Something to Declare: petrol station scams in Italy; America's Ryanair; Neanderthal Man, from Crawley

Warning of the week: Italy

At many petrol stations in Europe it is customary to pay upfront, and this has led to an intriguing scam. On the US online forum, ricksteves.com, a Californian traveller named Candyce Roberts says she stopped at a petrol station on the road between Siena and Florence. A fellow motorist said that he had pre-paid too much, and offered her the remainder of his fuel for €10. He quickly drove off, leaving her only €1 worth.

The current Foreign Office advice for Italy picks out rest stops and service stations on the autostrada between Naples to Salerno as locations where crooks prey on visiting motorists. "Treat with caution offers of help if you find yourself with a flat tyre, as sometimes the tyre will have been punctured deliberately." In addition: "Always lock your vehicle and never leave valuables in the vehicle even if you will only be away for a short time."

Bargain of the week: America's Ryanair?

As the big US airlines count their losses, they are watching with concern a new carrier that resembles the closest American approximation yet to Europe's biggest low-cost airline.

Like Ryanair, JetAmerica (001 727 451 3970; jetamerica.com) uses Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and specialises in "secondary" airports that attract subsidies. The new airline is set to start flying on 13 July. Initially it will connect Newark (New York) with Lansing in Michigan, Toledo in Ohio and the Florida airport of Melbourne – promoted as "Orlando", even though the theme-park capital (above) is 60 miles away.

JetAmerica's chief executive is a former air-traffic controller, John Weikle. He is promising fares 40 per cent less than competitors, and intends "to fill the gap left by big, high-cost legacy airlines" that have cut back services. He is offering headline one-way fares of $9, though this excludes surcharges; from Newark to Melbourne a typical one-way fare is $84 (£56), with extra charges for bags ($20) and pre-assigned seating ($10).

Newark is served from a wide range of UK airports by Continental, and from Heathrow by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Destination of the week: Neanderthal Man, from Crawley

The latest new link from Gatwick airport in Crawley is Dusseldorf in Germany. From Monday, Flybe starts flying the route three times daily (twice on Sundays and once on Saturdays). Lowest fares are about £70 return. It will compete against existing flights from Heathrow on British Airways and Lufthansa, from Stansted on Air Berlin, and from London City on Lufthansa.

Just 10km west of Dusseldorf, in a limestone gorge carved by the Dussel river, is the village of Mettmann – and the location where a strange, 40,000-year-old skeleton was discovered in a cave in 1856. The Neanderthal Museum (00 49 2104 97970; neanderthal.de) opens 10am-6pm daily except Monday, admission €7. You can reach it in 13 minutes from Dusseldorf's main station on suburban line S28.

The new flight also provides an excellent gateway for the fine city of Cologne, which is accessible in just 38 minutes by direct train from Dusseldorf airport. Cologne will be the featured city in 48 Hours, next Saturday in The Independent Traveller.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick