A Travellerspoint blog

LUCCA TO LAKE GARDA 17 & 18 JUNE

Lush Green Mountains & an extraordinary lake.

After arriving at our hotel on Sunday night we were surrounded by Harleys, even Nougat came out to have a look and try one for size !!!

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Leaving Lucca we went straight up the SS12 to ride through the centre of the mountains in the Tuscan Alps.
It was such a pleasure to see such lush greenery all around us.

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Diverting to the San Pellegrino Alps we were totally stunned when we saw the view.

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Farewell Tuscany, we will be back.

Arriving at Lake Garda late in the afternoon we were stunned to see how big the lake is and the town of Garda is picturesque.

Ducks swim around the lake hoping for a treat.

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Posted by MKaye 14:02 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

CARRARA TO LUCCA

Marble Mountains and Cinque Terre

Absolutely fascinated by the Marble mountains above Carrara we went to investigate further this morning.
Overlooking Carrara they look like snow capped peaks, until you get closer.

Gradually eating away at the 2000 hectares of marble, from inside and out the quarrying goes on daily, they have been working the quarries since Roman times, Michelangelo came here to get his piece of marble to sculpt David.

Marble is used everywhere in Carrara, the brown marble was stunning.
Here is our bathroom marble,and an amazing rocking horse in the reception area of our hotel.

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and of course the quarries -

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After Carrara we rode past La Spezia, a surprisingly clean town, out to the point of Porto Venere.
Totally stunning harbour where the rich and famous park their boats.

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High above La Spezia the view over the harbour back to Carrara is stunning.

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Then on to the Cinque Terre, we have been looking forward to this ride and were not disappointed.
The dramatic coastal scenery is totally amazing, along with the steeply terraced cliffs bisected by a complicated system of fields and gardens.

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We were intending to go on further but heat exhaustion caught up with us and we have stopped at Lucca.

Posted by MKaye 10:36 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

FLORENCE - PISA - CARRARA 15 JUNE

Leaning Tower and City of Marble

Leaving Florence this morning was quite easy, we found signs and followed them, taking extra care with new tyres on the bikes.
Deciding to avoid the Motorway was not such a good idea, we thought we would meander through beautiful scenery typical of the Tuscan countryside. No it was town after town with a few little glimpses of the real Tuscany in between.
Finally we arrived in Pisa and found the famous Leaning Tower.
Quite extraordinary to see it in real life, photos do not depict how awesome it really is.

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After Pisa we zoomed along the motorway (learnt our lesson this morning) to Carrara - the home of Marble.
Having learnt Michaleangelo came here to choose his piece of Marble for David we just had to come and check it out.
What a huge surprise this City is, quite fascinating, little streets, going in all directions and marble everywhere you look.
The Marble mountains overlook the City and are amazing, without knowing you would assume the white caps are snow, but it is actually solid Marble mountains.

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Even a Marble fountain, the huge ball rolls as the water cascades over it.

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Even the Post Office is Marble - only in Carrara would this happen.

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Tomorrow we are going up to have a closer look at those Marble mountains, and then on to the Cinque Terre.

Posted by MKaye 12:07 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

FLORENCE - BIKE SERVICE DAY - 14 JUNE

AUSSIE ROYALTY AT NOVA MOTO FIORENZE

It all started Monday when Steve rang Nova Moto Florence to arrange bike service and tyres, a very long and complicated discussion was held with their only offer being June 26th, not possible to get them in before then - end of story . Steve persisted and kept insisting we are travelling, from Australia, bikes need service and tyres, and we cannot possibly wait until 26th. Finally they begrudgingly agreed to do them on Friday (14th June).
We arrived Monday and went in first thing Tuesday to confirm our booking, yes there is a booking - but a very surprised look on his face when he realised there are 2 bikes ! Still with a very reluctant attitude.
This morning however was a different story. We arrived, he rode our bikes into the service area - side saddle, we have never seen that before.
Then he asked for the documents - we handed over our Service Record Book. He examined this quite closely, pointed to the Rock Motorcycles stamp inside the book and asked do they own the bike ? No, we own the bike, they are our own bikes from Australia.
From this point on the change in attitude was totally amazing. Once he realized they were not hire bikes, everything started to happen, big smile on his face, details were taken, hands shaken, and off we went, confident it would now happen.

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So off we went, back to our room to do some organising and preparing to pack tomorrow. Then it was over to the supermarket to pick up some lunch. Apparently you are not allowed to take photos or take dogs into the supermarket.

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Steve's favourite stand in the Supermarket.
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Then we wandered around the park near our hotel, here is our home away from home, it has been a very nice relaxing break here.
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Back at BMW later in the day we were treated like royalty, the Manager came out with an invitation to join BMW Motorrad Club Firenze, along with some caps, keyrings, a breathalizer (for Steve), and stickers for our bikes.

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Here we are with our Service Dept Manager who was now very happy to shake our hands, also gave us some more gifts - I just love shopping when you get a gift with purchase !

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As the evening cools down, families from the area come out for picnics and to let the children play in the playground.

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Loved this - SHE RIDES, AND HE PILLIONS - even if it is only a scooter.

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The sound of the ambulances will stay with us forever, they are so annoying.

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We discovered a restaurant above the Supermarket, food was delicious, and we could watch people shopping, quite entertaining, cannot believe the amount of cured meats/cheese etc available.

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I did sneak a photo of David yesterday, just for the girls.....

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Tomorrow we leave Florence, destination Pisa and the Cinque Terre.

Posted by MKaye 13:13 Archived in Italy Comments (4)

FLORENCE - DAY 2

Tourist day.

We commenced our tourist day with a visit to Santa Maria Novella, the marble facade was completed in 1470.

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Noted for its artwork completed by the artist who taught Michelangelo (forgotten his name - sorry)

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Then we ventured into the city to have another look at the Duomo, but this time with some descriptions from our guide, and so we noticed a lot we missed yesterday, like the magnificent doors.

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Then on to Galleria Dell'Accademia - the home of the famous Statue of David by Michelangelo.
While waiting in line I spotted some rather interesting posters - shame there is not more room in the Panniers :-

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No photos allowed inside - so frustrating !!

After David we were on a bus and up to Piazzale Michaelangelo for some magnificent views back over Florence, including another shot of the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

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On the way back we passed the Cemetery where Elizabetth Barrett Browning (prominent poet from the Victorian era) is buried - quick snap shot out the bus window

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More street scenes then we went to the amazing Uffizi Art Gallery - astonishing works - and of course NO PHOTOS !!

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And that was the end of our day, home and very exhausted.
Tomorrow is Bike service day and then we plan to leave on Saturday - destination undecided.

Posted by MKaye 12:15 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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