Finally back on the bikes….. ouch 12/4/15

Having been parked up opposite a warehouse for the last three days where there was a constant stream of people going in, then coming out 5 minutes later with different sized brown bags, we felt we had to venture in ourselves to see whether it was actually a bakery, or the local drug dealer for the Chianti region…. As luck would have it (for us at least …) it was a bakery and we got to try our first Italian ‘ciabatta’.

Jaws aching after the additional chewing required for the ciabatta, we headed to Arezzo where we parked just outside the historic center in a large, tranquil car park with lots of other motorhomes for free. After a bit of food shopping and roll baking we headed out to find somewhere to eat as we feel obliged to continue the quest to try a few more Italian Pizzas to see if the quality remains at the same level. We had found a little place on our way back from the supermarket which said it did Pizza on the signage outside and although we tried to get a menu earlier and all we grasped was that last night had been a big one and he wasn’t going to stay open too late tonight, it looked authentic so we headed back. We were welcomed by the chef/owner and sat down with a carafe of wine whilst the chef started to real off tonights options…… tripe (I recognised this one as it is ‘Tripa’), Taggliatelle, and several other things that we couldn’t make out but when asked what they were, he explained ‘Intestines’. Now, for those of you who know me, you will know I eat pretty much anything (Keith eats anything…literally), but I don’t touch intestines or offal. Needless to say, I think he may have been a little offended when we apologised profusely explaining that we had hoped for a pizza. If we weren’t in Italy, I myself would have thought that we lacked culinary diversity – but I still wasn’t going to eat intestines or stomach lining for anyone – and I can make pasta at home. So, heads hanging low as we left the restaurant (which was empty by the way) we continued our search for a Pizza restaurant and eventually (we walked the wrong direction) we were contentedly filled with a bit more authentic Italian Pizza….

We headed into the town itself on Thursday and Arezzo was lovely. Whereas most of the other walled towns/villages we have been to in Italy have been flat, the historic part of Arezzo is built on a hill which adds a bit more character. At the top of the hill and on one edge of the wall was the old fort with beautiful gardens surrounding it, then the narrow cobbled streets led down towards the newer town which sat at the bottom of the hill outside the wall. A real town, which although a large part of it was destroyed during the second world war, continues to maintain the remainder of its beautiful old buildings to a high level including the rather unusual sandstone churches and towers.

Arezzo5_20150409

Arezzo has a lovely feeling to it – possibly a bit of a buzz as it is a university town, nothing could have put more of a smile on our face however than when we turned the corner taking in the incredible architecture of the old library and the Maria Santa Tower (stunning building made up of pillars) as an orchestra started to play the soundtrack to Star Wars …. definitely worth a visit if you are nearby.

As it has been a little colder in the last couple of weeks we have been using the heating and LPG a little more so based on previous experience, thought it wise to do our first re-fill in Italy before we got too low. We found a large garage and pulled up next to the LPG tank to be told that we couldn’t re-fuel there. I thought perhaps he miss-understood and thought we wanted to fill the tanks directly but he was adamant that it was ‘illegal’ to refill us. Confused, we thought we would re-fill diesel whilst there (which we could do), and find somewhere else to try for LPG. We were however pleasantly surprised when the garage attendant found someone who spoke English to come and explain that it is illegal to fill up a motorhome with LPG in Italy. Odd considering there are lots of fuel stations that supply LPG and obviously a fair number of cars that run on it, but he explained that he was just an employee and it wasn’t worth his job to re-fill us. He went on to explain however, that there was another fuel station on the other side of town where the owner works and it is more than likely that he would turn a blind eye to the regulation. The regulation was news to us as we hadn’t read about it anywhere, but we headed to the place on the other side of town and they happly topped us up… it is an odd world we live in 🙂

Full of fuel, LPG and food we meandered our way to Lake Trasimeno where we found a very tranquil Aire by the side of the lake (12 euros inc elec.) in Castiglione del Lago. The weather has warmed up a bit in the last few days and over the weekend it has risen to roughly 21 degrees during the day and 9 overnight … quite spring like 🙂  Despite the warmth there has been a mist over the lake so although it is beautiful, photos are poor. Yesterday we had a wander around the lake and then up into the old walled town which sits up on a hill looking over the lake taking in a local truffel cake along the way, then today cycled part way round the lake to the other main town, Passignano sul Trasimeno. Despite having to go on the roads as the paths were flooded it was a really pleasant ride, adding another 51.5km to our total….I wasn’t going to say anything about me falling off my bike on the way back whilst being distracted by an ice-cream shop, but Keith insisted. I am in need of seeking some help to get over my Ice-Cream addiction…..

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