A Travellerspoint blog

August 2010

In Perugia

And another quick ride

sunny 31 °C

The next morning I am out for a ride again. A bit shorter than yesterday, only an hour as I still had some sore points from yesterday’s ride. Jump straight in the pool for a quick swim before we head off to Perugia.
The approach to Perugia which was quite a surprise. We parked under the city walls below the bus station then started to walk up the hill. Then you walk underground into a passage to the base of an escalator. And then another escalator, and another. When you get to the top you are inside the barrel vaulted brick structures that formed the city’s walls. And they are substantial – at least 10 metres high, and you walk upwards inside them before a final escalator ride into the sunlight. This brings you out into a pleasant shaded square with a couple of fountains and of course a statue – this one a mounted rider in bronze.
In the city walls

In the city walls


Perugia square

Perugia square

Past this stretches the wide main drag for the old city which rises north for about 500 metres until it reaches the basilica and the prior’s palace. Higher above this sits the site of the original settlement in the town, and in all directions you can get magnificent sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. And if you head off the main area very far, you find yourself faced with a steep drop down off the edge. They knew how to pick a defensive position in those days.
Perugia main drag

Perugia main drag

In Perugia

In Perugia


Wandering about in the stone streets in 35 deg heat has taken it out of us a bit, so we put feet up at a terrace bar on the town’s east side with huge views again. We slug down plenty of cold drinks, then head back down towards the car. On the way, we have a look in some shops, and one owner locks G in while she heads up to the bar for an espresso – and then cracks the shits because we are disturbing her afternoon coffee.
After this excitement we calm down with a bit of a drive around Lake Trasimeno where there are some more magnificent views. There are also more camping grounds than you can shake a stick at, and it won’t be too long before the lot is packed out for the holidays. There is good train and road access on this east side of the lake, but there is not much a corridor between them and the lake. Do a quick bit of shopping for dinner at Passignano.
It is getting late at this point, but we head up to see if there is a particular shop open in Castiglion Fiorentino. With a bit of guidance, we find Castellini sports where I purchase my own Gallo Nero outfit for riding in. We wander around here a bit, then head back to the sports store for a recommendation for dinner. We are guided to an osteria not far away, where I get to have some wild boar in a tomato salsa, very nice! As always gelati for desert.
Slept well that night

Slept well that night

Castiglion in the evening

Castiglion in the evening

Posted by lostagain 02:48 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Out for a ride in Tuscany

I'm a Gallo Nero now!

sunny 30 °C

Back from the balloon flight it is still not lunch yet, but the first duty is to jump in the pool and have a general laze around. This state lasts for the rest of the day and apart from a little model making, bike assembly and suchlike we do not get much done. The next day we jump straight back into the pool, then go to another cycle shop to get some vitals for a safe ride (one of those helmet things) before we drop L at a nearby outlet village. Mundane duties call so G and I go and do the washing at a local laundrette. Time to wait for it to finish, so G goes home to read in the sun and I go and pick L and the washing up. She does of course want me to try on something - CK jeans for $25 - sold! Then it is back into the pool.
View from the house

View from the house


The next morning I head out for a shakedown ride to see how the bike is feeling and then take it from there. One km in just out of Brolio, and some other riders turn up and after a brief chat, Armando invites me along for the ride (once they realised I was Australian and not English!). We spend the next two and a half hours riding around in our area of the Val de Chiana, about 60km. I chatted to all the team and talked about the tour and Cadel's chances. We also talked about life in Australia and Italy, and cycling generally. We circled to the south past Creti into some hills around Farneta. We turned at Camucia, just short of Cortona, and stopped to water up at La Cappannace heading further north to have a rest and a chat at the local aero club and swimming pool. Enrico (the white cock) told me the best place to go locally, the Val d'Orcia and the hill towns through there. Here we parted as most of the group were heading home to Arezzo, but Andrea and Gabriele escort me back to Brolio. It is a fantastic time, and it was great to be asked if I was still in town for next Sunday’s ride. Sadly I will miss out as we will be in Rome, but they insisted that I go and get the Gallo Nero team suit at a local shop. L could tell I had a great time by the huge smile on my face all day.The Gallo Nero team ( and one Gallo Bianco)

The Gallo Nero team ( and one Gallo Bianco)


Good cool down in the pool, which has been perfect temperature all day every day, and it is deserted so we can be as rambunctious as we like. From our perches around the pool, we watch all the trains going down the fast rail track between Florence and Rome. They go past every 10 minutes, in one direction or the other, about the same frequency as the Melbourne suburban trains - if they haven't been cancelled.
The pool

The pool


Later on we headed out to wander about andwe grab a pizza for dinner in Foiana. Pizzas are easy cheap eating, but bythe time you get water, beer or wine and a dessert, it doesn't seem so cheap anymore.

Posted by lostagain 02:03 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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