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Old 09-12-2007, 04:10 AM   #1
Joerg OP
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Cool2 Just a week in Tuscany

I just recognised that this trip, which I rode with my lady and my trusty R80GS, dates almost one year back ... so I thought maybe it's time to share it with you.

Here is a little appetizer, to see if anyone is interested ... this will be less about riding, but a lot about food, sights and sites

... shall I post a full trip report?













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Joerg screwed with this post 09-12-2007 at 08:29 AM Reason: changed title a bit ;-)
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:26 AM   #2
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are you kidding??

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Old 09-12-2007, 04:51 AM   #3
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Tuscany? ... we don't care for a WEEK in Tuscany ride report.. We'll wait for the YEAR in Tuscany!!

GET GOING!! Let's have it...

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Old 09-12-2007, 05:05 AM   #4
Joerg OP
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Eh? Friday, 2006-09-22: From Lausanne to Genua

OK ... so you shall have it I'll try to post the parts on a day-by-day schedule:

We started rather late - on my scale, this means about 10 o'clock in the morning - at our home near Lausanne and took the rather direct way to the south, via Martigny to the Col du Grand St-Bernard where we had our first rest. After some delicious hot soup and sandwiches at the top of the col, we continued down to Aosta, and since we wanted to advance rather quickly, we simply hit the highway towards the south. While most of that road is relatively boring to ride, we were lucky and did not run into too much traffic either.

It was an easy ride, and in particular the last section towards Ronco Scrivia offers very nice curves for an autostrada! Taking said exit north of Genoa, we strolled via little roads down to Genoa. Due to an error in the GPS map ;-) at the eastern end of the city, we climbed up into the mountains again, and finally ended up on the road 333 towards the coast again. An impressive road, with hundreds and hundreds of never-ending curves that lead towards the coast, and bus drivers that take the corners as if there would be no tomorrow. Note to self: repeat this error the next time we're there

Col du Grand St-Bernard


Col du Grand St-Bernard


A few km north-east of Genoa, view to the west


"Do you still have a free room?"

We started looking for a hotel in Camogli (which is a really nice place), but learned that during the week-end, this region is not only invaded by Germans but also by Italians that are spending the week-end at the coast: you're better off reserving your hotel well in advance! After a number of trial-and-error searches it was getting dark, but finally we found a cute one-star hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure, which had one very last double room free. Saved!

The hotel did not have its own parking and was (well, it still is ) located on a steep road, so the bike was parked at the next central place of the village - I was a bit worried, but it was still there on the next morning . The evening was spent walking through the city, enjoying the warm air and the cheerful people, taking lots of photos , and having a good dinner.

... ah, yes, and we learned quickly from the problem above: Consolidating a list of the places for the next days, we started to book the hotels in advance. Instead of the originally planned "we'll see where we will be this evening", now we knew where we would sleep tomorrow: Pisa.

Santa Margherita Ligure


Santa Margherita Ligure, Harbour


Santa Margherita Ligure


Santa Margherita Ligure, Christoph Columbus memorial


Santa Margherita Ligure, a place near the hotel


Total of the day: 491 km.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:15 AM   #5
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ah ah . viaggio molto interessante.
Genova, La Spezia (5 terre ?), carrara ?, Lucca (è bellissima) ?

/thierry
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:18 AM   #6
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More please......
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:19 AM   #7
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Thumb More please

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Old 09-12-2007, 05:45 AM   #8
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Talking Saturday, 2006-09-23: From Santa Margherita Ligure to Pisa

In contrast to the "general" italian cooking, Italian breakfast is generally not a very suitable means to give you a good start into the day ... the participants of the 1st European AdvRider meeting will remember Yet ... the breakfast at the hotel that we had found was diagonally opposite to that. It was good, rich, tasty, and a real good start for the day - not too astonishing once we recognised that the landlord was a charming German lady that came to Italy many, many years ago.

Santa Margherita Ligure is a village that is located next to Portofino, and judging by the location on the map, this had to be a nice place. Thus, after breakfast we packed the bike and headed for Portofino first. The beautiful sight of all those little (and not-so-little!) ships, the harbours and the houses are absolutely worth the visit. However, in terms of people there seems to be quite some "jet-set" - not really the place where I would start to look for a little, cheap hotel in the middle of the night

'Albergo Annabella' in Santa Margherita Ligure


Between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino


View over Santa Margherita Ligure


Near Portofino


Returning to Santa Margherita, we took the coastal road - the ever-so-famous Via Aurelia - and headed for the southeast. The ride as such was pretty boring, but the houses and the scenery are truly nice.

Just like a "compensation", the stretch of the SP1 that you reach east of Sestri Levante heads up into the mountains, and a beautiful twisty road leads from sea level to more that 500 m, and into the region of Cinque Terre. Since our holidays were shorter than planned, we did not visit these villages, but decided to continue towards La Spezia instead.

