We had, had a lovely quiet couple of days but that was all about to change. Moving further down the coast with the sun shining we find a place to park near the beach at Lido di Volcano. Driving through the estate to get to it everywhere is overgrown, very tired looking and with the road suffice looking like it’s doing a Mexican wave it’s a bumpy ride. There are already a few motorhomes parked next to the beach bar and a couple look like they have been there a while. We have a walk down to the beach where there are lots of families enjoying the sun but I have a nagging feeling that this isn’t a safe area. Back at the motorhome, we have dinner and by now it’s getting late and I still have my doubts about stopping here, so we move.
Oh, how I wished I had kept my mouth shut and stayed where we were. Driving along the coast Ditzy is giving us directions when she suddenly tells us to catch a ferry. Spotting signs for the ferry that carries small vehicles across the bay. From looking at the map this will save us from driving 20 km along the coastal road.
Finally, we get to the Marina in Ravenna and find the large car park where there are at least 25 motorhomes parked. Apparently it,’s the oldest seaside resort on the coast and seems popular with families. We have a walk along the harbour wall where fisherman are setting up for the night.
All seems ok but as night fell, more and more cars start to arrive and we could hear the town livening up. Music starts playing just a short distance behind us. With the DJ saying “ you all having a good’ this continues until 4.30 am.
So it’s a very quiet breakfast for us and with only a few hours sleep we go in inland to Gradora in search of somewhere quiet. It’s one of the nicest medieval villages we have been to. Perched on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea on one side and the olive groves and farmland on the other.
We park just below the village where the church bells are ringing and people are arriving for a wedding. Later on that evening we walk up to the village and sit at a bar where a local band are getting ready to play.
The whole village seems quiet and calm but this is very short lived. Once back at the motorhome we realise that the earlier wedding is now having their reception right next to where we are parked. This goes on until the early hours.
Once again with only a couple of hours sleep we are woken by car doors slamming and cry’s of Ciao, ciao.
Oh, how silly of us we forgot it’s Sunday, time for church, don’t these people ever sleep.
Realising we aren’t going to get any peace here we drive 4 miles down the road to the village of Tavullia and home to Valentino Rossi, the motorbike racer. There aren’t many people who can boast they have there own race track and postcode but VR46 ranch is visible from the road just before we get to the village.
We stop to have a look and it’s as we return to the motorhome that John realises the spare wheel has come loose. So it’s a quick change of clothes for John before he tackles crawling underneath to fix it.
Finally reaching Tavullia you can’t fall to see the flags and number 46 everywhere. It’s a beautiful little place with an old world charm about it. Just off the Main Street we find the fan club that has a shop where we join the club for a year. From the Rossi cafe the views are great, for a Rossi fan it’s a must. It’s clear they are all proud of him and it makes you realise just how big he is in Italy. Apparently he is seen around the village regularly so if The Doctor had turned up it would of obviously taken it to another level.
At Gubbio we find the sota and relieved to see it’s on the outskirts of the city and away from any noise, so hopefully we will get a good nights sleep.
After a cup of tea we wander rather aimlessly up to the village where we are surprised to find the ‘Festa dei Ceri’ taking place and by the looks of it all of the village as turned out to participate young and old have gathered in the main square.
We are told that a race will take place around 5pm and sure enough has we are walking around the streets the church bells toll. Shop doors close and people come out of their houses, we turn to see hundreds of Italians hurrying down the hill it’s quite a sight. We then follow them and line up to watch the event.
From what we can make out it’s the Race of the Candles festival, one of the biggest events in Italy. And dates back to the 12th century when it celebrated victory in war. People charge through town bearing three huge wooden structures topped with statues of saints as crowds cheer them on. The ceraioli who support the heavy structures wear coloured shirts to represent their respective Saint – yellow for St Ubaldo, blue for St Giorgio and black for St Anthony. Each structure weights between 300 – 400kg and is nearly 5 metres high it takes 8 men or boys to carry it, it’s a up hill relay race, they have to run at maximum speed that is possible then every 70 metres they change teams. Its a mad race, and a enthusiastic crowd that have turned out to watch. It’s certainly one of craziest and fun things we have seen.
Back at the motorhome and with just a few other vans there it’s thankfully a quiet night and we manage to get some sleep.
Following the winding road up to the village of Mont castello di vibio we get fantastic panoramic views across the southern Umbria. Built on a hill top it’s a pretty place with narrow, cobbled streets and is home to what’s considered the worlds smallest theatre. The unique Concordia theatre can seat 99 people in boxes and stalls. Unfortunately it was closed on the day we where there.
In the heart of village we stop for a drink at what seems to be the only bar from here the views are amazing. Once again we are the only ones here but then again it is off the beaten track.
Cascate Della marmore is where we are off to today but first we stop at Acquasparta to get water. just a shot distance down the road we pull into the garage to get diesel only to instantly realise we have left the water cap behind. The poor pump attendant doesn’t even get to us and we are wizzing off but it’s the look on his face when we return 10 minutes later.
Driving into Marmore the waterfall is instantly visible. Created by the Romans’ it’s the largest man made waterfall in the world. It’s in three sections, the top one is the tallest at 272 feet with the total height being 541 feet.
At certain times during the day the alarm sounds and they release the water the sound of the water cascading down is deafening.
From where we are parked we can hear and see this happening. When we arrived at the sota theres lots of space but it isn’t long before a motorhome pulls up next to us and it sounds like Margarita Pracatan is on board, she doesn’t stop talking! Next morning and Margarita Pracatan is still rattling on, we get ready to move.
The landscape of the lake we drive around is stunning every turn is enchanting before we know it we have travelled quite a distance before stopping. It’s a while since we have eaten out so we stop at a place in Castel di Tora next to a lake.
Struggling with the menu a lady on the table behind us offers to help. Originally from England she has lived in this part of Italy for 40yrs, the first thing she asks us is “have you been robbed yet?”, by the sound of things it’s normal but it doesn’t give us much confidence as we are heading towards a few cities in a couple of weeks.
Just across the lake is the village of Colle di Tora where we wild camp for the night. It’s popular with dog walkers and people swimming. By early evening they have all gone, there’s just a couple of fisherman setting up for the night then we are on our own with just amazing views across the lake.
It’s been a peaceful night but we are in no hurry this morning. So we tidy the motorhome before setting off to pick up groceries has later today we are starting our next house sit where are Italian travels will continue and hopefully we get some sleep.