On a much more mundane note where we had parked-up overnight, on the outskirts of Modena is worth a special mention. This aire is located next to a motorhome storage facility and repair business but seems to operate as an independent business. Though quite close to the 'tangentiale' it is not noisy at night, has excellent service points, a small shower and toilet block. The lounge area has free Wifi and the whole place is secure. I suppose at 13 euros per night it's not cheap, but if the 'car park' style free Sostas in Italy seem a bit too public and insecure, then this place offers a good alternative, especially if you are headed for an Adriatic ferry port.
We reached Ravenna quickly, after the bone-shaking experience of Italian main roads yesterday, the 7.40 euro toll for the autostrada seemed money well spent. Even so, it was hardly a relaxing drive. The motorway past Bologna is a major transport hub for trucks from all over Eastern Europe. They tend to cruise along at about 60mph, anything above 55mph and Maisy starts to gulp fuel. The result is that we get constantly buffeted by massive trucks bombing past us. It's uncomfortable rather than dangerous; though when the artic right in front of us screeched to a sudden halt to avoid colliding with the remains of a shredded tyre - that was scary. What can you do stopped dead in the middle of an Italian motorway watching in the wing mirrors, a wall of lorries bearing down on you like a stampede of elephants? Two thoughts crossed my mind, a calm curiosity as to whether they too would be able screech to a standstill, and a nagging anxiety that I might not be around long enough to find out. You will of course already have gathered that we avoided getting squashed; the trucks did not stop however, but swerved past us, flat out, making a last minute manoeuvre worthy of Louis Hamilton.
|St Vitale, still functioning after 1500 years, I can't see that being said of the Shard!|
|Not exactly Siena, but not Skelmersdale either...|
|Bikes= students, they were all in the cafes.|
|and Art Deco shop fronts|
|and less frequented streets|
In between admiring the mosaics at the St. Vitale, and those at the Mausoleum of Galla Placadia, we rested our feet and neck muscles (gawping at cupolas can be very tiring) and found a cafe for Italian coffees número uno of the trip, (pause for rapt silence, frequently broken by joint mmmms). Is it the ambiance or the method that makes caffe Italia better in Italy than at home, even in an Italian restaurant made on an Italian machine using Italian coffee?
|First macchiata of the trip - always a milestone...|
|Parked-up among the vines|
|Local wine, Morrison's crisps - there's multi-culturalism for you.|
|Views from the pitch|
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