A Travellerspoint blog

RIVA to CANAZEI (ITALY) : JUNE 29 & 30th

Back to the Dolomites

Monday morning we left Riva - reluctantly, this is one of our favourite places from our trip in 2013. However back to the Dolomites is very appealing.
We rode through the Val di Cembra which is a very nice ride, up into the hills.
The Manghen Pass is fantastic so we decided to do it both ways, up and over and back again - why not ???
It starts with nice long sweeping bends, getting tighter as you get to the top, and then suddenly there it is !
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Lots of other bikers coming and going so we stopped for lunch and watched, it was a lovely sunny day (on this side at least)
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Nougat posing - again !!!
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Over the other side was another story, low cloud and lots of cows grazing.
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One was quite happy sitting on the side of the road just "people watching"
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We arrived at Canazei and found out it is larger and much prettier than expected, it just looked like a tiny dot on the map, a convenient place to stay in the Dolomites.

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Our Hotel -
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Aitch and Jo called in for a drink with us before going back to Corvara where they are staying.
Amazing to think we live about the same distance from each other in Australia and here we are catching up in Italy!

Today was ride day, just a nice loop of Passes with big rocks surrounding us !!
First stop was Pso. Fedia - overshadowed by the Marmolada mountain.

Today the lake put on quite a show for us - stunning reflections!!
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The wildflowers are out in full bloom now and with the Marmolada in the background makes a perfect post card photo.
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Moving on through Agordo and over the Pso. Forecella Aurine (1299m), we stopped at the Pso di Cereda (1369m) for a coffee and watch the bikes go by again, and the resident chooks fighting over their turf. I am guessing eggs are on the menu here !!
Refreshed with caffeine we rode over the San Martino di Castrozza - a very pretty ride through long sweeping bends with great views.

We were going to stop at Pso Rolle (1970m) for lunch but changed our minds.
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Moving on to the Pso di Valles (2033m) we finally stopped for lunch.
Another great place to sit and watch the bikes and cars go by.
And of course take a couple more photos.
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Our little poser on top of the world -
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Over the San Pellegrino Pass (1918m) which is another really nice pass to ride and back into Canazei for the night. Overall it was a great day on the bikes just winding our way around in a big loop enjoying ourselves immensely.

Canazei has a very fascinating Cuckoo clock on the front of a building, on the hour the cuckoo comes out, chirps away and goes back in, then out come the Tirolean dancers to entertain us. It has quite a following, lots of people sit in the town square and wait for them. Only in Italy !

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And some rather interesting buildings -
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I am not sure what this one was all about but it was very different.

Tomorrow is another day on the road.

Posted by MKaye 13:45 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

RIVA del GARDA to CANAZEI : JUNE 29 & 30th

Back to the Dolomites

Monday morning we left Riva - reluctantly, this is one of our favourite places from our trip in 2013. However back to the Dolomites is very appealing.
We rode through the Val di Cembra which is a very nice ride, up into the hills.
The Manghen Pass is fantastic so we decided to do it both ways, up and over and back again - why not ???
It starts with nice long sweeping bends, getting tighter as you get to the top, and then suddenly there it is !
IMG_4035a__1024x616_.jpg

Lots of other bikers coming and going so we stopped for lunch and watched, it was a lovely sunny day (on this side at least)
IMG_4038__1024x683_.jpgIMG_4040__1024x683_.jpgIMG_4041__683x1024_.jpg

Nougat posing - again !!!
IMG_4044__1024x683_.jpg

Over the other side was another story, low cloud and lots of cows grazing.
IMG_4051__1024x683_.jpg

One was quite happy sitting on the side of the road just "people watching"
IMG_4053a__1024x788_.jpg

We arrived at Canazei and found out it is larger and much prettier than expected, it just looked like a tiny dot on the map, a convenient place to stay in the Dolomites.

IMG_4139__1024x683_.jpg
IMG_4140__1024x683_.jpg

Our Hotel -
IMG_4145__1024x683_.jpg
Aitch and Jo called in for a drink with us before going back to Corvara where they are staying.
Amazing to think we live about the same distance from each other in Australia and here we are catching up in Italy!

