Ducati News

Jun
18

Day three – From Gubbio to Assisi to Spoleto. Churches are cool. Literally

Posted by Vicki Smith on June 18th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

It’s hot here.  No problem as long as you keep moving, and stay off the highways.  We get up early and hit the back roads, today’s schedule is an easy one on roads made for enjoying – good pavement, gentle curves and light traffic with sunflower fields and ancient architecture to look at.  I am riding along mentally house shopping – oh! look at that one! It’s perfect! One perfect house after another every few minutes.

The road in to Assisi

We are expected in Assisi and have been invited to park in the town center, in the shadow of a huge Botero sculpture.  It’s high season here in Italy and the town is busy but the sound and sight of more than 50 Ducati’s pulling in to this peaceful place stops every one in their tracks.  We are getting the full celeb treatment – guards are watching our gear, and the mayor would like to meet us after we check out the town and the world famous church.  The mayor gives us a full tour of his office building and we take turns sitting in his chair. I got my photo taken at the huge wood conference table where all important city decisions have been made, well, since forever.  Then we all posed with the mayor by the famous fountain and headed off to lunch.  Bar-b-que and sublime pasta on a shady patio where we were able to catch a breeze.  It’s getting later in the day and staying cool is getting harder. We have discovered that the coolest places in town are the churches, leading me to suspect this was not unrelated to Italy’s large church going population.  Jamie Whitham is along for the trip as one of the tour guides and he makes us laugh by observing “there’s a lot of old stuff here and you don’t have to work very hard to find it”  After lunch we go to Spoleto and take a train shaped tram to the town to see the church (particularly impressive and once again, the coolest place in town).

On the way back we stop to look thru the door of an old Roman home which is literally radiating cold from it’s walls.  Luigi, who has organized this tour has gone out of his way to give us time to learn a bit about each town and it’s been a lovely day of Italian history, art and architecture.  In Spoleto we pass a giant Alexander Calder sculpture on display so we are being treated to the new classics as well as the old ones).  Tomorrow we have a harder day of highly technical mountain roads with lots of elevation so it’s off to my room to share my day with you and prepare for tomorrow…