Pisa – Napoli 2002

The trip southwards continued in 2002. Having made it to Pisa in 2001, this year I cycled with Frank Thiele southwards to Napoli.

Pisa – Naples 2002

Pisa is a hot spot for tourists. It is a lovely little village with the leaning tower and a host of other old buildings clustered together in the tourist area. Before we started on the adventure southwards, we needed the standard ‘we were here’ photo.

Starting point: The leaning tower of Pisa.

Starting point: The leaning tower of Pisa.

We followed the cycling route from Amsterdam to Rome by Benjaminse. It took us along gorgeous country roads in Tuscany. Rolling hills with beautiful old houses dotted on the crests, cyprus trees, and beautiful little villages. Tuscany is my highlight of all of Italy. Simply a stunning place.

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany

Traveling with Frank, I learned that it was actually more pleasant cycling fewer kilometres, not the shortest route, and stopping on the way. With less testosterone in my blood as when I started cycling, without anything to prove, I realised that I didn’t need to cycle 200+km in a day. We could stop in beautiful little villages and sit in the sun. We could stop early and stay the night if it was a nice place. So, we visited some nice villages.

In the sun

In the sun

Bagnoregio is a charming town perched on a hilltop, surrounded by a city wall. In the middle of the beautiful, sundrenched landscape of central Italy.

Bagnoregio

Bagnoregio

And the landscape was flowered, this time in startling purple.

Purple

Purple

Purple

Purple

We skirted around Rome. Big cities are not very easy to navigate through, and it takes ages to get through them. We stopped at Tivoli to the east of Rome, and decided to plan in a rest day. Frank stayed around in Tivoli, and I caught the train in to Rome to do the tourist things.

Colosseum

Colosseum

After Rome, our planned route ended. Not having a recommended route means that you tend to end up on bigger roads, and pass through less pretty places. We followed the coast. We stopped one evening at the beach town of Sperlonga.

Frank in Sperlonga.

Frank in Sperlonga.

The coast leading into Naples was busy and ugly. Naples itself is an amazing, throbbing city. On cycling through Naples, I put on my yellow sunglasses, and somehow got an energy boost. I felt part of the bustling traffic. The cutting in and out of traffic. The tooting and waving of arms. I bounced down the cobblestone streets ringing my bell, living the moment.

We set up camp in Pompeii. This was the end of our journey. Our flight was booked a few days later. We had some time to cycle around the place. We cycled up Vesuvio one day (but took the metro to the base of the mountain to avoid the bouncy cobblestone streets). Another day we cycled along the Amalfi coast. The Naples area is gorgeous. The trip was continued in 2003.

Pompeii

Pompeii

On the way up Vesuvio

On the way up Vesuvio

The bike

The bike

The Amalfi coast

The Amalfi coast

Comments
  1. flapane says:

    Sounds great. I’m from Naples but I’ve spent some 20 summers on Sperlonga’s shore, so I can perfectly spot the location of that photo on the beach. I agree that the downside is that the area is not cut for cyclists as much as northern Italy is. Basically you have to pedal on the edge of SS213 and SS7 motorways, which are narrow, trafficked, and where cars run like crazy.

    P.S
    I found your blog on mtb-forum.it

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