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Travel in Tuscany
We leave for 2 weeks with the motorhome to visit Tuscany, starting Saturday afternoon, bivouac under Col du Mont Cenis, but following heavy snowfall, access to the pass is closed!
Tant pis! we spend the night on the tarmac of a small airfield above Modane:
Sunday morning, starting by the Frejus tunnel (42.70 € each way!)
Small café on the first area of highway in Italy and a good surprise, a point of service water and drainage nearby station trucks, we refer full of water.
Then motorway Turin, Alessandria, Genova, Sestri Levanto exit road and overlooking the sea to Levanto, which will be our starting point to visit the "Cinque Terre"
We parked in the area motorhome next to the station, ride in town, Italian ice, take the train ticket to visit the villages, the weather is fine, as long as it lasts!
Parking for camper vans, 2 minutes from the train:
Tariffs, services are free:
Monday morning, leaving early, the time has changed, many clouds, too bad!
We take the train, first stop: Monterrosso:
Beautiful little fishing village, life flows calmly in this season, but in summer?
We take the train to Vernazza, the second village of the "Cinque Terre"
The main street and asked the boats before the shops, fishermen selling directly catch of the day, and the small port at the end of the street, really I love Italy!
We climb the tower where the view over the village is beautiful:
The clouds are still hanging on the mountain but the weather is sweet.
And return to the station to the third village, Corniglia:
The streets of the village
View on the next village, Manarola.
After the pizza break, we reach the station down to Manarola:
In Manarola, the main street was taken on the river, the boats here are raised to the shops, printing weird boats that replace the cars!
We find a tavern where we taste a meal well deserved!
When we ressortons, it starts raining, we enfilons the k-ways and decide to join anyway Riomaggiore along the path overlooking the sea, "via del amore"
This is a course carved into the cliff walls and used to support numerous frescoes on the theme of Love.
We reach the village in a rain, it must be beautiful in the sun
We take a tunnel that connects the station to the village:
We débouchons directly into the village, it's raining really hard, some pictures and we base our regagnons in Levanto.
The port of Riomaggiore:
The frescoes at the station.
We arrive at the camp since late afternoon, and we decide to spend the night in Portovenere, the area being 800mètres the village:
We spend the night and make the services (12 €, free services)
Tuesday morning we will visit Portovenere on foot, and is wanting to make a photo at the entrance of the village that I realize that I forgot the camera in the motorhome!
As-pis! too hard to make the round trip
After the visit, we go to Carrara and its marble quarries, not without having a coffee on the small port of Le Grazie:
Then the crossing of La Spezia, the military port, and Carrara is soon reached.
We follow the signs and get career at the foot of the largest "mine" of white marble in the world, 600 meters inside the mountain, the other extractions being mountainside:
We stationnons in the mud of white marble, and visit the "mine":
The blocks of marble
Here in the heart of the mountain, workers cut the blocks of white marble, in rooms that reach 15 meters high and 70 meters between each pillar!
It's really impressive! these blocks serve the greatest sculptors of the world.
The runoff water is everywhere, it is used for cutting the blocks with diamond saws.
A small explanatory museum is open to the outside, very informative.
We will have lunch with the workers, casual atmosphere!
We leave in the direction of Pisa, who will be our next step.
We make the mistake of taking the national bad pick! 20, 30 km / h max, is still a queue of cars and trucks after a few kilometers at this rate we take the highway that we leave at the exit Pisa north and towards the car park for campers, it is 800 meters walk from the "campo" and costs 12 € for 24 hours, including services!
Once installed, we will visit the famous "campo" and "tore pending" world famous.
The campo is composed of the Baptistery, the Duomo and the tower is the bell tower of the basilica.
We only visit the tower for the view from the top, but it's worth, nearly 600 stairs!
After the tour we spend the night on the area of Pisa tomorrow towards the island of Elba.
This morning the sun is present, we start from Pisa by the highway towards Piombino, port of embarkation for the island of Elba.
We leave the big ribbon to San Vincenzo, we will follow the seafront by the National.
It is through a pine forest that we can Populonia, with its ancient Roman and Etruscan excavations.
Defying the ban on camping cars, we climb towards the village, this season we can afford!
Parking is expected to visit the tiny fortified village, we will do a small tour.
We go for lunch at the small port, and while preparing the meal kathy we do a little tour with Jeremy.
The fishermen are back, the atmosphere is really nice!
You feel that life flows peacefully fever before the summer.
Given the number of boats at anchor, the corner must be lively in the season!
After lunch we leave for the ferry pier in Piombino, the agency Moby-line is located at the entrance, we take the tickets to Elba, 130 € one way for us, starting in 10 minutes, should not drag!
