We left Livorno on 19th May after a relaxing and well fed couple of weeks. Saying goodbye again has been tough but once on the road you begin to focus on the moment and consider where we will sleep and what to eat next! Last night we stayed in a fantastic pilgrims (Saint Francesco of Assisi) hostel/Ostello in Valfabbrica, Umbria and we were invited to share a special evening with the volunteers and monks from Assisi. A very surreal evening of eating, talking/listening, singing and even prayers given from Padre Pio were in blessing our safe journey. Anna Rita has been a warm and hospitable keeper of the Ostello and if you’re passing stay there the night. You never know what is around the corner with each night of rest!
We have cycled for over 6 days from the west coast and heading to the east coast via Fabriano for our next paper visit. Looking back on these intense cycle days of heat and hills we have traveled through stunning scenery, picture postcard views and encountered some poor roads in Umbria. The heat has been extreme and we have had to take in lots of stops and shade rests not to mention the odd gelato! Barbara even thinks she saw Michelle Obama one day,along the route, but we did read later the Obamas were close by! The campsites along the way have been impressive and each very different. Our first night (only 40km from Livorno) was in an agricampeggio Yuptala which focuses on permaculture. A bowl of cherries and a campsite to ourselves. Siena was a bigger set up but again being out of season allowed for space and a peaceful stay. Perugia farmhouse has been our favourite site, another agricampeggo but also a bunkhouse and rooms. The views and feeling of the places where very special with many farms animals in the fields.
During this part of our trip we have slowed down a little allowing ourselves more time to enjoy the scenery and locations, to eat more and generally know when to change plans. We are getting fitter a little quicker packing every morning and we have loved the warmth and friendliness from people from Tuscany and Umbrian regions.
All photography by Jack Blake & Barbara Salvadori © 2017