118km Riccione to Portonovo
We started and ended our day with seaside climbs, first waking up with a rolling coastal road which took us up and through groves of vineyards and pine trees to the picturesque town of Fiorenzuola, where we stopped for a cappuccino with several other racing cyclists. Coffee finished, we quickly dropped back down to sea level and the medieval city of Pesaro. The streets were crowded with shoppers out browsing at the local markets and hordes of people heading for the beach. From there, the road was flat and led straight along the water’s edge, making it easy for us to dip our toes in the waves as we rolled along. Just before the port city of Ancona the sandy beaches disappeared and turned into swathes of smooth and white rocks. It was late in the afternoon as we made our way through Ancona, including a fruitless stop at the ferry terminal, trying to get more information on routes across the Adriatic Sea. Everything was closed and, uniquely for most ports we’ve seen, there were no local ticket agents around to ask about where we might go from Italy. We will have to do our research online. From Ancona we had a steep hike up a hill that left us dripping in sweat as we then plummeted several kilometers straight down into Portonovo, a town almost carved into the huge cliffs right on the water. After supper we wandered down to the beach and watched strong swimmers being tossed about in the waves. The sea is quite rough here but the views are stunning and it’s not surprising all the beachside bars are filled with diners and drinkers enjoying the colours in the sky as the sun sets.