We arrived at the Aire in Perugia just as the market alongside it was finishing so it looked a little like a war had just taken place but thankfully, it soon quietened down and got cleared up! The Aire ‘Il Bove’ (18 euros/24 hours inc elec.) was clean and tidy with all the facilities (including a shower and toilets) but it was next to a fairly busy main road – quite a change from the last few nights of tranquility. As Richard (Gonzo) wasn’t arriving until Sunday we took the chance to catch up with the laundry and shopping ahead of heading in to meeting him on Sunday lunch time and spent the next few days exploring the city both from a historic and gastronomic perspective 🙂
Perugia is known for its chocolate, but as it was far too warm to eat chocolate in its standard form we opted for the ‘gelato’ …. mixing a bit of Chocolate (white, milk and even dark on occasions) with pistachio and on the last day Keith even found a Liquorice flavour….. they were all delicious. We have managed to turn someone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth into a fully fledged Ice-cream eater, on the last day Keith and Richard managed to polish off 24 spatula’s worth between them…. must be some kind of record – oh and I should probably add that the majority of those were after they ate 1.5kg of florentine steak between them 🙂
Moving on from Perugia – well we didn’t want to eat them out of house and home – we made a quick pit stop at a motorhome place as the taps in the bathroom stopped working before working our way through the mountains to San Marino.
‘E7 Caravans’ was roughly 10km south of Perugia and despite it being close to lunch, they pulled the necessary pieces apart, realised that it wasn’t what we originally thought (which was lucky as the parts they had didn’t fit anyway), did a bit of soldering and we were on the road again within the hour…… amazingly helpful, dropping everything to fit us in.
Fully fixed we hit the road and the journey across the mountains to San Marino was stunning, at some points looking down onto lakes, others at stunning rock formations or forest rolling away down into the valley, although a long windy road, well worth the trip.
We arrived at P13 – yes that was its name – where we parked up a couple of hundred meters below San Marino town itself and settled in for the evening looking out over the valley and mountains beyond.
We woke to bird song and beautiful (although a little hazy) views, and after breakfast headed up to have a look round the town of San Marino. San Marino is an interesting place, not part of the EU, but allowed to use the Euro as its currency, it is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitution republic in the world, has a population of approximately 32,000 and although you wouldn’t think it whilst there, is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP. The capital (also called San Marino) sits at 760m and the historic center, which is beautiful contains a castle and three three separate towers
in addition to perfume shops, jewellery and arms shops ….. yep, machine guns, pistols, knives, swords, tasers – you name it, they have them – obviously this is where you come should you want to buy any kind of weapon you want as the licensing laws are non existent, and as there are no borders to get back into the rest of the EU …. what more can I say??? It was a lovely place anyway and well worth the visit.
After another very peaceful night we travelled all of 16km back down to the coast to Rimini (Area Settebello 10 euros / 24hrs) where we walked along the coast and around the old town in the hot and humid 30 degrees it had to offer us. Rimini has miles and miles of beach, where every 30m or so a different cafe/bar/restaurant/lido promotes its private beach, the only difference appearing to be the colour of the sun loungers and parasols – not our cup of tea, but the town itself was attractive ….. ok and yes, it had a good gelato shop 🙂