Monday, April 1, 2013

Italy - Montagnana and Ferrara

Follow New Posts in the Around The World series on Mondays.
Click here for the Introduction.

Actual cycling route is highlighted. This map shows Verona east to Venice then southward to Ferrara. We penned triangles for open campgrounds and hostels along with circling town names.
This helped determine what to aim for and whether we could make it in a day's ride.

Riding around inside Montagnana's walls.

Drawings and notes from my journal.

36 miles - Sunday, October 9

Sunshine! It’s much warmer than last night’s chilly stroll through Montagnana. We pack up and circle the interior of the walls. There is a collection of buildings, similar to row houses, except the rear, in actuality, is fused with the exterior wall.

Andy pedals through the narrows streets for scale.

After a cup of cappuccino in the piazza we set off southward, easily cycling the miles to Ferrara. Riding on a Sunday is quiet, especially through the little villages. Less traffic leaves our minds time to wander. Andy and I scheme of returning someday with friends to camp in hostels, ride lightweight bikes, drink good wine, and eats lots of pasta.

On the outskirts of Ferrara we set up in a year-round municipal campground. It's vacant and quiet, yet sports a newly mown lawn, even clean bathrooms. It seems too good to be true. We wash, set up the tent, and still no one has come to collect money. Without this place connecting the long miles to Bologna, we would've been taking a train. We are thankful for the campground guide.

Estense Castle at night, central Ferrara. Photo credit: Milagros-Palette
It's late afternoon and we walk into Ferrara's piazza. It's a much larger city than Montagana, yet there are bicycles everywhere with few cars. We poke around, buying a few groceries and stay until dusk. The clock tower in the central square is mesmerizing, attached to a castle-like structure. Statues are lit up. In fact all the buildings take on an otherworldly glow. It's a sleepy place and we feel safe as we make our way outside the walls for the walk back to the campground.

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