In 365 days I’ll be on my second Italian motorcycle tour. From Rome, where we pick up our bikes, my group will head to the fabulous Podere la Strega in Siena. I catch myself thinking about Podere la Strega in unguarded moments and can’t wait to return. You know why …Read More »
Italy by Motorcycle
Orvieto's morning air delights my soul, encouraging me not to think about the tour’s end in the afternoon. Instead I remind myself to wring joy and memories out of its last day.
Everyone in Italy parks scooters and motorbikes chockablock. No matter how much chrome or how many farkles a bike is adorned with, I never saw an incident of I'm-too-special-and-my-bike's-too-precious-to-share-a-parking-space behavior. If there is enough space to mount and dismount, that's sufficient; share the space.
The Umbria town of Orvieto sits atop a plateau of tufa rock—consolidated volcanic ash that we would call “tuff” in English. The rock was thrown from the large crater that is now Lake Bolsena, which we visited four days ago.
There’s nothing like a few days in Italy to turn even a fast-food junkie into a foodie. Italians are proud of their culinary heritage and my tour guide, Enrico Grassi is a goodwill ambassador of all things cultural and gastronomical in the boot-shaped country.
Awake once more at dawn in my 400-year-old room, I’m eager to get into Siena. The shimmering city on three hills that has been enticing us from the infinity pool at Podere la Strega is now on our agenda.
After leaving San Gimignano we head to Greve in Chianti, the birthplace of Giovanni da Verrazzano. He is famous for being the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between Florida and Newfoundland, and for discovering the New York Bay in 1524. This discovery is why the bridge spanning the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island bears his name.
I awake on the third day of my tour in a 17th-century country house and it occurs to me that human beings have been conceived, born, lived, and died in this very room for over 400 years. The walls are freshly-painted plaster, their yellow hue the perfect shade for the faint early morning light.
This is Part Two of my series on Italy by motorcycle. Start the series here.
I’ve been chasing an Italian man riding a BMW GS Wasserboxer motorcycle for the last six days through Lazio, Tuscany, and Umbria. Tomorrow we’ll be back to Rome, where the entire adventure began.