Italy 48 - a castle and a Mr Le Clerc superstore

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Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Forli
May 17th 2013
Published: May 18th 2013
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Suzy had her headlights and back windows cleaned today before we headed off for Forli . We had laughed yesterday as we saw a Thai lady standing at the traffic lights waiting for cars to stop. As they stopped three deep she ran to first car washed the headlights and asked for the money. This process was repeated at the second car and at the third before she moved to the second row and started again . As the light changed she took her life in her hands and raced back to the pavement waiting for the lights to turn red again . What a way to earn a living. As we set off from the campground we noticed the other way to earn a living - the ladies of the night. Only this was broad daylight and the Italian prostitutes were out in force on the roundabout just down the road. The discerning gentleman in need of something had his choice - a 40 year old experienced lady with long blond hair, two younger girls around 20 -25 - take your choice blond or brunette. And finally another one on her own wearing a skirt so short you couldn’t help but see she wore no knickers. I guess the less you wear the quicker you can get them off. The seedier side of Italy that mingles with the beautiful side.

Our journey to Forli was uneventful - the highlight seeing a HUGE Le Clerc supermarket and thinking yippee a shop at last. The fridge has been empty for a while and the rations of bread and cheese getting a bit thin. Supermarkets of any quality have been sadly lacking in Croatia and in this part of Italy so some jumping about with joy was going on in Suzy. Biggest problem couldn’t work out how to get to it. Decided to go to find the castle in Forli first and then come back to do the shopping.

Not as easy as it sounds. I was in Castrocarme Terme 14 years ago. This is just up the road from Forli but never managed to get in at the time. What a hotch potch of a place. With a large population much larger than I thought it sprawled and even Snoopy the sat nav seemed to taking us round and round in circles without getting any closer to the castle . We felt we would never find the thing and almost gave up. However perserverance paid off.

We did find what we were looking for and as we knew there was no parking close by we would have to make do with a look out of Suzy’s window and try to take a few photographs as best we could. Hanging out of a motorhome isnt much fun sometimes particularly when the police are following you.

The fortress was built around 1500 and is in a style which is seen in Mantova and Ferrara. It is a lovely thing typical of this part of italy. But sadly not enough is made of it by Forli. Pino although ruthless enriched the city with new walls and buildings and was a sponsor of the arts. When he died aged 40, under suspicion of poisoning, the situation of Forlì was weakened as factions of Ordelaffi fought one another, until Pope Sixtus IVclaimed the signory for his nephew Riario. He was married to Catarina Sforza the so called Lady of Forli whose name is associated with the city's last independent history. Forlì was seized in 1488 by the Visconti and in 1499 by Cesare Borgia after whose death it became more directly subject to the pope than ever before. Having watched a TV series about the Borgias it became interesting to see the castle of Forli which played such a part in Borgia history.

n our way back we could not find the Le Clerc store until it was too late and we had sailed passed it. We had to suffice with a Lidl which has poor quality products and very little choice. Strawberries which look good turn out bad underneath . Not inspired shopping. Oh for a good supermarket and a huge shop. I hate the fridge empty.

Our stop for tonight is Camping Adriatica on Via Campeggia just outside Ravenna. Not an ACSI site but a Camping cheque one. The site is well organised with very large plots There were a variety of plots some were superior but we could not use these with Camping Cheques . Having said that ours was big enough and we couldn't ask for more . We were welcomed, given a site map and taken to our pitch by Giacomo on his bike. It is always a novelty to be guided to your pitch as if you were in a hotel.

We pitched up next to two Dutch motor homers. Kathrein wouldn’t work due to a rather large oak tree which obscured south. We pondered on asking to be moved but thought better of it and even thought about moving Suzy around but in the end just stayed put . The shower blocks were clean, tidy and fairly large and there was as usual excellent washing up facilities. Washing and clothes drying cost 4 euro for each and this time used money rather than tokens which always makes life easier. There is a shop on site with a good selection of bread and basics , an infirmary and a hairdresser. The bus to Ravenna runs half hourly from outside the camp gates at a cost of 2 euro a trip.

We are looking forward to tomorrow to go to see the mosaics which Ravenna is famed for. I have been before but feel that last time the mosaics were wasted on me and hope that this time I get so much more out of them.


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