We are on the boat, an hour crossing and we will land in Portoferraio.
The sea is beautiful and the sun is to the game, what a mini cruise!
We disembark and take direction from the west by road from the seashore, it is very similar to Corsica, we also see the coast from the western tip of the island.
The island is interesting for its landscapes and its quiet, small villages perched on the mountainside, through against it must not leave the main roads, the secondary network is composed of very
small roads, or worse, the roads often broken out of winter.
And since we are not 4x4, we must turn back several times, our campsite as 7.40 M did not allow us to continue in these conditions
At every turn, some deer away at our approach.
We find an area for the night in Cavoli, but is now, we'll see!
The area is superb with a sandy beach below, a "rondine" far from his island home!
After dinner, a visit to the village confirm that it is a summer resort, only 2 or 3 homes are occupied, quiet guaranteed!
This morning person ever to receive any payment, the Swiss have moved to our side, I decided to give the home a bottle of wine from Alsace with a ticket under an elastic band, the Swiss will do the same with "splitting", hoping that it ferra pleasure to the owner of this private area!
We continue our visit to the island by the south coast, the beaches are more numerous, we see that this part is devoted to seaside tourism.
But there are still hard to reach corners where you can enjoy a quiet off-season and even consider a peaceful night in bivouac.
The south-eastern part is more open to mass tourism with its hotels and campsites.
But this season, is still accessible without any problems.
We go back to Portoferraio ferry to take and return the continent.
Our destination: Siena, we join in Massa Marittima, a beautiful fortified village in Tuscany that begins to draw its rolling hills.
Pose a photo at the turn of the road to admire the ochres, and by chance we find an area at the foot of a monastery, which will be our stop for the night.
We are 35 kilometers south of Siena, tomorrow will be devoted to visiting this city famous for its "Palio" the famous horse race dating from the Middle Ages where the winner is the horse, even if its rider!
A career ocher, "earth of Siena"
Our bivouac, not bothered by the neighbors, and what does not spoil, free, and 2 steps of the monastery and the site of the abbey
This morning we will see the ancient abbey of San Galgano, abandoned during the Great Plague and the Chapel of the Knight of the same name, a little out of time to visit if you are going through there.
Our route continues towards Siena, poses with some photos to admire the villages met in the bend of the road.
And we arrive in Siena, we stationnons at the foot of the ramparts, we have less than a kilometer to get through the gates of the city and visit this city that has very little suffering the ravages of time since the Middle Ages.
Immediately, we feel an authenticity that few cities have yet, as if time had not been taken within these walls!
The streets are narrow, traffic restricted to indigenous bear to miss, and the shops do not display the signs and garish colored our French stores and here we find everything, but without solicitation, the stamp is preserved.
As you can see, this city is part of helping our heart!
Provided it does not change too fast!
The main focus is obviously the place of Campo, theater of the "Palio", a compact crowd to constantly press, the fountain is also a detour.
It must then be lost in the streets up to the Duomo, and of course visit the cathedral, which would be to travel alone in this cited by the ground covered with marble carved unique.
The day is well underway, we find our camping car and leave in the direction of Montepulciano by small roads winding through the countryside typical of Tuscany, among the hills and trees, symbols of the sweetness of this region.
We pass many villages, more beautiful one than the others, and in late evening we arrive at that destination, Montepulciano.
A camping area as is indicated, but as we near the April 25 National Day in Italy, the place is filled with fairground rides!
Do not worry, we will find a little corner behind the parking under the ramparts, overlooking the Basilica of San Biago. We will not be only a couple of Germans who saw us settle for the night.
After a peaceful night, we assemble this medieval village visit, we are Saturday, the excitement of the week has left the place quiet weekend and under the sun that we flânons in this pretty village.
Back at the campsite, because our neighbors are gone Germans, after having slipped a nice little note in French under the wiper, fun!
After the visit, we go see the Basilica of San Biago, who was once the largest in Christendom before the construction of St. Peter's in Rome.
We leave for Lake Trasimeno, Italian second lake in size, and we will have lunch at the edge, in Castiglione del Lago.
After lunch, tour and coffee in town, towards Florence, then, to find camping friends of Grenoble, but we will take the path of pupils following the road of Chianti, among the vineyards of the same name.
Many beautiful villages, properties, and terrain that recalls our Côtes de Beaune
In the afternoon we enter Florence, are painfully camping Michelangelo, fortunately, our friends arrived shortly before us have kept a place beside them!
we spend the evening talking about a nice aperitif, tomorrow will be a busy day to visit Florence, the jewel of Tuscany ..