112km of 3393km so far…
Today was a very good cycling day indeed. It started by a 5km pleasant downhill from the hostel to Ganova’s center. I bought a couple of focaccias and a few fruits and started making my way to the north.
I bet the residents can park their cars on the roof.
The first part of today’s ride was over mountains and I am really happy that my knee didn’t hurt at all. It’s not perfect yet and I am still looking after it, but it doesn’t bother as it did a few days ago. That really made my day and I was in a very good mood all day. I was also in good mood, because once again I was ridding within nice country side and small villages. I had really missed that after spending 10 days cycling by the coast which is full of towns almost connected to one each other. The slope of the mountain was not very steep, with a col at 472 meters and the road running parallel to the river Scrivia
Back to the small villages
On the mountain tops again
The river along the road
In the afternoon I stopped at Novi Ligure to look for the tourist information, as I didn’t know at the time where I will sleep at the night. The office was closed until 3:30pm, so I had to take a nap on a bench and eat an Italian ice cream to kill some time.
For just â‚¬2 I am definitely a winner
Small roads, small cars
The streets of Novi Ligure
I love my pillow
It seems that there are not many camp sites in the area. The lady at the office was very helpful and called the tourist office of the next city to ask for more information. The only option was a hostel at Allesandria, which I didn’t mind at all, as the weather forecast was predicting rain.
I cycled another 25km and got to Allesandria, where I had to wait until 8pm for the hostel reception to open. I wondered around its nice center and I wanted to approach the big citadel that I could see on the map. It was a little strange, because the bridge over the river that leads to it, was knocked down and I couldn’t see anything from the other side of the river. The hostel it self is in a nice old building in a church’s courtyard and for â‚¬17 he put me in a two beds room and nobody else turned up, which is a very good deal. If only the guy shared his wifi password with me…
A bridge is missing here
This is the Great Wall of Cheese
0km of 3281 so far…
I slept well, had the basic breakfast of the hostel and took the bus downhill for the center of Genova. As I was cycling into it, I hated it a little bit, because of the heavy traffic, the endless construction sites and then the massive hills. But as I spend a whole day in it, I realized it’s a city full of nice corners and full of history.
I started the day in the port, which is big and densely build with even an overhead big road running across it. The port it self hosts an aquarium along with a biosphere, some modern constructions from the celebrations of the 500 years of the discovery of America and an old ship. Genova proud to be the birth place of Cristoforo Colombo.
- To the sails! Hooray…
- The overhead road by the pedestrianized port
- The facade of the old city
- Tunnels within the city
- Cristoforo Colombo’s home
Apparently Genova has the biggest old city in Europe and it feels to be. It is full of small alleys, the tightest I’ve seen so far and every now and then there will be a small square with a cafe or two, or a church. The alleys apart from apartments, are packed with cafe, restaurants and shop, keeping the whole area alive. I also like the fact that most of the shops are specialized to one thing like the old days. I saw one for keys, one for soaps and candles, one with a frame maker, one with a shoe maker and so on.
- Sant Lorenzo
- A small garden
- Vespas… many of them
- I bet the neighbors play cards across the window
- One of the many little squares within the small alleys
- I need one urgently, but I’ll wait until the end
- Carabinieri and Robin Hoods
After going around the city for a few hours, I visited the Garibaldi street, which is since 2006 is protected by UNESCO. It was build around 1500-1600 and at its entire length has palaces both sides, that were used by the families as luxurious hotels to host big names, politicians and popes.
- Via Garibaldi
- The inside garden of one of the palaces
I had some pasta with pesto for lunch, I bought some supplies for the night and made my way to the hills for an restful afternoon. Tomorrow I’ll have to cross the mountains to make it to the norther parts of Italy.