Road to Rome and beyond…

There is a medieval poverb- All roads lead to Rome. And the first road, the Apian Way led from.what is now Puglia to Rome.

On the small roads from Manfredonia, there are plenty of Roman reminders.

The main road into Rome is no longer the old Apian Way, there is a motorway instead, but the ancient road is still there.

As is the old city wall

But what can I say about Rome that hasn’t already been said, what pictures can I show that havent been shown?

What stunned me was that only an E-bike ride from centre of Rome along the old Apian Way, it was countryside.

So let me leave Rome and head north east to get the bike serviced in Rimini before heading to Croatia.

A short ride north of Rome in Tuscany are the Saturnia hot springs.

It was 32c when I was there, so probably not the best day for a 30c hot spa, but it was still beautiful.

The stop for the night was Lago di Bolsena, Europe’s largest volcanic lake. The shores of the lake is dotted with camping grounds. Even in the peak of summer, there are spaces to pitch a tent.

The riding through southern Tuscany toward Rimini was beautiful – beautiful roads and beautiful villages.

In the peak of holidays there was no accommodation in Rimini but luckily the was up the mountain in San Marino. A short ride from Rimini

The team at Opificio Bike Store in Rimini are fantastic, and I can’t thank them enough. On their first day back from holidays, they serviced, the engine, brakes, and fitted new tyres. Not only that, invited me to the Moto Guzzi Clunhouse for dinner that night.

The club house is an old farm shed between Rimini and San Marino. From the clubhouse, one can see the lights of the city of San Marino perched up on the mountain.

San Marino is in Italy but not in Italy. It claims to be the oldest continuous repblic in the world and is a seperate country. One of the handful of strange micro states within Europe.

With the mighty breva serviced, it was time to head to Anconna to catch the night ferry to Split, Croatia.

Ok ok ok! I just skipped over Rome.

In many ways, August is a good time to visit Rome. Though it’s full of tourists, most of the city due to its population escaping for holidays. Hence, the streets and public transport were easy to get around on. It’s both a beautiful and contradictory place. I’ll let some photos do the talking.

Puglia – Manfredonia and Gargona National Park

Manfredonia sits at the northern end of Puglia on the Adriatic Sea, nestled, south of the Gargona Promontory.

Its a lively town with a big fishing fleet and wonderful seafood restaurants.

It’s flanked by beaches.

And wet lands

The Gargona National Park is on a plateau with ancient forests, amazing motorcycling roads, and historic towns and villages.

Monte Sant’Angelo is a UNESCO World Heritage village perched up on the Gargona Escarpment. It is recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

The Sactuary of Saint Michael the Archangel is in a cave church dating back to the 9th century.

The village is indeed beautiful with views to the sea, beautiful old pedestrian walkways, and beautiful local food

Puglia – Alberobello

The ferry from Messina landed in Vill San Giovani, Calabria. An overnight stop before heading to Puglia on Italy’s east coast.

In the village, there was dancing in the streets.

From the toe of Italy, the route to the east winds along the coast and over the mountains of Calabria.with spectacular views.

Then past the southern beaches with castello on the headland

To Puglia on Italy’s heel.

Alberobello is in the region on Puglia and is famous for its unique trulli stone houses.

The special building have led to Alberobello being declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

Its is truly beautiful to walk the streets lined by Trulli!

Sicily- Ortigia and Etna

Having managed some sleep on the chaotic overnight ferry trip from Cagliari (Sardinia) to Palermo (Sicily), arriving at 5am, there was plenty of time to cross the Island to Syracuse.

While the heat wave conditions in Europe had eased, it was still summer, and at Syracuse, the Mediterranean called.

Ortigia is an ancient walled city on a little Islet in Syracuse. Its history dates back to 700bc. Its been Phonecean, Greek ,Roman,,, and now Italian.

Mount Etna looms over the east coast of Sicily, huffing and puffing steam and smoke.

The European and African push together in Sicily, and it’s at Etna that the steam of that collision is let off.

The road around Mount Etna is a fantastic ride up the mountain to the high village where there is a gondola and unimog bus to the volcano craters.

The steam coming from the Etna was impressive. Especially given that there had only recently had an eruption.

Sicily is close to northern Africa and is a frontline destination for people escaping was and issues of changing climate in Africa.

In Syracuse, a humanitarian rescue ship is replenishing.

At the harbour at Messina, there is a memorial to those who have died fleeing war and hunger.

Then, it was another ferry to Calabria on the Italian mainland.

Where have I been???

Dear friends and followers,

It’s been a long time since I have written and many thousands of kilometres have been covered in that time.

Back home now in Australia, spring has sprung and its time catch up on tales my latest European Adventure before I commence this summers adventures.

But before I go into reflection a little local update.

Since arriving home I’ve bought a new motorbike, a beautiful Moto Gu┼║zi v85tt.

Taking it to do a bit of show and tell at the Spaghetti Rally, a fantastic rally run by the Moto Guzzi Club of Victoia.

I’ll give a give a bit of a snapshot of where I went in Europe this year. Before doing more detailed posts on the destinations.

First, there was Sicily,

Then …

Puglia,

Rome

San Marino

Croatia

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Mostar

Montenegro

Albania

Greece

Turkey

North Macedonia

Kosovo

White Din waterfall

France

St Malo

England

I spent longer in some countries than others and especially in Greece and Turkey, only touched these large and diverse countries. But all this will be explained in future blogs.

For now, it is good to be home with family and friends. Its spring time and in my favourite places the wading birds are arriving nesting mating and having babies.

Lifes wonderful circle.