Into the Mass Tourism Beast I Go – Cinque Terre and Pisa (Days 15 & 16 – 8 & 9 June)

Into the Mass Tourism Beast I Go – Cinque Terre and Pisa (Days 15 & 16 – 8 & 9 June)

Travelling solo, and not being inclined to wear obviously branded clothing, I think people are a little confused by me. It’s a thing I notice on the train to Cinque Terre. The few words I speak to the conductor are in Italian. The many English-speaking travellers around me don’t know if I can understand them …

The Ligurian Coast – Hot, Hilly, Beautiful (Day 14 – 7 June)

The Ligurian Coast – Hot, Hilly, Beautiful (Day 14 – 7 June)

Wednesday 10 June: I catch up, then I fall behind, I catch up, then I fall behind. I’m struggling to find the right balance of riding, seeing the places I’m visiting, writing about them/organising my photographs of them and sharing stuff. I’m here to ride and to see but the writing consolidates the experience and if …

Genoa: No expectations, thoroughly delighted (5th – 6th June, Days 11 – 12)

“The Most Serene Republic of Genoa ruled the Mediterranean waves during the 12th to the 13th centuries, before deferring to the superior power of Piedmont. Its crusading noblemen once established colonies in the Middle East and North Africa, and its emblematic flag, the red cross of St George, was greedily hijacked by the English.” Lonely …

On Italian Roads: from Pavia to Tortona to Genova (4/5 June – Days 11 &  12)

On Italian Roads: from Pavia to Tortona to Genova (4/5 June – Days 11 &  12)

4 June – Pavia to Tortona I didn’t pedal away until 11:00 – so much for an early start. It was easily 40* on the road today making the 51 kilometres, well, hot. I left Pavia by riding over the covered bridge – which was cool – then I was back into the outer suburbs …

Working Days and Holidays in Pavia (2/3 June – Days 9 & 10)

Working Days and Holidays in Pavia (2/3 June – Days 9 & 10)

Later in the trip it will probably seem strange I spent so much time in Pavia. During my week in Milan I recovered from my journey, dealt with my delayed baggage, saw the sites and enjoyed saying ‘yes’ to invitations from my hosts. So my blog hasn’t been updated and I have a backlog of photos …

Following My Front Wheel At Last: Milan to Pavia (1 June, Day 8)

Following My Front Wheel At Last: Milan to Pavia (1 June, Day 8)

I’m glad I spent the week in Milan but it was more than time to begin the bicycling part of this bicycling trip. I pedalled away from Daniella’s place in Bovisa around 11:00 am and pointed my front wheel toward the Duomo. My route to Pavia would begin with my crossing through the heart of …

A Weekend in Milan: Critical Mass, Expo and the Giro d’Italia (30 & 31May, Days 6 & 7)

A Weekend in Milan: Critical Mass, Expo and the Giro d’Italia (30 & 31May, Days 6 & 7)

Saturday 30 May Every May there is a gigantic Critical Mass ride in Rome called the Ciemmona. This year it is being held in Milan – we ride today. I’ve never actually been to a Critical Mass ride and have sort of mixed feelings about them. On the one hand I like the idea of cyclists …

Joy Joy – My Bicycle is Here! Let’s Go See The Last Supper (Milano – 28 May, Day 4)

Joy Joy – My Bicycle is Here! Let’s Go See The Last Supper (Milano – 28 May, Day 4)

My bicycle is in Milano! And will be delivered to Maria Elena’s after 2pm. Meanwhile I’ve moved across town to stay with a WarmShowers.org host, Daniella. I’ve a room in the attic of her rambling home in another multicultural neighbourhood but this one to the northwest and near a university. She is an academic, but …

Tornavento – a soft landing after a long journey (25 May – Day 1)

Tornavento – a soft landing after a long journey (25 May – Day 1)

Having flown for something like 32 of 34 hours I arrived finally at Malpensa Airport on the outskirts of Milan with nothing but my carry -on – fortunately, having expected an overnight in Doha, I had some clothes and toiletries. My first stop was the lost luggage office to file the paperwork which would encourage …