Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 21- rest day in Piacenza

We took today as a rest day in Piacenza. We had originally thought that we might like to catch the train to Milan for the day but on waking this morning we really just felt like relaxing for the day. So we had a bit of a sleep in, a lazy breakfast at our B&B, took care of some washing and charging of Garmins etc. We then took a stroll around Piacenza which is an absolutely beautiful city. So many amazing buildings, palaces, churches and streets with little car traffic and mostly bicycles! It's definately my favourite Italian city so far and a very relaxing place to take a break. This morning we visited the Farnese palace which is now home to the civic museum. We got to see some pretty amazing things including an armoury, a Botticelli original, the inside of the palace itself, and my favourite, the carriage museum! I've never seen so many carriages before! (There were a total of 70 on display) And in such amazing condition! It was really interesting to see how they changed over the years, they even had little miniature carriages which were used by children and pulled by dogs, goats and donkeys!! Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos....something we found out after Ben had already taken two ;)

Morning coffee- we may need an espresso machine when we get home!
Palazzo Farnese




Cool heads which once adorned a church
Ben got busted after this one, so no more :(


Streets of Piacenza

As well as being a very beautiful city Piacenza is also home to many fabulous restaurants and wine bars! Something we definately wanted to take advantage of. Ben had done some google research and found a fantastic wine bar for us to go for lunch. We were the only customers! I felt bad for the two guys who worked there, who were obviously very passionate about wine, and recommended us a fabulous locally made white to accompany our food. It was really nice to have time to relax for a good two hours over a bottle of wine, some cold meats, carpaccio, a salad and some good conversation. At the end of the meal we got talking with the bar owner. When he found out we were doing the Via Francigena he got very excited! When he found out we were doing it on bike, and had started in London he was REALLY excited! He called the other waiter over who was also a cyclist and we had a good chat about our route and how many km we were doing each day etc. We got some hand shakes and warm congratulations on the way out. A really nice moment in our day.

Stumbled into a wedding
Malvasia- great wine


Lunch spread


Happy for a day off

We have spent the rest of the day resting at our B&B watching movies. We have a booking tonight at what looks like a fantastic Osteria (we tried last night but they were full) then back on the road tomorrow! In 10 days we will be in Rome!!!! It's hard to believe we have made it all this way under our own leg power.


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