Gnochi and Spaghetti Bolognese

From Menton in France we leave to go to Italy. Despite our tired legs we wanted to cross the border to enter a new country. After 4 km we arrive at the border crossing of France and Italy. A French guy takes a picture of us and we are ready to go into Italy. After 5 km of cycling in Italy we see a sign of a camp site and we don’t hesitate. We have a few words in Italian and put up our tent. We find a nice place in the shade and it is close to the sea.

So we spend two days here and we enjoy our first days in Italy. We go to a supermarket where we can choose from many types of pasta and we try the gnocchi, which is new for us.After a few days we are ready to go again and we cycle along the coast. It is a beautiful part going up and down the cliffs at the coast and the villages are very nice. In the cities and the villages traffic is busier than in France. There are a lot of cars, trucks and especially scooters. It is no problem for us because the traffic is taking good care of us as long as we are pointing in the direction we want to go.

In Genova we try to find a camp site close to the center. That doesn’t work out, because we have to climb up a hill about 15 km from the center to reach the camp site. The camp site is very nice though and the people are very friendly. When we arrive we meet an Australian family touring by camper. The evening we spend listening to four Italian men playing the guitar and singing Italian songs.

The next day the owner of the camp site tells us we have mail. At first we don’t understand this because no one knows we are staying here. But when the owner shows us the mail we see a small letter from the Australians who have left already. They invite us to visit them in Australia and we have their address, telephone number and email. It’s great that people get so enthusiastic by telling them that we are traveling by bicycle!

We spend a day wandering around Genova with its small alleys and its harbor. Because the buildings are very high there isn’t much sunlight in the streets which keeps the city quiet cool.

We make new plans to go to “Cinque Terre” which should be very beautiful. Before we arrive there we had to pass a tunnel. There was a lane of cars waiting before the tunnel. The tunnel seemed very narrow and there was a traffic light hanging above the entrance. When we saw the green light we started cycling into the tunnel. Inside we found out that it wasn’t only one tunnel we had to pass. The second tunnel we went into was much longer and very dark. We couldn’t see anything and it was kind of scary hearing the cars approaching us from behind.
Before the third and longest tunnel we decided not to continue cycling because it was too dangerous. With the help of a man on a scooter we cycled back to the beginning of the first tunnel. From here we climbed up the mountain road and it felt a lot safer. After a nice descend we arrived at the camp site in Moneglia where we stayed for a few days.

By train we visit the last village of Cinque Terre. From this village we take a hiking path along the coast. It’s very beautiful. The coast is very steep and the five villages are picturesque. At first the path is made for tourists but when we go further it is getting rougher and more beautiful. Here we encounter less tourists which we like. It’s great to view the clear water and the vineyards which are built in terraces here because of the hills. We liked a day of walking instead of cycling.

To leave Moneglia we have to climb from zero to 600 meters high within 15 km. After succeeding this we could enjoy the views again of this beautiful area. We spend a night in Marina de Carrera, the place to go to ……we think it’s not….. We cycle further to Pisa where we first visit the Tower before we go to a camp site.

Menton(F) – Latte(Italy): 9 km
Latte – Albenga: 84 km
Albenga – Pegli (Genova): 81 km
Pegli – Moneglia: 95 km
Moneglia – Marina di Carrara: 80 km
Marina di Carrara – Pisa: 52 km



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