This time with more bikes!
Trans-Alpine - London to Campania and Back - September 2007 - PT2
So, I had to start my way back. From Naples to Rome, I took as much of the Via Appia (Appian Way) as possible. I skirted Rome of course...been there, done that...too much traffic. I ended up in Orvieto for the evening and had a so-so meal with a so-so wine....I have since come to appreciate Orvieto whites....so there. There is a lovely Cathedral in the city center.
...and I stumbled across these bevel drives.... a foreshadowing of tomorrow?
I woke up early and headed to Bologna for my scheduled tour of the Ducati factory and museum. The tour is free, but you have to book in advance and specify English or Italian. I rode up on my BMW and asked the guard where to park. He pointed to a long row of motorcycles. I parked and noticed this:
I asked, but the guard assured me it was OK...Italians always seem to come off being cool with shit...... When I was leaving, some workers were passing by and started giving me hard time.....but obviously in jest...they are proud of their work, but are pretty laid back. It may have been cool with guard, but my German girls' fat ass sure stood out.
The only real grief I got was when I was in line waiting for the tour and started chatting with the other geeks. One guy...a Canadian of all things!?! asked why I was there since I was on a BMW? I mean WTF??? I had just recently become a Ducati owner, but since when is ownership prerequisite for visiting one the most significant motorcycle manufacturers on the planet? Anyway...on to the good stuff......here is my tour guide.
I have posted this picture in various places because it is my Ducati art shot. Here is a close up on Hailwood's TT bike that I like.
Again....since this will be posted on ADVRider....here is my favorite bike in the museum....a Dakar competitor
...and I cannot leave out the 999's.........won a lot of races......without a displacement advantage!
The tour was over around 1300, so I blasted up to Florence to find a gold ring with a Roman coin in it. The last time I was in Florence I became fascinated with these but didn't pull the trigger....lesson learned. I assumed that I would find them in one of the other cities I was passing through, but never did, so I headed back to Florence and made a deal...very happy. I then motored on to Pisa for the night. Pisa really only has one square of interest, but WOW. talk about three impressive structures. I won't bore you with pictures of the tower and cathedral we all know, but what I found fascinating was that there were dozens of tourists in the square ... all trying line up the perfect picture of their significant other trying to prop up the leaning tower. I took several shots to try and capture this, but this is the best I got. It was really funny in the flesh though.
Leaving Italy I cross the Saint Bernard Pass....just like Napoleon...though he was coming the other way......
I spent my last evening of the trip in Chamonix at the foot of Mont Blanc. Here is shot from my room. I ate Raclette...Yum.
I motored across France on their excellent motorways and crossed the channel to make it home to Richmond in the evening. Two comments on this:
1. It was hard to adjust form the chaotic Italian driving to the more structured French style where you are expected to follow the rules. I found that I had really adapted to the free flowing Italian style.
2. Three cheers to the French motorway for charging motorcycles half price. I never see that ion North America.