Avoiding traffic where possible and cities while still keeping a packed itinerary is the aim of this leg. Skirting south of Verona and then following the flats north east as far as possible without hitting the mountains.
Intensive agriculture is what happens here. Lots of small well equipped farms pepper the countryside growing mostly maize corn and occasionally grape. Every few 100 meters another farm passes and judging by the property and array of vehicles its quite a profitable business. One downside is that there is rarely a patch of land not used for growing and lots of houses and keep out signs.
Typicalof the many towns passed through
One particular day I was being chased by storm clouds and found refuge in a marquee next to a sports field in the grounds of a castle. Under cover I ate, planned, exercised, sorted photos and other odd jobs. Then around 7pm someone turns up to fix some outdoor plumbing and I get chatting about my trip. “Where will you stay?” he asks. I look around and point to field next door. “Camping Maize”. He laughs and gestures me to follow. He produces a set of keys and opens up the spotless sports changing rooms. Showers, fridge toilets. He then says goodbye and disappears. I didn’t expect that.
Some places I instinctively know I want to stay. After one look at the high defensive wall that rings the city I couldn’t leave without completing a circuit. The archeology museum of the city told me nothing about who built the wall, when and why. I asked at the museum shop, but concluded wikipedia would be far more helpful.
Asked at the tourist information about campsites near by. “You can stay opposite the library. You are allowed to pitch your tent there”. I went there and it was like any other town centre car park. Not tempted to leave my belongings unattended and sleep would also be difficult with the usual late night comings and goings I went back the the tourist office on the off chance they had other options.
They found a B&B for 25 Euros. Worth a treat I thought.
I was made to feel one of the family in this spacious and spotless household. I was given some good advice on what to visit over wine and beers at the dinner table. Its not going to be an early start.
The owner of the B&B, Anna is a professional costume designer and maker
One of the collection of machines takes 4 reels, finishes, stitches and cuts all in one go
Her portfolio showed LED strips and panels incorporated into the costume. Very professional.
Imagine a large hill with a small town at its foot and a wall that surrounds one side of the hill and the town below. It makes for an impressive backdrop. Famed nationally for the giant chess board in the square where chess is played with real life chess pieces on the second week of September.
Famous chess board
Built in the 1370s the town was for a long time part of the Republic of Venice
Lower town with the usual procession of cars
Nearby lime kiln used for making cement, once a very common sight in the area
This area saw some heavy fighting in the first world war. The small museum had some fascinating artefacts and photos.
Bridge build be Palladian, the famous architect
First world war, I didn't know donkeys could smell so bad!
This pretty hillside village had some great views across the flatlands I had cycled through.
Finished for the day. Eat, plan, review, sort photos, listen to radio, top up batteries and wait for the sun to set before pitching at sunset.
Camped up next to the fort at the top of a hill. What a view!
Ponte di Pinzano
A famous WW1 battle site. Now filled with sun worshipper dotting the riverbed. I gave up the idea of joining them when I realised the water is icy cold.
Defensive gates (shown) gun emplacements and foxholes are still there
Nearby river with equally stunning views