Already on the very first hill of La Spezia, just upon entering the western outskirts of the city, we took a little road into the forest. From the map I had expected something bigger, but the GPSr indeed indicated that we were on the right way ... and since we knew already where we would sleep this evening, we took our time to explore this path. The narrow road continued for quite some time through a light forest with spectacular views, then reached a crossing at the Colle del Telegrafo, which is located at the south-eastern edge of the Parque Nazionale delle Cinque Terre. A restaurant is situated at the Colle, just at the right time and with good food. We had a good lunch , took the time to relax, and I filled up the oil level of the GS. She had consumed about 0.5 l of oil over the last 500 km - yes, most of this was on the highway, but time for a head revision anyway

Santa Margherita Ligure


Another beautiful house, near Zoagli


A twisty road in the forest above La Spezia


Colle del Telegrafo


Back on the bike, we headed briefly towards La Spezia, but then decided to take the round trip to Portovenere anyway. Just like Portofino in the morning, this is a rather isolated village, but due to the proximity of the famous Grotta Azzurra it is very much taken by tourists - indeed we would have had trouble parking the bike (!) somewhere! Martina was in favour of a boat trip to the Grotta Azzurra, but since we had all of our luggage on the bike and were still far from Pisa I pressed on, one last time.

Portovenere


The La Spezia bay is quite an interesting sight since it had always been used as a military harbour. You can get a nice overview from the mountains in the south, but the whole harbour area as such is surrounded by a huge wall - thus, no chance of capturing a few close-up scenes of the huge battleships that you can see from the distance. Sorry guys

Being somewhat deceived, we followed the directions to Lerici, then the small SP28 towards Tellaro. Our idea of a little stop in one of these villages, having a coffee and some dolce in a café with a view was wiped out by the fact that most of these villages are closed to the traffic - and since it was getting hot, we were not really in the mood to have a long walk in the burning sun. Thus, we headed further to Ameglia, and shortly afterwards we were on the highway for Pisa.

Bay between Lerici and Tellaro


Another bay between Lerici and Tellaro


Approaching the city of Pisa, it was apparent that it was indeed a former harbour ... the grounds of the city are completely flat, there is not a single hill, and the famous Campanile is visible from quite a distance. The GPSr lead us straight to the hotel, and it turned out that the hotel was indeed situated halfway between the Campo dei miracoli and the old center of the city near the river Arno. Thus, a perfect location for the next two days!

The only downside was that we were - again - in the very last room that was free. The guide from Michelin that I had bought just before the trip recommended this hotel, but since we ended up in a room under the roof - with no view at all, just a "hole in the ceiling" - this first impression was a bit deceiving.

The second problem was that it was not sure if we could stay for another night - we had forgotten to specify early enough that we wanted to stay two nights.

Oops.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:22 AM   #9
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Superb photos. More please, much more. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:27 AM   #10
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WOW.... it's taken you a year to post this trip, what are you crazy? This is some good stuff!!

Keep it coming!
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:56 AM   #11
Joerg OP
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Wicked Still Saturday, 2006-09-23: First impressions of Pisa

Fortunately the Amalfitana is not the only hotel in that street ... two houses further was the hotel Cecile, where we immediately booked a room for the next night. And just across the street is the botanical garden - what we could see through the gates was amazing (in particular since my lady likes about anything about gardening), but unfortunately the area is closed during week-ends ... so we strolled a few steps further to the north, and reached the famous Campo dei miracoli.

Most people that think of Pisa have merely the Campanile in mind, but there's more, much more to that ... Campo dei miracoli comprises also the duomo (dome), battistero (baptist church) and the camposanto (cemetery), and is an UNESCO World Heritage site.

The early evening provided a very special light, so ... enjoy!

Pisa: Duomo and Campanile


Pisa: Campanile and Duomo


Pisa: Battistero, view from the south-southeast


Pisa: Battistero, Detail


Pisa: Duomo, Detail


Pisa: Duomo, Detail


More info on the site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campo_dei_Miracoli

Total of the day: 228 km.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:58 AM   #12
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Outstanding pictures!
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:15 AM   #13
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Joerg,
did u get a chance to visit il duomo ? -- edited: ok, was closed.
And in il camposanto, there is the tomb of one famous rabbits lover ! ;)
/thierry
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:18 AM   #14
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Very nice !
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:25 AM   #15
Joerg OP
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Hi Thierry,
Quote:
Originally Posted by kktos
did u get a chance to visit il duomo ? -- edited: ok, was closed.
Yes, on the next day (which is a day that we spent entirely in the city of Pisa ... definitively worth the visit! Pictures to come ... hey, I don't want to post all of zt in one bunch: Take it like a menu ... it's more fun if you have one dish after the other, and a little digestive pause in between
Quote:
Originally Posted by kktos
And in il camposanto, there is the tomb of one famous rabbits lover ! ;)
Camposanto, on the other hand, we skipped ... the city plus duomo and campanile and all the area around already was a lot of stuff to "digest" (uhm ... is there a pattern in my vocabulary ... ?). Indeed we preferred to pick a few places and explore them in-depth, instead of doing a "Europe in three days" tour.

More to come ... tomorrow!
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