9th October 2016. Monzambano, Italy.

It’s so nice here we’re staying another night, I wanted to explore the area on our bicycles as we discovered last night that there were cycle routes round here.  Since we began our travels we’ve heard church bells in every country, central Germany appeared to be obsessive about ringing bells all day and all night but at this stop in Monzambano they ring their Church bells at sensible times, probably to call people to a service.  They seem to ring them with some sembalance of order like the bells at home unlike the ‘jazz bells’ (as Darren calls them)  in Germany where it sounded like they’d handed the bell ropes to novices and told them to just give it a go!

It had stopped being quiet, a man in a van near us had some music playing which would have been great if hadn’t been so damned repetative, it was the same few notes played in exactly the same way over and over again.  Maybe I was missing something but that was torture to the ears!  I was very pleased when he turned it off and started tuning a stringed instrument until he started playing a similar ‘tune’.  That was definitely the cue to get on our bikes and go exploring.

We had a bit of a problem finding the cycle path but we did discover that we could have cut through to the sosta when we were out exploring yesterday instead of going back though the town.

We had a couple of false starts and eventually saw some people cycling along the other side of the river so we followed that route.

It was beautiful, we saw a couple of fishermen in the middle of the river and cycled up to a bridge that we saw in the distance passing a field with a lovely view of the remaining part of the wall that used to be around Monzambano.

We definitely weren’t expecting the sight we saw when we rounded the corner there was a HUGE expanse of glacial water in front of us, apparently they’d made a big dam.

We weren’t sure whether we could do a circular route round back to the town and we noticed another couple looking quizzically at their phone too.  As we passed them the lady called over to us, unfortunately she was speaking in Italian, I heard her say Monzambano, they appeared to be trying to find a route back too.  I tried to mime that we were going to cycle along the opposite side of the river but we didn’t know for certain whether there was a route that way. As it turns out after we’d been cycling for a few minutes we noticed a man walking along a track beside the river so we went that way and we eventually cycled back into the town.

Feeling very pleased with ourselves we decided to go and find the city wall which turned out to be very lucky because Darren caught sight of a man in a shop eating an ice cream as we cycled past so it was a quick about turn and we were in the shop within seconds of the sighting! Until that moment we hadn’t been able to find an ice cream shop and it would have been tragic to have been eating ice cream all the way round Europe but not have any in Italy.

The ice cream was out of this world, extremely yummy as we’d hoped it would be.  We did learn that you have to ask for a caffe lungo, we just asked for coffee and we got a shot of espresso coffee in tiny cups, which was lovely but didn’t last very long so Darren went in and got a couple of cappuccinos, I would never drink a milky coffee normally but when in Monzambano (we’re not going to Rome so that will have to do!)

After the ice cream break we cycled up to the castle ruins.  It was a very pretty part of the town with a lovely view over the countryside.  As we got to the castle and elderly man walked round the corner and started saying something to us in Italian, we thought we were being told off for bringing our bikes up but his family were following behind and they told us he was telling us it was closed.  He was obviously cheesed off at having to walk all the way up the hill to find it was closed.  We were still able to walk around the courtyard, it’s amazing that something this old is still standing, how fantastic to have built something like that.

We saw some oranges growing on a tree in someone’s courtyard and some fruit which looked a bit like a very big nectarine, I wonder what it actually was.

We took a different route back to the site, our musical neighbour had loaded his van up and was getting ready to leave so we weren’t in danger of being serenaded again.


Click below for link to Camperistidi Monzambano:


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