We had breakfast in the Hotel
Panoramic (I've never seen such a selection of those small packets of dry toast), then we
biked up into Urbino, took a few more photographs and bought some food for the day. Our
plan was to come back to this town for a good look around at the end of the trip. We
left the town at around 10:15am on the road signed Urbania. After a descent onto the
busy 423, we turned left, signed Fermignano. At Fermignano we headed for Aqualagna
through Pestrino, a hilly road meriting it's double arrows on the map, but certainly no
worse than yesterdays ride through Colbordolo which merited none apparently! A tip
there when planning a route. Don't assume a roads not hilly just because it hasn't merited
arrows. Some of the smaller roads can have very steep stretches.
We dropped down to Aqualagna where we took a small
road which passes through the village of Smirra, running parallel to the busier N3 road.
This road was very rough in places, before we once again joined the main road for
the run in to Cagli, a lovely town.
The main highlight of Cagli has to be the Torrione di Cagli, a bizarrely shaped tower (sort of
elliptical in shape, it tapers in to the centre, then out again to the top). It now
houses a centre of modern sculpture. We stopped in Cagli for a coffee, and
took the opportunity to phone Peter Green, the author of the Le-Marche web site (an
excellent site for anyone thinking of visiting the area). We'd been in touch before
the trip, and he invited us to give him a call if we passed nearby. It turned out
that the road we were taking to Pergola, the 424, passed by his house, so it was later in
the afternoon that we joined him and his 3 dogs for a very enjoyable chat. We'd
found Peters site extremely useful in deciding which towns/areas to visit, and Peter had
said he would be interested in seeing a report of our tour as cycling was an area of
tourism they wished to promote for the region. I don't think they'll have much
difficulty promoting cycling in this lovely region of such varied terrain. All too
soon it was time for us to push on, and he kindly phoned ahead to book us some
accommodation in Corinaldo.
After a short climb on leaving the house, we
basically had a 30km downhill/tailwind stretch through Pergola and on to San Lorenzo.
Just after San Lorenzo we turned right for Castelleone di Suasa, and after some
more 'hot' climbing, we arrived in Corinaldo.
Corinaldo is a lovely
looking town. It's famed for it's walls and they really are quite spectacular.
We stayed in what for me was the best hotel of the whole trip, the Hotel Il Giglio.
It's a converted 17th century monastery, and walking down the long wide arched corridors
you would not be surprised to see a monk coming around the corner. It really was a
great place, and I couldn't believe that it was only costing us L80.000 for a double room
for the night. Very friendly staff who run it too.
We ate in the Restaurant 'Il Tigli' which is built
deep into the walls of the town. The arched brick ceilings and rabbit warren of
dining areas was quite atmospheric. I realise now that this is why so much of
Italy's monuments survive. They're used - day to day. The food was
tremendous (Il Tigli has a fine reputation apparently), and again it was excellent value,
costing us L59.000 for a litre of wine, starter, main course and coffee (less than £10