horsepower for everyone
28.06.2010 - 01.07.2010 33 °C
Ok Barbara, here's some more...
In the Mestre car park, the car was still there and all in one piece, so that was good news. The bad news was wi-fi hadn’t been working so we had nowhere to stay that night. We were aiming to head south and find somewhere that night. We dropped into Ferrara and drove around town trying to find free wi-fi. Went into Maccas, but to register you required an Italian mobile, bloody useless. We wandered around and were about to head out and just try our luck when I picked up a bar’s signal. We did a quick circuit back and went in to have a cuppa until they closed. We found a hotel in Bologna (we’ve had a pretty good strike rate with booking.com) and arrived in there at 10pm. Got a few looks as we hauled up the bike box, and all the other luggage.
We were late down so there wasn’t much breakfast left in the morning, but we were refuelled by the time we jumped into the car. We had a drive of about an hour to the east until we arrived at Maranello and found the Ferrari Museum. We spent a number of happy hours here drooling over the cars from every age of the Scuderia. I still love the cars from the 60’s but they have made a few good models recently too. The museum has a few extra displays above the cars from F1, other racers and the road, but there is not that much interactive stuff. After a cold shower, in the form of the prices in the shop, we were ready to depart.
To end up the day we headed back via Sant’Agnete Bolognase and dropped into Galleria Lamborgini to have a wander through the history of that marque. This is pretty much only a static display and not so detailed as the Ferrari offering. It is very interesting to how the cars have changed and some of the stuff they were willing to try out to revive the brand in the ‘90s. Again, I loved the classics and a few of the new designs.
Ferrari and Lamborgini are both in the valley of motors which includes other brands such as Pagani and Ducati as well as a few other specialist engineers. Many of these can be visited and some offer tours as well.
We grabbed a bite to eat in Bologna before heading to bed – a really crap nights sleep left me feeling wrecked the next day - had a day off while L went shopping in town. We also headed out to the big shopping centres that have grown up on the outskirts of most Italian cities. They seem to have eight or so big stores and a cafe or maccas and not much else. Pretty soulless, but popular. I have picked up a few things to go on the bike, but that is the only shopping joy for us.
The next day we head off to take in another shopping phenomenon. This one is the outlet village that has sprung up in lots of places around the country. Situated just off an autostrada, there is an area of a hectare or two with plenty of parking available. Inside, there are nearly a hundred stores of different brands, mostly clothing and shoes with some home wares as well. It is all landscaped around a central stream to keep it nice. G and I are through in under an hour, each with a souvenir. We have retreated to the car park to play soccer in the scorching heat when L calls to say there is one more store to look in and she’ll be out. An hour later, she calls back to say she has found the store she was searching for the whole time. Despite the time in there, only two purchases are made.
The next diversion on this leg is a wander across to a place called Pisa, you may have heard of it. Following the downloaded Google Maps, we are guided in pretty well until the last minute where we are not sure to park. In the end we go into a gated car park and back up to the fence to discourage anyone...
We head across to the Piazza dei Miracoli, and the miracle here is that unlike just abut every other famous building in Italy, this one has plenty of space around it so you get a great perspective of all the buildings - you don't get a view like this in Florence.
The original plan was to do a dash in and out, but unlike the last time we were here, the tower is open so G and I get tickets to go up - in 80 minutes time. This gives us time to go and have a tourist meal nearby. G and I head on up. It is very weird trying to walk up something with this angle of dangle, and it makes you feel a bit dizzy. Up the top, it is hard to get past the feeling you are very close to going over the edge. Up the very top it is plain to see just how much of an angle the tower is on as you look across.
We have spent a few hours more in Pisa than we planned, and it is a few hour's yet to tonights stay. We arrive at our accommodation near Cortona in Tuscany late and quickly get set up ready for tomorrows’ surprise.