120km Verona to Ferrara
We had a cat to accompany us at breakfast this morning, purring by our sides as we sat at the picnic tables in Verona’s campground eating our cereal. She looked like a city cat who’d found a good thing; a spot where plenty of passing tourists will give her food. We started her day off with a saucer full of milk, then packed our bags and hit the road in the early dawn hours. It was great to beat the heat at least for a couple hours and we knew we had to get going if we wanted to make an ambitious target for the day: the walled city of Ferrara, apparently the most bike-friendly spot in Italy but quite a distance from Verona. The flat terrain certainly helped us along. Cycling along this part of Italy is rather like being in the Canadian praries. You can see miles down the road and the only scenery is made up of fields, fields and more fields. Tractors almost seem to outnumber cars and on this day they were all out harvesting the corn. As we passed through a series of small towns, we were surprised to see Moroccan teleboutiques, which were an exact copy of their African counterparts. Alongside, we also saw shops selling spices, tea pots and other goodies from Morocco. We stopped at one of the teleboutiques to check our email and as the Arabic music played in the background we almost felt we were back in north Africa. A Moroccan community must have developed here because of the need for workers on the thousands of farms. In the afternoon we had a fruitless search for an ice cream, finding all the shops closed for the afternoon siesta, so we pushed on and a couple hours later we got our treat: lemon sorbet popsicles with licorice stick handles. So refreshing! It was early evening before we polished off the final few kilometers and arrived in Ferrara. We gobbled down supper, put up the tent and had just started to relax when Mareno, the Italian we met and cycled with a couple days ago, showed up. A nice surprise! We caught up on our routes and then he mentioned that tomorrow was a holiday and everything would be closed so we had to add a few more kilometers to our total in a last minute dash to the grocery store. Well after dark we finally collapsed into bed and sunk into a deep sleep.