Our amazing, once-in-a-lifetime Villa holiday came to an end today. So very sad. With a crazy early start to get Sam to the Rome train as she headed home. To a long drive across a mountain range ending with dinner on the beach - it's been a long day of fantastic ups and downs.
Sad to see Sam go. She took a fast train and spent a long day in Rome before flying out - and is on her way to Hong Kong as I write this.
Then back to the villa for us and one last breakfast / packing / cleanup. Andrea and Antonio were fabulous saying goodbye to us. They took our photo, gave us driving instructions and bid us farewell. Lovely as the whole experience has been.
Their suggestion we drove over the mountain range was awesome. We enjoyed a really windy road shared with motorbikes, mountain bikers and even a convoy of quad bikers. Glimpses of fabulous views along the way too. I drove our car, not sure Steve enjoyed my crazy Italian driving.
Our final farewell with Paul and Karen happened in a motorway truck stop - I needed the loo and water - they were heading back to Bologna where they flew out from. We of course continued to Rimini where we are now.
Karen continues our Coop quest on their journey and sent me this photo today - ipercoop and McDonalds I one location!
On to Emilia-Romagna the largest Provence in Italy and home of Valentino Rossi, the man we (and 65000 other people) are here to see tomorrow.
Our hotel is in Riccione a coastal resort town. The hotel is pretty good, basic. Clean and had a great happy hour today. And cheap valet parking.
The area is kinda crazy with hotels galore. A beaut bike + pedestrian precincts alongside the beachfront then deck chair central - the entire beach is controlled by bars and companies with deck chairs to hire for miles and miles.
Once we settled into the hotel we headed off to collect our bloody expensive tickets. The drive to and from Missano was crazy. Weary walkers returning from the track. Motorbikes and push bikes taking over the road leaving no room for cars. Everyone wearing yellow. We need to find where we buy our tshirts. This is the road where we got our tickets, cars, bikes and people everywhere - it's like this everywhere here.
This evening we went to our hotel happy hour then ate at a restaurant on the beach. It was touristy and the food not flash but sitting out where we could hear the sea (forgot to mention Don managed a dip earlier, said it was warm) was lovely.
The waiter mistook our order for Aperol as Apple so some of us got an Apple spritz. After dinner we ate the best gelato. So cheap and so many flavours. Plus has a senza glutane e vegano section plus a pic of my yummy dessert. As we walked back to the hotel we could hear a fireworks event happening. It went on for 10+ mins. We also caught the end of the U.S. open women's final, fitting to watch two Italian women historically battle it out while in Italy.
Go Federer tomorrow. And of course - Go Vale! It's like he is the only rider around here.