from km 12 965 to km 13 618 total 653 km
Arrival with the ferry Igumenitsa - Ancona on late afternoon of the 3rd of october.
I enjoyed during the next few days the Italian culture. I also had to do some washing and I could do most confortable that in a public laundry.
I think you guess it already, that after three days there was enough for me and I started to ride along the famous Riviera where during the summer months thousands of tourists crowd. Now I found only some dog lovers with their four-legged friends and some feathered winter guests from the north.
Passing Senigallia, with the striking castle Pocca Roveresca, I rode on flat roads to Rimini and thereafter to Ravenna. On the way I also passed a roundabout showing the passion of the Italians for cycling. During virtually the whole day I was cycling in the rain.
A few kilometers ahead of Ravenna I definitely had enough from the rain and since I could find any accommodation I just set up my tent in a public parking lot. In the morning it was only a short distance to Ravenna where I enjoyed my breakfast in a restaurant, nicely protected from the next downpour. Here I also found out why I could not find any bed last night. It took place a festival with guests from all over Italy. After breakfast, a short stroll through the city showed all their beauties.
A few kilometers after Ravenna I could ride through a nature reserve on the southern edge of the delta of the river Po. After some birdwatching I crossed the salt lagoon of Comacchio where on the other side I reached this beautiful and well-kept town. With its many canals it reminded me on a more provincial looking city of Venice. The marvelous situated guesthouse "Al Ponticello" was very inviting.
The next mornig I went back to the lagoon to do some birding.The owner of the pension was a offical guide to the delte and gave me some good information. After birdwatching I was off to Ferrara, a bustling, historic city of the Po valley with narrow streets and wide, prestigious squares.
From Ferrara I enjoyed the easy ride along the river Po through a flat agricultural area. Large groups of Cattle egrets and Yellow-legged Gulls gathered behind the tractors working the ground.
Passing the inconspicious citys of Cremona and Casalpusterlengo, I reached ihe city of Pavia on the river Ticino. During that day it was cycling in constant rain. Pavia showed a mystical atmosphere due to the rainy weather.
Leaving the hotel in Pavia early in the morning it rained threads until I reached the intercontinental airport of Malpensa. Luckily I could ride on minor roads with little traffic in this heavely populated area of Milano. Spending the night in a pension near Malpensa, I continued my journey in calmer conditons to lake Maggiore. A first stop for lunch in Arona and later a ride along the shore to Stresa.
The next morning we had beautiful autumn weather with fresh snow on the peaks of the higher mountains. The two Boromean islands Isola Bella and Isola Superiore presented themselves in a unique scenery. On this lovely Sunday the famous festival of the Chestnuts called Castagnata took also place in Stresa and all the world gathered by the lake and enjoyed the wonderful sunshine with wine and chestnuts.
The next day, unfortunately the great weather had gone, I road the road along the shore with a last look at the Isola Superiore. Always in northern direction through wild river deltas, busy towns like Verbania and contemplative places like Cannero and very soon I stood in front of the border post and another country was "done". After 13`618 km I was back in Switzerland.