Today was ride day, just a nice loop of Passes with big rocks surrounding us !!
First stop was Pso. Fedia - overshadowed by the Marmolada mountain.

Today the lake put on quite a show for us - stunning reflections!!
IMG_4066a__775x1024_.jpgIMG_4068__1024x683_.jpgIMG_4074__1024x683_.jpg

The wildflowers are out in full bloom now and with the Marmolada in the background makes a perfect post card photo.
IMG_4081__1024x683_.jpg

Moving on through Agordo and over the Pso. Forecella Aurine (1299m), we stopped at the Pso di Cereda (1369m) for a coffee and watch the bikes go by again, and the resident chooks fighting over their turf. I am guessing eggs are on the menu here !!
Refreshed with caffeine we rode over the San Martino di Castrozza - a very pretty ride through long sweeping bends with great views.

We were going to stop at Pso Rolle (1970m) for lunch but changed our minds.
IMG_4091__1024x683_.jpg

Moving on to the Pso di Valles (2033m) we finally stopped for lunch.
Another great place to sit and watch the bikes and cars go by.
And of course take a couple more photos.
IMG_4094__1024x683_.jpg

Our little poser on top of the world -
IMG_4103__1024x683_.jpg

IMG_4109__1024x683_.jpgIMG_4112__1024x683_.jpgIMG_4114__1024x683_.jpg

Over the San Pellegrino Pass (1918m) which is another really nice pass to ride and back into Canazei for the night. Overall it was a great day on the bikes just winding our way around in a big loop enjoying ourselves immensely.

Canazei has a very fascinating Cuckoo clock on the front of a building, on the hour the cuckoo comes out, chirps away and goes back in, then out come the Tirolean dancers to entertain us. It has quite a following, lots of people sit in the town square and wait for them. Only in Italy !

IMG_4126a__790x1024_.jpgIMG_4135__1024x683_.jpg

And some rather interesting buildings -
IMG_4142__1024x683_.jpgIMG_4144__683x1024_.jpg
I am not sure what this one was all about but it was very different.

Tomorrow is another day on the road.

Posted by MKaye 12:34 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

SAN GIMIGNANO - SCANDIANO - RIVA del GARDA JUNE 27 & 28th

Arrivederci Tuscany

Saturday
We left San Gimignano riding through a very pretty area of Tuscany. It was a really nice way to complete our Tuscan adventure.
Through some very minor roads, vineyards, whole paddocks of sunflowers, and various other crops it turned out to be a lovely morning ride.
Getting past Lucca was tedious but once we got through the ride through to Fivizzano was great, long sweeping bends, great views, not too much traffic etc.
Finally arriving on the outskirts of Fivizzano it was time for a much needed break. Being Saturday afternoon not much was open so we took our chances at a Tabacchi shop, they are usually cheap and make a good coffee. This one was a little different !!!
Not much on offer for lunch so we settled for a Prosciutto & Cheese sandwich (nothing new in that), and 2 drinks for 8 Euros - bargain !!
The toilet however was something else ------- desperate by now I had to go and it was a squat !!!! Very very difficult in Motorbike pants !
Only when desperate do I recommend this........
The ride from Fivizzano north to Scandiano was another series of bends, sweepers and views. No photos - nothing spectacular in the scenery, just lots of riding.
We stayed at the Hotel Boiardo, a new hotel and very nice.
Dinner at the Restaurant was amazing. A gourmets delight !!!

Sunday
We started with a boring trip up the Autostrada for about 1 1/2 hours, it is the quickest way to travel, sometimes you just have to do it.
We left it near Lake Garda, that's when the real riding begins.
Up towards Mt. Baldo the scenery is stunning, lots of other riders were having fun as well
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Our lunch destination was the Bocce Navene Rifugio, very popular on a Sunday.
Situated way above Lago Garda there are spectacular views from the balcony.
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Winding our way back down we arrived in Riva del Garda late afternoon, just in time for a walk.
Riva is also extremely popular on a warm Sunday.
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We stayed in Riva del Garda in 2013 and loved it so much we had to come back this time.
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Tomorrow we are heading back to the Dolomites.

