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by Allan Nelson & Konrad Orlowski  

Day 9 - Friday 22nd May 1998

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Orvieto to Pitigliano

Day 9 - Orvieto to Pitigliano

Sunflrbt.gif (1265 bytes) Orvieto – Canale – Buccetta - Bolsena (local roads)
Sunflrbt.gif (1265 bytes) Bolsena (No 2) – Gradoli
Sunflrbt.gif (1265 bytes) Gradoli – Cant (No 489) – Pitigliano (No 75)
Kilometres: 65

Breakfast in the hotel – Cornflakes for me, everything else for Konrad!

This hotel and the one in Sienna were definitely the worst, most characterless places we stayed in. Suppose it'll teach us, trying to look flash staying in three star hotels!

This was to be an easy day.

We left Orvieto at 10:20am and by 10:30am had found the right road out – quite a record for us. Funny, we always seemed to find that the hardest bit – finding the right road out of town.

We headed for Bagnoregio via Canale and Buccetta then turned right for a smooth descent down into Bolsena with great views of the lake of the same name on the way down. A very enjoyable 30kms riding, again on very quiet roads.

We both liked Bolsena. I’d thought it might be a bit ‘touristy’, but the old town is well worth looking around. Had lunch in a local café and then did a bit of sightseeing.

Went into the local church at the start of the old town and lit a candle for my son Adam. I must say I’m not keen on these banks of bulbs and switches in place of the candles. They don’t have the same effect for me, but it’s the thought that counts. We had a quick tour around the local museum (housed in the castle in the old town) and after some more pictures from the ramparts, we finally left Bolsena at around 3:15pm, heading for Pitigliano.

We left heading out on the No 2 road, across the top of the lake, then after around 7kms, turned onto the No 489 through Gradoli. Some quite stiff climbing here for around 8kms until we reached the turning for Pittigliano (No 74). The road continued to climb, but not as steeply, then we began the long descent right into Pitigliano. Again, these were lovely quiet roads. We saw several groups of cyclists (all heading in the other direction to us) obviously on one of these escorted tours. A bus towing a trailer (probably with their luggage in) gave us a toot. Not a pannier in sight!

At Pitigliano, we went straight to the tourist information office and sorted out a room in the Hotel Guastini (2 star) at L83,000 for a double room. The hotel was above a bar and gelateria, where the local youngsters seemed to congregate, but it was no problem – lovely and quiet.

We strolled around the town in the evening. It certainly is impressive. The houses seem to grow out of the rock, and there’s some wonderful views through the back alleys. At night the town's flloodlit from below and is a very impressive sight. Konrad was in his element here with his camera. We went into the Basillica de Petigliano, where I lit another candle (same old bulbs and switches). The altar is very impressive, with columns holding up angels who in turn are supporting a huge crown. The light shining through the stained glass windows onto the wall behind the altar was stunning. This was all topped off by an old gentleman playing the organ the whole time we were in there. Practice night perhaps?

We had a great meal of Crostini followed by Fettucini con Cinghiale (Wild Boar) at the La Tavernaccia Alessandra on Via Roma. All washed down with a delicious red wine whose name escapes me.

Sunflrbt.gif (1265 bytes) What a stunning place Pitigliano is, and at night when it's floodlit it's something else.
Sunflrbt.gif (1265 bytes) I keep thinking the days can't get any better, but they do!
Sunflrbt.gif (1265 bytes) For some reason I wasn't envious of those cyclists having their luggage carried for them.

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