Monday, 26 October 2015

In to Umbria

A night FOC and with electric will do nicely sir so its a thumbs up to the council guys at Torrita di Siena

We awake to the sound of two locals relieving this olive tree of its valuable load
We walk in to the little historic village and discover two gems…

The only cafe..

And this beauty, a launderette
Fresh bedding tonight!

On to Ficulle over in Umbria for two nights, again in the hills and we Fozz it to Orvieto for more wanderings and view gazing

Signore lunching...

Orvieto Cathedral and its quirky zebra masonry

One mean looking cat

The steep way in to town, for pedestrians only

Iphone photographer at work

Has to be this size really to get about here

Two peaceful nights later we move further on to Lubriano, now in the Lazio region, and after strolling the town set off for nearby Civita di Bagnoregio

What a lovely place this is, accessed via a small bridge and completely isolated
Its built on volcanic tuff stone which is apparently eroding at an alarming rate (the bridge was put in to span the eroding gap)
The foundations are built on the stone & clay and have been there for 2500 years, but alas not for much longer and many historic houses have fallen away over the centuries

The Tuff stuff (or not so tough)

Escape…but to where?

'I really can't be bothered'

Felines everywhere...

We discover this little cafe tucked away and treat ourselves to the local rosso
A nice touch in these parts is 'nibbles' brought out to accompany your drink

Who needs a selfie stick!


What a beautiful region this is…

Tuscany is very large and quite varied and we head off for Chianti country as there are some obvious attractions. But wherever you wander the scenery is the business
We travel not too far from Florence to arrive on a lovely 'Sosta' (Italian version of Stellplatz or Aire) in Greve in Chianti

Given we were both still quite tired from the Florence trip yesterday we break out Fozz and go discovering the numerous hilltop villages

Radda in Chianti is home to several art galleries and restaurants who do a roaring trade with the tourists
These priceless gems were in the street awaiting the couriers

Seems reasonable

The hills around here are real killers to cycle so we were surprised to see these fit Americans in such numbers

We guess they were on biking holidays as the back up squad looked quite well organised

Next day we decide it would be good to go walking in the hills so lunch is packed and we don boots and set off. We slip in to the village first to post some cards and discover an 'Enoteca'

Its a wine tasting cellar with the novelty of having the ability to do your own tasting

How dangerous was this?
You take a card and simply insert it in to whatever wine station takes your fancy and sample to your heart's content

And there she is, like a child in a chocolate shop!

OMG, we were supposed to be walking right?
To compound matters I twice selected small taster samples of best quality wine to then find the wine in my glass had sediment and made it undrinkable 
The guys behind the counter rectified this on both occasions by pouring full measures for me by way of compensation….

We had a moment of clarity and feeling dizzy (no food) paid the bill and set off walking straight up the steep slope out of town in to the countryside

The beautiful village of Montefioralle that overlooks Greve

Next day we relocate to a beautiful village, San Gusmo up in the hills above Siena

We immediately break out Fozz and ride down to Siena through some stunning scenery, parking just outside the city walls next to a dream Harley
One day perhaps...

Meantime its me and the Scoot, Nina

The Torre del Mangia in the Palazzo Pubblico

Its around this severely sloping market place that the famous Palio di Siena race is run twice a year

Looks like lunacy but great fun
Thick dirt is laid on the cobbles and the riders have just 3 laps to race (at an angle of 45 degs)
If a riderless horse crosses the line first, its won!
The horse is the star and quite rightly so, each representing a different area of the Commune 

Returning to San Gusmo we stop and take several shots of the vineyard country

Back at the village the bells are chiming and we take an evening stroll through the quiet narrow streets

Nina's Italian counterpart has beaten her to it and opened a wine shop...

Antipasti for two

And the best view surely...

Stuff of dreams for us…

One of the best wild camping spots we've discovered on our travels

Buona notte!

Seems a shame to move on but we relocate to Torrita di Siena and within Fozzie reach of Montepulciano
She's been banging on about this wine for so long now we just had to visit

View from the town

Italian Pussy...

It was strangely calm here which made it really nice to walk and browse the sights

There it is commanding superb views of Southern Tuscany

We even managed a short visit to San Quirico D'Orcia in the late afternoon

We are in a routine now which sees us trundling quite slowly through the hills of this beautiful area, staying at a good spot for a couple of days and using the bike to discover little villages we would have no chance parking up at usually
As a treat I change the oil on Fozz in recognition of his sterling efforts lugging us around on his little eager engine...