parking, and taking advantage of a city that has infrastructure costs due to all the tourists.
Christina is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:35 AM
  #11
 
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We went to Fort Lauderdale a couple of years ago, had a nice dinner at a local restaurant. Got back to our rental car and THEY GAVE US A TICKET! Turned out you had to pay to park there in the evening.
We didn't see the sign, they probably hid it and ticketed us because we were foreigners with a rental car. So AVOID FORT LAUDERDALE!!!! They are crooks that prey on tourists.

Just warning folks here.
Tulips is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:37 AM
  #12
 
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
well, no chance I'll ever go there anyway.

LIve and learn, when driving in a foreign country, it is prudent to look for any parking fees anywhere inside a city, but especially a lot. I guess I always look for signs about fees in any parking lot, and it wasn't clear where this sign was. I definitely would look for signs in a popular tourist area. I"m used to most parking lots having fees everywhere I've traveled, if they don't, it may be just at certain hours like the middle of the night or maybe Sunday. I suspect they weren't trying to trick people (and I notice you don't even mention what the fine was, parking fines are not usually that high), as it would seem to me, they could easily make more money by collecting parking fees, high if necessary in a tourist area, than from parking tickets. I suspect it's just the way they do things in that area or Italy and being a foreigner, you don't like it. Or if you've never seen parking machines in public lots, which are pretty common in lots of countries.

Depends how secret this sign was, I would not actually do what the OP did, as I said, I always look for what parking fees are. And if I were driving, I'd check things out on their website probably. It describes the parking situation
https://www.polignanoamare.eu/dove-parcheggiare.html

This article shows a picture of the ticket machines mentioned above
Bed and Breakfast Polignano a Mare (Italy - Puglia) - Santo Stefano

So if that's true, there are machines around where you have to buy parking tickets, and that isn't unusual to me. If there was no machine like that and only some small sign hidden behind bushes, yeah, I would agree. I guess seeing all those parking tickets on the cars didn't matter. But if the parking fine were 50 euro or less, I'd just consider that not too bad for what you got, parking, and taking advantage of a city that has infrastructure costs due to all the tourists.
I tend to agree. And that goes for parking on roads too. Free parking in Europe can be as rare as a free lunch, particularly in popular cities, towns and even small villages. Best to assume that it's not free and look around for the rules to confirm how to pay or if it's indeed free. Never just assume it's free or that parking restrictions will be very obvious.
walkinaround is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 09:47 AM
  #13
 
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You don't have to bad mouth the town (drab and uninspiring - bullshit, it's a lovely place). When posters do that it totally proves they are just whiners with nothing of value to actually say. Now I could see posting to give a gentle 'heads up' - e.g. some parking in Polignano is not well marked as to if it's paid or not". Something like that. When I was there - quite a few years ago - there was a new system of having to punch in your license plate tag number into the parking machine. That's pretty common now (even here in the states) but at the time I'd never seen it. Neither had several other people in the parking lot, and everyone was helping each other out figuring out how to do it. I could see posting something like that to give people a hint what to expect. But this post is just stupid.
isabel is online now  
Nov 10th, 2018, 12:07 PM
  #14
 
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Welcome to Fodors - LOL

OK - we have been duly warned. You registered simply to post this rant (and on other websites as well). Such a 'world traveler' but this is your take away from a trip to Italy?? Sad really.

>>I can only conclude that the sign was made inconspicuous on purpose, to trap all who do not expect cities to behave like racketeers . . . The signage at the parking in that touristy part of Polignano-a-Mare appears to be specially designed to trick you. So, if you don’t want to be cheated, do not visit Polignano-a-Mare<<

I wonder how you'll react when you receive the ZTL tickets you likely racked up during your trip?
janisj is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by isabel View Post
But this post is just stupid.
This is not only a stupid post. It isn't a "blame the victim" problem

Check Polignano on google maps, find one of the few places of the village where street parking is not free:

What's the color of the lines painted on the street? Who needs a sign when lines are blu?

Last edited by Moderator1; Nov 10th, 2018 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Deleting inappropriate content
mazzabubbu is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 12:52 PM
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I can't post link, otherwise I check on GMaps for you.
mazzabubbu is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 02:15 PM
  #17
 
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That was my thought too. Surely the lines were blue or payment/ticket machines were visible.

We got a parking ticket on our second trip to Italy. We neglected to read the sign and didn’t pay. We paid the fine the next day with the help of our agriturismo hosts. It was our fault and it didn’t occur to us to blame the town or dissuade others from visiting.
indyhiker is online now  
Nov 10th, 2018, 03:44 PM
  #18
 
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Polignano a Mare is a beautiful waterfront town on the Adriatic Sea in Puglia . We recently returned from this lovely town filled with kind people, un jaded by visitors, not over touristed, and now one of our favorite places we have ever visited! We lived on seafood, pizza and fabulous vegetables. Nothing better!
Did you look at the parking lot lines to see if they were yellow, white or blue? Do you know what the colors mean? You should if you are driving and parking in Europe. Did you look for a payment machine? You should always do that too. You are bashing a place in another country because you didn't take the time to understand and follow their rules.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 04:11 PM
  #19
 
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justtourist: Well I guess I misjudged in thinking how Fodorgarchs would malign, badmouth, make fun of and downright blame you and your laziness in missing that sign and show absolutely no empathy to your case...I thought they would do this like piling on in football but am pleasantly shocked that this was not the case and surprisingly showed lots of sympathy to your plight. (You should see how terrible they treat some folks!)

Cheers!

Et Au Revoir!
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 10th, 2018, 05:18 PM
  #20
 
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To make matters worse, the small somewhat hidden signs were quite likely in Italian only. That makes it really tough.
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