Corsica to Italy
We took the overnight ferry from Corsica to Italy and rented a hot little Peugeot which is perfect for sharing the road with the Italians.
But, let’s get to the real story: The first order of business when driving in Italy is to stop at the first AutoGrill and have a real coffee (French coffee can be good, but let’s face it, they don’t quite get it like the Italians), and a piece of pre-packaged focaccia (something I wouldn’t touch with a 10’ pole in the US) that I knew would be good, and it was.
And then there was lunch, easily the best meal in the last week. I started with a thinly sliced and partially grilled zucchini appetizer lightly covered with sweet onions and a touch of olive oil, arranged inside a ring of crostini toasts. I was in heaven. Then I had freshly made tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and just a hint of olive oil and garlic. Yum.
We’re staying at a “cycling hotel” in Bormio. Bormio is a ski town in winter, and pretty damn quiet in June except for some cyclists and hikers. This a VERY cyclist-friendly hotel. [ http://www.stelviobikehotel.it ] The room includes a welcome water bottle, free breakfast and a four course dinner (more on that later), pre-ride snacks and post ride tea, free overnight laundry for cycling clothes, free wi-fi that reaches the sleeping rooms (!), ride slip details, a group cycling guide, large rooms and nice beds. All for 70EURO per person per night.
However, the weather is currently questionable. We drove over one of the passes we want to ride. It was a killer climb, about the length of the ski basin (16 miles), but almost twice the elevation gain (over 5,000′). The temperature at the top was 40 degrees which would make for a very cold descent. Plus, there is a 90% chance of rain every day. But, I’m not coming here and missing these climbs…even if I get wet, and cold.
Now, back to dinner. You start with a “salad bar” which is nothing like your average Macaroni Grill offering. I had a small bed of arugula with fava beans and proscuitto. Then, my first course was small sheets of fresh pasta with a rabbit ragout. Next, was a plate with two tiny breaded chicken breasts over a just a few perfectly cooked “frittes”. Then, some cheese, and of course a bit of vino rosso to keep it company. Thank goodness I’m cycling like a madman or this would definitely put on the extra pounds.
Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings…