Saturday, June 11, 2011

Two days on the road from Arona to Chivasso

The last two days (Friday and Saturday) have been idyllic riding in northern Italy on small roads. We are in the Piemonte region north of Torino and east of the Lake district. It is rolling country with the towns on the top of hills 100 meters above the farmland. So we have been climbing and descending, climbing and descending. The towns are so small and so old the roadway through the center of town is one car (small Fiat) wide. Belinda has called these towns one-way towns. If fact many are one way at a time, with a stop light at both ends regulating the flow of traffic. Here is a shot from the main square of one of these towns, down the two car way.

There are also some unusual architectural wonders in this area. We came around the bend in a very remote area and we surprised by this sight, the Sanctuary of Boca. Note how small the truck is to the right of the stairway.

The architect of this wonder was Allesandro Antonelli and he also designed a famous basilica in Novara and a huge synagogue in Turin. We ate lunch in the town he was buried in, Maggiora, only 2 km from the sanctuary.
We had an unusual and delightful antipasti last night; a mound of mache (small leafy green) was surrounded by Parma ham and topped with very thin slices of pear and shavings of parmigiana cheese.

We've had some more route finding challenges, but today we took the advice of our friend Mark. He told us that the GPS in the IPad is on all the time and if you download a map you can find your position without a Wifi signal. Kudos to you, Mark, it worked like a dream today at several unmarked intersections. We had a fast descent from the top of the ridge down a 10 % grade to this village.

We also enjoyed this view of the mountains to the north as we rode through the agricultural plain.

Now we are just northeast of Torino. Tomorrow we hope to be in Carmagnola, which is due south of Torino. From there we should be able to get to Cuneo the following day. Then we will have to plan our assault on the Alps.


mas said...

Wow, such surprises at every turn. Love the sanctuary, the one-way towns, and especially the antipasti!
So glad the gps tip helped.

Wonderful travels.
Love, mas

Dave and Belinda said...

Yeah, Mark. Your GPS tip is a great help! And last night I even got it to display both the classic and the terrain as per your last e-mail. molto graze!