sottotitolo: L’estate é finita… Summer ended
So the adventure comes to an end.
After the 3,880km (2,100 miles) of the first part of the trip, the return to Ireland recorded “only” 2,650 km (or 1,650 miles) due to the fact we did a more straight line via Italy-Switzerland-France, not touching also Spain and Andorra as when in July we went to Italy.
Nevertheless it has been rich of beautiful moments, visits, encounters and roads for our Giulia to discover!
The first “strategic” decision has been to leave Puglia on the 14th August when no trucks are allowed on the road until midnight of the 15th ! And also when most of the tourists and Italians are already set at their travel destinations.
This gave us the possibility to enjoy panoramas and less crowded (if not empty, at times) motorways and other roads.
After the usual lunch pit stop nearby Civitanova Marche with “Prof Michaela”, ex colleague of Anna – my wife – we consequently reached comfortably Recanati (after a lunch break) with full light to enjoy the visit of the “Leopardi House” where the distinguished Poet Giacomo Leopardi lived for biggest part of his life.
Other than the immense cultural impact of this Poet, we enjoyed some really beautiful views from the top of the hill were Recanati sits.
By night time we met Gloria and some friends in the always nice Bologna; some food there guys, oh some foods…not to talk about the cars of the Emilia Romagna (birth place of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Dallara and others “monsters”)
Driving Giulia on those roads is always a beautiful moment. I must admit I crossed only a couple of Maserati and 1 Ferrari, while in 2020 (our first trip to Italy) I saw a good few more….but it could be related to those emptier roads as above
Interesting also to see that in 2020 we crossed many more Giulia all over Italy, France while this time around I noticed more Giulietta and Stelvio and definitively very few Giulia (they don’t know what they are losing!!)
We left Bologna while Italians was ready to celebrate “Ferragosto” on the morning of 15th: this world comes from “Feriae Augusti” which stands for the rest of Augusto, the Emperor, who created this on 18BC!
Meanwhile people was going (or was already) to the beaches, lakes, or preparing barbecues we drove to Aosta which is just under the Italian / French Alps with tremendous landscapes to admire and climbing roads to enjoy.
We passed of course under the European tallest mountain: Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc for our cousins the French). in Sallanches there is a spectacular view of the Mount and we were happy also there to meet an old friend of mines, André (I know since Erasmus in Nantes, 1999!)
The day after we enjoyed the full tour of Lac Leman visiting small villages “au passage” but most of all stopping by Lausanne in the day and Genève by night.
The only issue was that the speed on the road was strictly enforced at 60 or 70km/h (boring but SAFE Swiss 🙂 so it took a bit more than thought to reach the latter city, thus we decided to visit the morning after.
And it was a good option, since is a nice city stop!
We are on the 17th by now…second last day of the trip. We moved to Bourges with a just bit than 4 hour journey in national roads (in France those seem not having a dedicated petrol station network and you have to adventure on villages to find one…while in the motorway you can comfortably find after XX kilometers…).
Bourges is a really nice mediaeval city and we arrived on a good moment, since we enjoyed light spectacle on most of the monuments, starting from the imposing Cathedral !
The morning after was the day of the Loire Castle: more than 100 castles or imposing nobility homes exist in this part of France, some of them universally renowned.
We picked to visit: Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Clos Lucé (where the genius Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last few year of his life). The day was sunny and bright, the castle very interesting and we ended the busy day very tired, eating dinner at 11pm “chez” another friend of my Nantes life: Mickaël and family, near Le Mans (where unfortunately I did not make Giulia visiting the famous race track 🙂
The last day of our trip started with a short journey to Cherbourg (less than 3 hours) and a stop by CARREFOUR for some essential food purchases (a bag of more than 20kg…without having bottles of wine in it…). Then teh majestic ferry, for me big as much as the Titanic !
Almost a day after (19hours hit and miss) Giulia was not a unfamiliar car on the wrong side of the road anymore but back at home in Dublin.
I sincerely advice everyone to enjoy a road trip somehow, somewhere…we will definitively do it again.
Buona Strada !