One of the great joys of the past week or so has been dipping our toes in the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea, along with thousands of other Italians. Here’s a short video we shot of us wading into the water, just outside the resort town of Rimini.
You Are Viewing Italy
It’s August and we are with the rest of Italy, sunning ourselves by the Adriatic Sea. The beaches here are beautiful; teal green water set against dark blue skies with hardly a cloud in sight. The other night we waded into the water and recorded our latest radio show, with just a few thoughts on our time in Italy as well as an interview with Marco and Manon, a Dutch couple we met in Bolzano.
They were touring with their dog, a cute little beagle called Hunter. If you ever thought your panniers were too heavy, try carrying dog food for two weeks on top of all your regular gear! We’ll let them tell the story….
The screaming downhill that ended our day yesterday turned into our early morning workout. We huffed and puffed our way up the two kilometers or so of twists and turns and topped the summit, rewarded by fantastic views over the sea from the top. From there it was nearly all downhill to the coast, where we found plenty of Sunday crowds out shopping and heading, as usual, for the beach. We indulged in a Sunday morning coffee or two. The cost is so cheap here in Italy it’d be wrong not to order at least one cappuccino a day. Early in the afternoon we turned away from the coast and into the gorgeous hills of Le Marche to see our friends Tim & Gina and their crew of three kids, triplets!! Once again we sweated our way uphill for about half an hour before being greeted by Tim & Gina with a glass of cool water and a room for the next few weeks. Heaven.
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.
We continued our tour of the Italian seaside today. Despite yesterday’s warnings from the Ravenna tourist bureau we had a very easy time making our way along the coast. Small local roads run the whole way along the beach and we didn’t have to revert to the busy and narrow Adriatica SS16 once. Most Italians go on holiday in August and particularly this week, so the whole area is heaving with people. The beaches are so full we can smell the coconut sun cream just cycling along the road. If the sun worshippers aren’t on the beach then they’re out eating granita, tanning on the beach or shopping and in some way this mass of people made our job of cycling even easier. Everyone on vacation seemed to fill the roads with their bikes, going to the beach or to get groceries, and pedestrians were dashing out to cross the street all over the place. Car drivers seemed quite resigned to sharing the roads with plenty of other people, often waiting patiently behind us for quite some time before passing. The day was fairly hot but luckily the roads through the towns tended to be shaded with trees, so all in all we enjoyed our trip through the ocean towns like Rimini a lot more than we had expected. The campground we ended up staying in wasn’t exactly beautiful. The plots have definitely seen better days and people are crowded in, but it is right on the beach so we took advantage of our prime location to go for a late evening wade in the Adriatic sea, which is warm like bath water. No wonder the Italians are so keen to come here for a week of swimming.