Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 30 - Radicofani to Viterbo - 83k

View down to lake Bolsena

It was strange to stay in the nice little house overnight, as it felt like somewhere you would stay a few days. It was nice to just cook some pasta and relax on the couch for the night though.

Our little house in Radicofani

After the long climb into Radicofani yesterday we enjoyed the long descent to start the day, it was almost 10k of down, starting with 4-5k of fairly steep sweeping bends, and once again I am glad we climbed the slightly flatter side the day before.

Early morning light on the descent
Looking back,up to Radicofani
Through the valley
Smooth via cassia
Not so smooth via cassia

We started the day mostly on the road, as the offroad descents are described as strenuous which means not good for bikes. With the mostly downhill start which ticked off the k's in quick fashion. Looking at the map it was easiest to stay on the via cassia most of the way to Montefiascone, as from Bolsena the trails would climb and descend from the lakeside, which would make very slow going.

The via cassia was mostly great, only a little traffic and mostly they passed with plenty of room. Much of the road is smooth, although you will often get 500m which is terrible which makes me wonder what makes them choose to repave or just plug the potholes, as it can mix and match every 500m.


The views were spectacular most of the day, starting with the descent, which had us riding through the valley with hilltop castles surrounding us. Then approaching Bolsena, the lake came into sight, which was spectacular as well, with intensive farming all around it.

Lunch in Montfiascone was fantastic, after riding through the entire town with nothing looking good, we arrived at the spectactular viewpoint looking out over the lake just below the castle. On the ride out we could smell something amazing , and then I notice a little billboard advertising a trattoria. Winding up into the backstreets we find the source of the smell and take a table out in the tiny street. What a find, one of the best antipasto plates we've eaten, and THE best lasagne I've ever eaten, with the perfect balance of handmade thin pasta in multiple layers, delicious sauce and light meat not too oily. Rishi had a traditional carbonara, which means no cream, and made with raw eggs. Very rich and a bit unusual if your used to the bastardised version you normally get, but this was made the traditional way and Rishi loved it. Washed down with a mezzo litro of vino rosso and it was one of the best Italian lunches of the trip.

Antipasto heaven, local meats, buffalo mozzarella, still warm roast veg.
This is what carbonara looks like
Lasange, so good could of eaten another of these!
View from Montefiascone
Look out! Luckily he turned off!

Having knocked off 60k already by lunch, we had less than 20k to finish the day to Viterbo. With mostly flat riding in store we hit the trails, with a seriously steep descent out of town we joined up with the old via cassia, which had long sections of original roman road. Huge bluestone pavers, rounded at the edges with huge gaps, making quite a bumpy ride. Some sections were quite steep and you really had to choose your line well to keep the bike upright and the panniers safely on the back. Eventually we arrived to the gravel roads again with 10k of fairly flat riding into Viterbo, which is surrounded by hills and a dormant volcano which we will climb to low on our final day into Rome.

Trails into Viterbo
Back to the trails
Old via cassia, roman stones
A little bit bumpy
Main gates into Viterbo



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