Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 22 - Piacenza to Fidenza - 63k

After a relaxing day off in Piacenza and a fantastic dinner out in town, including 2 bottles of wine over lunch and dinner combined we woke refreshed if not a slight bit groggy this morning.

Dinner was great, it's always up to chance whether you can find somewhere decent while traveling, but somehow we stumbled across two great places in one day. We had tried to get into Ostria San Stefano the night before but it was totally booked out. So we made a reservation for the next night. Arriving it was dead empty, never great for a night out. As we entered the corner erupted, and suddenly all the kitchen staff got up from the corner and rushed into the kitchen, the World Cup was on and Brazil was 1:1 with chile! They were watching on someone's mobile phone. Once seated a few other groups slowly filled the restaurant. It was actually great getting there first as it gave us time to chat with the staff, two of them had great engligh, which saved us from using any bad Italian. Wine was the order of the night, and we were in good hands. Initially we just asked what was a good local wine, luckily the waiter offered a taste as he had a bottle open, I wasn't too fond of the local Emila wine which was fairly rough, the sommelier saw we were interested and came over to help. The first thing he confirmed was the local wine was rough, and not in as many words but he basically said no good! He moved us onto some Lombardy wines, starting with a light dolcetto, which was nice but not that flavoured, all the time he was bombarding us with information on all the options, he could see I was still not that impressed with the wine, so we moved on to a Barberra from Lombardy, now we are talking, delicious, after I tasted it he didn't even need to ask that is what we had! The look on my face must have said it all.

The food was delicious, the best stuffed zucchini flowers ever, so fresh.

Osteria San Martino
Delicious, Lombardy Barberra
Now we are talking!
Procusitto crudo, zucchini flowers, Vitello tonnato, parpadelle with rabbit ragu, peach tiramisu, Zabaglione
Rome must be getting closer, a statue of Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome

After a lazy breakfast in our b&b we were on our way, with the ominous grey clouds back it was already a slight drizzle of rain but looking to hold out we were hoping.

My favourite new store

We had scoped out a decathlon store to pick up a spare tyre on the way out of town, my rear tyre is wearing really fast and has actually started to delaminate causing little bubbles between the outer layer which gives an annoying lump, they didn't have any actual UST tyres so I just grabbed a Hutchinson Python as a spare not the best rolling but it was either that or a 1.5" commuter slick. At the same time I asked the guy in the store if I could borrow a track pump to inflate our tyres, he showed me where they were and left me to it, a little confused I just grabbed one and went outside and started pumping up our tyres then another guy comes out looking really confused, and realises I don't speak Italian and confirms that the other guy was showing me were I could BUY one not take it outside to pump my tyres! He then leads us back inside to the workshop area and holds my bike while I use that pump to inflate the tyres. After nearly 3'weeks they had only lost about 10psi and were sitting around 40-50psi which is pretty good going.

Not wanting to loose my rear tubeless tyre, I decided to pop the little delamination pimples, and thankfully just the air came out between the layers and it is all good, so now I just have a spare that I will need to put a tube in for. Hopefully it will make it all the way to Rome!

Cloudy sky's, still flat
Almost could be on the yarra trails
Nice quite farm roads
Scenery is getting better
It's not that deep!! Promise!
Still not sure she has made it!!

Finally getting to the riding for the day at 10am, it was only to be a short easy day. Still in the flatlands, we winded our way between small farming villages, and followed a small river for a short while on some mtb tracks, eventually having to turn off onto the main road to cross the river. Walkers usually wade through the water apparently, but we saw a few walkers going around as well. We joined back up to the trail later on only to find another creek crossing which I decided to ride though, only just making it. Rishi wasn't too sure about trying it but I stubbornly stood up the hill on the other side and she decided to try her luck, just making it as well thankfully!

Gotta outrun this rain!

We stopped for lunch in a tiny little town having the first picnic lunch for Italy, a giant sandwich of fresh mozzarella, ham and rocket on a giant roll. It was then an easy 15k into Fidenza, but we could see the grey clouds building once again with visible rain only a few k's away, thankfully we made it into town nice a dry, we easily found a hotel, Albergo San Donnino where the lady happened to be almost just waiting for customers, checkin was so fast we had unpacked, showered and arrived for a beer down the street within 30mins. A great end to the day.

Rundown old building we ate lunch in front of
Italy always has cool water taps

The town looked pretty promising for a good meal, but after a few drinks not much seemed to be opening, and it seems there was some sort of festival in the previous nights so a lot of places were closed. After a fair bit of hunting around, we found the old backup a pizzeria. Or so we thought! The place was busy a good sign. We go for an old favourite, the Margherita, with double cheese, because they tend to be stingy. They couldn't stuff that up surely. After a bit of a wait the pizza arrives, well it's not really pizza it's a giant focaccia piled with cheese! Holy crap we think, ordered one each! There wasn't even this much cheese in the fondue, it turns out the place specalises in that style of whatever it is. We got through most of it, but we may need to lay off the pizza and cheese for the next few days!

Fidenza town hall
Apertivo time
Fidenza Cathedral, 13th century
Wtf! This is meant to be pizza! It's really focaccia covered in layers of cheese!
I couldn't even drink my beer afterwards
This is what rishi did when I said cheese!!!


1 comment:

  1. Hello friends cyclists. With great pleasure I read your blog and watch the pictures. I envy you now. We (me, my sister and my father 77 years) bike through Poland and Europe. Maybe someday we will traverse your footsteps some countries.
    Kind regards from Poland!!!