This is part of the twelfth section of our around
the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Tunisia or read our previous visit to Italy
25/10/06 We have not visited Italy at its best on the motorcycle. Each time we have been here it has been near winter. Most of the major tourist attractions were already visited with our children when backpacking in the early 1990's and this time it's just a hurry through to try and avoid winter setting in on us in Turkey. We have often viewed this first passing of the world's countries as just an introduction to where we would like to return for an extended stay in our more ancient years. Italy fits into the return to later country category, as does most of Europe, North and South America and Southern Africa. That should keep us busy for a few years in late retirement. The immigration and customs procedures off the boat were quick, no paperwork, not even a stamp in our passports. A glance at the motorcycle and we were back in Europe. We looked around Civitavecchia for a cheap hotel but it appears they don't exist here, 60 Euro's the cheapest, so we rode north looking for somewhere to camp. An Agip petrol station had parking for trucks and allowed us to put up the tent. Truckies were using the free showers in the next door restaurant, as did we, and although a noisy camp with trucks rolling through most of the night we slept well.
26/10/06 It was a lovely crisp sunny day's ride to Pisa and its famous leaning tower. Italy has closed for the season, a situation we have encountered on each of our visits. Once the tourists leave in September all the roadside small hotels, cheap zimmers and campgrounds pull down the shutters for the winter, yet the riding at this time of year is fantastic. The packed roads of summer are less crowded and the days are cool but not cold. The cities are still open for tourists and the leaning tower was attracting hoards by the busloads. I wonder how many tourists would have come to this city if the builders had done their job correctly. We picnicked on the grass along with locals enjoying the peacefulness within the city. Mid afternoon had us riding further north through the mountains towards Bologna. The trees have changed to their autumn colours and again we found a petrol station, this time a small one, that thought nothing of letting us camp on a piece of asphalt in one corner.
27/10/06 The petrol station had closed in late evening and we were awakened to its early opening to service the commuters hurriedly heading for work. The friendly pump attendant offered us coffee and use of the office computer for internet. Like many people we meet along the way he has the dream of riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle leaving all the worries of life behind. If only travelling as we are were truly like that, but then it would be boring within weeks. But it is far better than having to join the commuters each day, which we had to today, heading for the Slovenian border. It was either slow moving through beautiful small towns with traffic or joining the monotonous toll ways, which we succumbed to in early afternoon. Kay's cabin mate on the ferry from Las Palmas a couple of weeks ago had a roaring cold, which she managed to pass onto Kay, who has been thick in the head for the last couple of days. With her reducing energy levels we opted for one of the few open zimmer style roadside rooms in early afternoon short of Trieste.
28/10/06 This is as far north as we are travelling and this morning we rounded the top of the Adriatic Sea and started heading South East. Leaving Italy was as easy as arriving. Passport control didn't even open our passports, just waved us over the border without stopping.
Move with us to Croatia
via Slovenia or go to our next visit to Italy
Story and photos copyright ©