Filliponi - Arcevia - Maesta -
Trivio - Serra San Quirico - Moie - Belvedere - Ostra
Had breakfast in the hotel (with a
kitten swinging on the table-cloth - very cute), then we were off with a nice easy 3-4
kilometres out of Sassoferrato to the junction near Filliponi. Here, the road
climbed continuously for the 10 kilometres to Arcevia. This was a nice road with a
good surface, and it was very quiet.
We had a look around the town which was very busy, probably
because it was Saturday. Lots of market stalls in the main square. They like
their markets over here (which is nice to see - reminded me of home).
On leaving Arcevia, we headed for Serra San Quirico. This
was a real roller coaster of a road. We'd plummet down, then climb, only to plummet
down again. This went on and on and on. It really was tough cycling. We
found this harder than the rides up to Castellucio or Sassotetto, simply because you
couldn't get in any kind of rhythm. It was also very hot and humid. We stopped
at Maesta for a drink and a bite of food, and were a bit disappointed to see that we were
only just over half way there!
We carried on with the ups and downs, until finally we made a
terrific descent into Serra San Quirico (I wouldn't fancy going back up that!). The
town looked as though it was getting a makeover, lots of scaffolding everywhere, but I
think it would be quite picturesque otherwise. It certainly has a great setting.
The town appeared to be closing for lunch as we arrived at 12:55. We just had
time to get a cold drink, and the shutters came down.
After cooling off for half an hour, we continued the descent to
the valley floor, and the main road. We took the old main road, headed for Moie.
This runs parallel to the S76, and was relatively quiet, and fairly easy riding
which was nice after that tortuous ride from Arcevia. Just after Moie, at a roundabout, we
took the road signed Belvedere Ostrense. Almost immediately there is a road to the
right (white road on the map, but metalled) and we took this (signed Belvedere).
A leg crunching climb loomed ahead, but it actually looked a lot
worse than it was. This took us up onto the ridge, and was the last serious climb of
the day. The road undulated along the ridge and we followed signs for Ostra. A very pleasant quiet road. Unfortunately,
the sky was turning dark, and we could hear thunder in the distance. The question
was, could we reach Ostra before the rain reached us?
On the way into the town was a sign for the Albergo La Cantina. We looked for other
places in the old town itself, but there didn't seem to be anything so we made our way
back, and after a false start walking into a restaurant of the same name, we finally found
it down a side street. It's a very impressive looking hotel set in lovely
gardens. We'd no sooner booked in than the rain started. It didn't last long
Later, we went for a walk around the town and had a drink, then
feeling hungry, made our way to the Restaurant Cantina just up the road from the hotel.
Great meal of Crostini, Anelli di crepes agli asparagi o formaggio, finished off
with Flambe gelato (and no it didn't melt!).
We got back to the hotel at around 10pm and the hotel restaurant
was packed. We went upstairs, got into bed and... the music started. Now that
wasn't too bad, as the chap was a good singer, but later, the karaoke started! Now
in my experience, karaoke's are great fun - if you're doing the singing, or you're
drunk. For everyone else, particularly if you're sober, they're purgatory. It
finally stopped at 2am, and we could get off to sleep. Shame really, 'cos we'd
remarked as we booked in what a lovely quiet setting the hotel had!