Collecting our rental car went way more smoothly than that in Verona and we actually were given what we had ordered 6 months earlier. In fact we gained diesel at no extra charge.
This was a good sign.
We headed off in our nippy little Fiat Punto through hilly landscapes and small towns in the direction of the Mediterranean and our rental unit at Moneglia, slightly north of the Cinque Terre.
A little rain here and there was of no concern just like the road traffic, there was almost none.
Stone quarries dominated many of the small villages and we eventually understood why. We were passing through Carrara, home to arguably the best marble in the world. There was kilometre after kilometre of the stuff, blocks, slabs and tiles. It was everywhere.