Posted by MKaye 11:53 Archived in Italy Comments (3)

SAN GIMIGNANO - ITALY : JUNE 26th

"It is possible !!!"

We started our walking tour early this morning to beat the crowds -
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You want to buy Souvenirs - "It is possible!!!"
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You want to buy food - "It is possible!!!"
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After wandering around soaking up the scenery we decided to visit The Cathedral or Duomo, the walls of the basilica-plan church are entirely lined with frescoes that tell stories of the New and Old Testaments.
Absolutely amazing works - unable to take photos so you will just have to imagine what it was like !!
Same goes for the Museo del duomo (Art gallery), stunnings works of art and incredible tapestry and applique.

And of course we had to have a Gelato and sit in the centre and watch the people -
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Exhausted by now we purchased a Panini with local pecorino cheese and prosciutto - yummy - and went back to relax by the pool for a few hours before venturing out for dinner.

San Gimignano is a "must do" if you are ever in Tuscany - we love it here.

Posted by MKaye 12:25 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

IMOLA to MAGGIONA - POPPI to SAN GIMIGNAN0 : JUNE 23 to 25th

Tuesday -
We were glad to leave Imola, not the best place we have stayed - but convenient for riding the great roads.
According to our research the road from Forli to Florence is Italy's best bike riding road.
So how could we miss that ? Well it was OK but we are a bit spoilt in Australia so it was a bit lame by our standards, however close to Florence we turned off this road and went through Stia to Poppi - Now that is a great road, long sweeping bends with great views.
Our accommodation at Maggiona was 9kms North of Poppi up in the mountains - I Tre Baroni, lovely place with amazing food and views.

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Wednesday -
We decided to go for a walk to Camaldoli which is 5.7kms up the road (definitely "up")
We had all day so why not ??
We came across a what looked like a place of worship for the Monks - in a very peaceful park half way up the mountain.
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The trees looked like they were helping each other hang on !!
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Finally after a very long walk we came to Camaldoli which is not much more than a few Restaurants with very eager staff hanging out the doors looking for customers and a Monastery established by Benedictine Monks.
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Around the corner we found an Antica Farmacia (Antique (Pharmacy)
Amazing they make all their own products and medicines here, it is also a Museum with lots of the traditional equipment to view.
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This is the Hot Mill used for preparation of salve/balm dated 1858
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Passing the empty restaurants we decided to try the little café at the camp grounds we had seen just out of town.
Great choice, amazing local produce and so cheap it was ridiculous, and the lady even gave us a taste of her chocolate cheese-cake which was to die for !!
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And if you are looking for a quaint on-site van for a charming holiday - here it is ! (LOL)
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And then after lunch we had to face the long walk home - another 5.7kms, bit easier this way - mostly down hill.
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Little birdie came to check me out -
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Thursday
Moving day again, today we rode from Maggiona (near Poppi) to San Gimignano.
We decided to have a look at Poppi on the way through - bad idea !!!
The Old Town part is on top of a hill surrounded by a huge wall, and one way skinny roads with no parking.
Up we went, trying to find a park, following the signs we came to a horrendous view, parking is turn left on huge slippery cobblestones down a very steep skinny road - not impressed. Now I am in trouble as I stopped to try and work out where to go, now I am on a precarious angle on very very slippery cobblestones, tippy toe I went very slowly around until I could get a run up - and head straight out of town.
And that was it for Poppi !!!

Back out in the country we wound our way through Chianti until we came to Greve in Chianti, gorgeous little town with a very impressive town centre.
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view are pretty impressive from up behind the town centre, all those lovely grapes growing into nice wine - such a good idea, hurry up grapes.
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And a work of art/statue that defies description -
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We arrived at San Gimignano the city of 100 towers, in time for a late lunch, followed by a walking tour of the city late afternoon.
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The shops are very inviting - I will be back.
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If you need a good hunting knife this is the place to come to.
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Lots to see out and about -
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And a very pretty sunset in Tuscany to finish the day.
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Posted by MKaye 14:03 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

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