Through Tuscany, Marche, and Abruzzo

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November 20th 2015
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 42.4367, 13.9837

Woke at 7:30, after a good night's sleep, to an overcast day. Had brekkies at the hotel, then walked to the center of Florence. It was about a 20 minute walk, mostly along a narrow cobbled street with walls (and villas) on both sides. There wasn't a lot of traffic, although I did admire one old-school Jaguar, until, ironically enough, I hit the pedestrian zone. Then it was a steep downhill to the river. The best part was the man who had to push the three-wheeIed car to give it enough momentum to make it up the hill … seriously, it sounded like my vacuum with a low battery. I then crossed the Ponte Vecchio, walked past the Uffizi, then found a bank. Got my cash, crossed a different bridge, then returned to the hotel.

It was a little after 10am that I started my drive. I drove the motorway to Sienna, then a fairly side road to Perugia. From Perugia, I drove to Ancona. Most of this was on winding mountain roads, but part of it was on motorway, and I could see the rest of the motorway being built – tunnels and viaducts are all in, and most of the roadbed is laid … but no walls and no tarmacking. After emerging on the coastal side, it was sunny but very hazy. Smoky, really. From Ancona, I took the autostrada south to Pescara. I could see the sea much of the way, but this part, at least, is not a particularly lovely coast, at least not from the autostrada. There was also a surprising amount of light industry. A few charming towns and villas on the hillsides. Mostly, however, I just drove.

I reach my hilltop hotel (in Loreto Apurtino) about 5pm, which was good to get there before dark, because the route was confusing. I ended up going down a dead-end road … and the only way out was to reverse a long distance. Oh well. My hotel room looks very castle (it's in an old castello), but the wifi doesn't work in the room (probably because the walls are too thick). So I have to pop out to the hallway periodically to send and receive messages. It doesn't bode well for my call tonight. Which didn't work. But I got a review of a proposal done, so there's that. It was very windy as I went to bed. Very very windy. There was a howling in the rafters all night, accompanied by some sounds like brick hitting on brick. And my lights kept clicking off and on. Or rather, I got up at 1:30am, and turned the lights on. Then they started clicking off and on. When I turned out the lights, they didn't turn on again, but I heard the same clicking sound.

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