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Published: October 4th 2019
Gabby has extricated herself from the road works of Salerno and headed north in search of some cooler weather. Leaving was slightly easier than getting into Salerno . We soon hit the motorway entering tunnel after tunnel . Eventually finding ourselves in Tuscania . We had little idea where we wanted to end up. Somehow the holiday has turned into a drift from place to place heading in the general direction of home. We have three weeks to kill and have a few Tuscan hill towns pencilled in but nothing beyond that . Unusually for us we have no plan.
We parked up you guessed it - next to the cemetary on a rather dilapidated but perfectly functional aire . It had seen better days . REasonable spaces , reasonably quiet just outside of time. At some point it had provided electricity but the bollards now looked as if they were out of order .
Tuscania is a commune in the province of Viterbo and until the late 19th century was known as Toscanella. We had a bit of an idea what it might be like and we felt safe enough leaving Gabby on the aire as we had
been joined by two other Italian motorhomes . Considering it was a Saturday the area around where we had parked was dead as a doornail. A few cars passed by. A few of the townsfolk walked by . But little seemed to be going on today in Tuscania . It was still swelteringly hot when we locked Gabby up and started to walk in search of the town centre. We had an idea where to go and passed by a few houses . Washing hanging from the windows as is the habit in Italy. Occaisionally we could here mama or nonna shouting at a child or a child crying somewhere in the distance . We walked downhill and noticed all the old houses had signs on stating which contrada the area belonged to. We wondered if there was the rivalry between the boys of one contrada and those of another .Or had that rivalry disappeared here in Tuscania ?
Each street seemed to end up on a small square with a fountain and a church . One thing we noticed about the town was the number of redundant churches . They were everywhere . From small ones to a
massive church outside of the town falling into disrepair , All the glass out of the windows and the roof caved in. The streets were cobbled and continued downhill until we entered a larger square which had views across the valley to the old town the other side . Along the walls were the tops of Roman sarcofogi just positioned on the wall tops . Exposed to the elements . I wondered if they were not valued enough to put in a museum or did Italy have so many they could afford to leave them to the rain and snow .
We then came to some life - A few students . Another square opened up to the church a rather dour affair . A peek inside offered nothing to write home about . Perhaps we get blase after a while seeing churches that they appear ordinary and not worth a visit. It was in need of a clean outside . The rain over the years had turned it a dirty colour . Nothing that a coat of white paint wouldnt have put right. All the shops were closed . There were none of the small artisan shops -
the sellers of hams - where the smells draw you in. No-one selling cheeses or bread .
As we walked we tried to find out a little more about the place that we were walking around. Legend has it that the town was founded by Aeneas' son Ascanius where he had found twelve dog pups hence its name Tus Cana coming from the name for a dog .
We headed across the main road to the other side of town . This side had the battlements with their swallow tailed decorations and both round and squared towers. Within the walls was a lovely park and we wandered round it very slowly . There was not a lot to the town but what their was had been rebuilt after an earthquake and made for a few hours pleasureable walking .
When we got back to Gabby the Italians had left and we were joined by a different Italian van. We were ready to settle in for the night . Then things changed . Initially one couple drove up and sat on the wall just by Gabby. They were joined by another couple and then a few boys turned up in their cars . All little further along a group of old men sat just talking and smoking . We wondered about the youngsters in their fast cars and then the penny dropped . We were probably parked up on a drag race track . As darkness fell the lads would be driving fast up and down the street and we would never get any peace .
We made the decision there and then that we would forego our free nights spot and try for something a little more peaceful . We are too old for drag racing nights . We ended up on a sosta at Lake Bolsena . In the camper book it said it was a temporary site for the season and charged 10 euros a night . That would do us nicely. As we arrived up a grey road we found the field . A few campers there already. No facilities but then again no-one turned up to collect our money . We had a very peaceful night and the 10 euros saved will buy us a pizza .
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