Italy 131 - Sovana - ABHT - parking on the road./cyclamen under the trees again/ dead as a dodo

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October 5th 2019
Published: October 8th 2019
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Gabby the motorhome is parked up alongside the road , opposite the fire station with a few other cars and one other motorhome. It is not a proper motorhome stop . We have just chosen it as it is within walking distance of what is described as a lovely hill town in Tuscany and it is a place where we can have a bit of lunch. That is one of the beauty of motorhoming you can stop most places discretly ,park up and put the kettle on. You can enjoy your lunch in the peace of your own home on wheels. It takes a while to get back into motorhoming . After a few weeks I now finally remember where everything is . When I first start I open the wrong cupboards , I forget which cupboard holds which items . We get in each others way as we try to get used to living in a small space . Eventually everything clicks and things fall into place.

After lunch we head up into town. As we walk up we can see another hilltop town. Another town made up of the tufa rock of the area. Another town which defies gravity by clinging onto the rocky outcrop. This one has a fortezza . In motorhome terms its an ABHT - another bloody hilltop town. YOu get to see so many in this part of the world that you become blase about them. They all have a similar shape to them. They all have piazzas . Most have shops and restaurants that spill into the streets . Many have wonderful churches palazzos. You only travel a few miles before another one pops up.

On the way up we spy the pretty cyclamen that seem to grow in abundance here under the trees. They are everywhere and grow like weeds . Pretty weeds though. Some of these hilltowns are full of life like Pitigliana . Others like Anagni are dead as a dodo. Which one would Sovana be? Dead or very much alive.

At the top of the hill we have two choices - to our right the town with its main square and walls or to our left upwards to the fortezza . We can see people on the walls so for some unknown reason we chose the left . It is a gruelling climb up ancient walkways cobbled . The cobbles shine. Many feet have scrubbed them shiny over the centuries . The town like many in the region is .Etruscan. It later became a Roman municipium and from the 5th century an episcopal see conquered by the Lombards in between 592 AD and 605. IN the middle ages it was the home to the Aldobrandeschi family . Later it became the home to the Orsini family until good old Cosmo di Medici annexed it to the Duchy of Tuscany as he did with many places.

When we reached the top we found an empty space with very little inside . Only high end restuarants and hotel complexes . We walked around a little reading the information provided on the boards and then were joined by the dreaded guided tour . About thirty people all like lemmings following their leader . They stopped here and there to be told about a particular brick in the wall or a cobble on the floor . Do you like following guided tours ? No we dont either . They dither , they stop, they walk three and four abreast repelling anyone who dares to walk through them. When we veered to the right to pass them they veered over to stop us . If we found a way to the left of them they closed ranks and refused to let us through despite our quiet excuse me . On corners where the steps narrow we thought we would have our chance . Wrong ! They even thwarted us there . Eventually they did get to the bottom after much stopping and starting. They then had to decide where to go next . To the town . Drat !!!! That means following them again or giving up on the town centre. YOu probably can guess which we did . We had had enough of following them and couldnt stand it any longer . It was back to Gabby and on the road again.

Where to next ? It is still hot . It is still holiday season . Not in Italy though as many of the campsites have already closed . Around a third of them closed a week ago and a few more will close this week. We have to head for the seaside to find campsites open. It is off to the sea then for a few days of doing zilch , nothing just sitting around and enjoying the sea , the sand and the whatever else life throws at us . We have more tales of the Knights Templars to watch and it will mean time to finish off my Elizabethan mystery book. Sometimes you need time to just sit and relax.


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