Most of the road was, mildly put, unexciting: busy with traffic, surrounded by warehouses, industrial buildings and the bland houses of villages following one another. At times there were patches of more familiar Italian landscape with vineyards, fruit trees and other crops, but even that was quite monotonous.
It was flat as a table. I am so glad the mountainous part is over, at least for a short while. But there are always checks and balances: you have to pedal all the time without changing your position much… this ride was not solely mind numbing.
The entertainment I had during the ride was an Italian song from the 80’s by Adriano Celentano I was humming. I remember neither the lyrics or the name. It is stuck in my head since I entered Italy. I am afraid it’s going to follow me around for a while.
So far I am not impressed with Italian roads or signposts: there aren’t much of cycling pathways, the sides of roads are often crumbling, the directions are not always clear. Today, near Padua, within 2 roundabouts within 300m, there were signs indicating that the distance to Padua was 24km, 19km, 18km and then 20km. Peculiar, isn’t it?
Padua itself is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazzas, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the river. Galileo Galilei was a lecturer in Padua university, the second oldest in Italy.
When I arrived at Elisa and Mirco’s house I was received with open arms. They are Julie’s friends from her travel days. For dinner Elisa used vegetables from their garden, Mirco sliced several different types of prosciutto that were all delicious, and there were all sorts of Italian wines. We snapped a few selfies and sent them to Julie, each time making funnier faces. We had so much fun on their rooftop terrace that the dinner lasted well past midnight.
Today in numbers:
90 km – distance covered
4h40m – riding time
4 – items lost so far: visor from the helmet – not essential, pump – important but I have an extra one, tripod – very important (practically my personal photographer), chamois Butt’r – essential