Monday, June 13, 2011

120 km after another Po river crossing

We had another great antipasti on Saturday night in Chivasso. It featured a bed of very lightly cured prosciutto covered with shredded radicchio and feta cheese and lightly dressed with a thick balsamic vinegar. Molto bene!

Sunday morning we hit the road early with a goal of Saluzzo, around 90 km away. We crossed the Po (Italy's largest river which we crossed in Ravenna) and headed in the direction of Torino and saw this wonderful nest and fledgling stork.

We climbed for around 10 km and then descended into an agricultural plain. This region has very intense agriculture and is heavily planted with corn and intensive production of espaliered fruit tree crops (peaches, apples, pears, kiwis).

At Gelato O'clock (which hits around 3:30 on warm days) we pulled into Moretta and observed a local 3 km fun race. It seemed like everyone was participating.

Here are the runners, who were followed by the wheelchair brigade and then the serious talkers/walkers. We saw a banner that the town was celebrating the 150th anniversary of Italian unification and we've seen additional posters for festivals celebrating this anniversary.

When we arrived in Saluzzo on Sunday night, there was a huge flea market/antiques fair going on in the main square. We found a nice local family run hotel down a small street off the main square and settled in for the night.

We had dinner at a pizzeria. Nineteen years ago when we were in Northern Italy there were only occasional pizzerias. Now almost every restaurant is a pizzeria. We don't know what has driven this surge in popularity of pizza, but it is pan Italia.

Today, Monday we had a short day to Cuneo, just 30 kilometers, but we are both feeling the fatigue of yesterday's 90k. We are going to take two rest days in Cuneo in preparation for the Alps. We need to get laundry done, the bicycles need cleaning and lubrication, and our butts need a couple of days off the saddles. Right now we are watching the lightning, listening to the thunder, and seeing it rain out our window as we await the dinner hour, 8:00 o'clock. Buon appetite!


Diana said...

I'm following your route using Google maps and was wondering how you chart your course over the Alps. Are bicycle lanes common in that area? The antipasti presentations look great. My mother was famous for her rendition of this dish but the recipe was never written down and I'd forgotten all about it until now. I will try to recreate it in your honor.

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Diana, we are going over the Colle della Madonna Maddalena ,as it is called on the Italian side or Col de Larche as it is called on the French side. Hwy. S21 in Italy, or D 900 in France. In this part of Italy bike lanes are common in and around towns but not between towns and shoulders are only occasional. We don't expect either going up the pass. Italian drivers are very used to cyclists however and do the right things. Good luck with your mothers dish and buon appetite!

SANDY said...

It seems that biking has the edge over trekking but both involve a real experience and exposure to a country, a region and a life style. Thanks so much for sharing it all with us. We are off to Barcelona tomorrow for business and then some fun touring of Catalunya.
Keep the rubber on the road and stay upright. Sandy