Km 46,003 – Way to Genoa
After I cycled the blue coast in France I arrived to Italy. And I took the route of the coast in direction to Genoa. It was a long day because I cycled 163 km during 9 hours, it was a cold and a cloudy day, but at least I took advantage with the wind coming from the back in the afternoon.
The Liguria state is very similar to the east of the blue coast of France, most of its beaches are not sand but of stone, for this reason I was not interested to stop in many places. On the end of the afternoon, I went to a camping site, but I found its price of 15 euros very expensive, so I cycled to the mountain, where I found a sanctuary and I camped there, it was the only one flat place. And it was a long night, because it was cold and also rainy.
Once in the centre, I stopped in the walking street and during some hours I carried out my sales and they were good. It was Sunday and people came near to look over my bike and they usually contributed. There I met Kiara, an architect who invited me to lunch. And also I met to Giuglio, a recognized painter who works in his next exhibition to New York. Giuglio had visited Argentina, and he invited me to his house where he celebrated the anniversary of a friend. And I felt like among friends. Then I slept there.
According to Giuglio, Genoa is the most important commercial port in Italy, with palaces, paintings and sculptures that are counted among the most distinguished in the northwest of Italy.
But it was on the beginning of the autumn and the climate forced me to go toward the south.
In route to Pisa
My route to Pisa was one of the hardest that I had in Europe, the national route which goes to The Spezia enters in the mountain and it is a true fault of consideration to the cyclist who travels misinformed as me, who carries only an European map. The same way as my route to Genoa, the indicative posters are a disaster; the information of these, sometimes separated by only a couple of km varied about 20 or 30 km, and I never knew how far I was to my destination. The national route was a constant up hills and down hills, while the freeway is almost always flat between bridges and tunnels.
But the worst thing was that in the tourist information office of Genoa I had been informed that the road was flat and mentally I was not prepared.
Finally I needed two days to cycle the 135 km, and the weather was too cold in the mountain. So I arrived to Pisa very tired and almost without forces.
But it was worthwhile, because Pisa is a beautiful and a small city. With a population of 100.000 hab, but it is invaded by tourists. Of course, their great work is the Baptistery with its Dome and with its great inclined tower. And really when I saw it, I was moved, because the tower is impressive.
The city is a monument to the Renaissance, the artistic and cultural movement of the XV century, when the dynasty of the Médici, well-off bankers and rulers from Florence spread for the whole city, aspiring to become the new Rome. It was when painters and sculptors arose with a new conception of the perspective and the anatomy, as Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Miguel Ángel.
On the one hand the particulars of the sculptures are touching, but on the other hand I wonder whether all these nudes, which we name like art, were not one of the periods in those that our civilization began to miss the integrity. Here in the West, is very common to watch on TV an half-naked body to promote any product for sale and I have not seen it in black Africa , nor with Muslims and do not think I will see it in Asia.
During my days in the city I was interested to visit some museums and galleries. But the most important as the Gallery degli Uffizi or the Gallery dell Academy had row of between 200 or 300 people. And when a Spanish guy told me that he was already waiting three hours to enter I lost my interest.
But I visited the Museum of the History of the Science which has among other things instruments of Galilean-Galilei and the story of his astronomical investigations which he worked to get big discoveries. There are old maps, terraqueous and celestial globes of the XVI and XVII centuries, and also a mechanical planetarium which illustrates the movement of the stars.
In Florence I stayed in the house of Kika, a friend of Carlotta who I had known in Seville some months previously.
And they were nice, they cooked me, they took me for a walk and they helped me to get something of money, selling some of my dolls in the door of their work to all partners who glanced at my bicycle.
I also met Giugliano, the owner of a bicycle shop who assisted me like a friend, where I almost bought all the things that I needed and everything to a very good price.
When I left Florence I knew that it will also be in my best memories.
In route to Venice
After leaving Florence I crossed the Apennines, the range of mountainous which exists in the centre of the italic peninsula, and I cycled it for the easy way, although the pass of Muraglione rises to 915 mts of the level of the sea. That night in the mountain was very cold and I began to drink antibiotic, because I felt sick, with a strong throat pain.
I took three days to reach in Venice, and I arrived there when I completed 32 years; I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a different place. And Venice is it. A unique city on a series of banks of mud in a lagoon, with channels instead of roads.
People explained to me at the XII century, Venice was an independent city-state and also the nation richer merchant of Europe, thanks to the control that exercised on the routes of the spices and of the silk of East. It was in 1797 when it lost their independence, from then the city seems to have stopped in the time.
But my days in Venice were not easy, because I could not circulate freely with my bicycle, a man told me that the access with it was forbidden, and I should to pay a fine of 200 euros. Anyway I took the risk and I loaded my bicycle through some bridges to sell some of my pictures or my dolls in the island, where there were more tourists; and I had luck because I sold very well. And the people from Venice stopped to snoop and to contribute too.
But in fact they are not very nice, most of them work with tourism and it is obvious that they don’t have patience. There were a couple of days that I left the bike in a parking but what difficult was to find who allows me to leave my bicycle for some hours there. Then walking for their streets I stopped to inform me in several occasions. And it seemed that to each one that I asked something I was requesting them a great favour.
In the tourist office they treated me as if I was one more of the livestock. The only interest that they have was that I spend my money there.
In my last day before leave Venice the sun shines and I could appreciate how beautiful the city is. Looking for taking the best pictures I walked to the Rialto Bridge and to the Piazza San Marco, of course two of the jewels of Venice.
Finally in route to Slovenia, after a cycled of 160 km, I visited Trieste, an industrial city on the Adriatic Sea. And as I arrived on Saturday night, on Sunday I took advantage to carry out my sales. And I was lucky because in the Piazza Dell´Unita the Italian army carried out a commemorative act, and I sold as few times in Europe.
And how small the world is!! By chance I met Luca, an Italian guy who had bought me a couple of dolls in Portugal, three months previously. And we celebrate it to the Italian way, with a good pasta!!![:]