After the opera, I strolled through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to the Piazza del Duomo and had a gelato and watched this photo shoot, with techno music booming. The tourists were thrilled to chat with the model after the photo shoot. He was a lot of fun!
While enjoying the gelato I admired the Milan Cathedral, or Duomo di Milano.
In Montepulciano the hotel was so nice that I hung out until midday and then had a beautiful ride through Sienna, a province in Tuscany – the long rolling hills were magnificent. The motorcycle does not have power brakes, so I was able to turn off the engine and coast downhill a long way from time to time and enjoy the silence and views.
I then went to Verona only to find that all of the hotels were full due to a very important convention, mama mia!!! I ASSumed that I would get lucky and find a hotel like in Montepulciano. When I first got there, I saw a bed and breakfast sign in a residential area and thought: BINGO so I followed the arrow but didn’t see any more signs. I asked a local about the B&B, who didn’t know of it and tried very hard to find something for me on his smartphone. When he wasn’t able to find anything, I should have realized there was something was wrong… Concern started to creep in to my head as the day was grown longer and this guy was taking so long. I then checked for myself and spoke with a hotel clerk, her suggestion was to get away from the center of the city. I noticed that the outskirts were a bit sketchy so I headed to Sirmione knowing that it was an nice tourist (thanks to Stefano). I figured there was no large convention there.
Just as night fell, I got to Sirmione to find that the first hotel I came across was booked. Consternation was starting to set in, and I figured that I would end up in a field somewhere to sleep – I didn’t really want to ride at night on the motorcycle. Another call, another full hotel. Another query for a suggestion and then Italian conversation with a colleague on the other end of the phone. Ah yes, Hotel Du Park. Google maps took me there in a jiffy and omg what good luck I have, the hotel was marvelous, with a pizza place next door. A salad and pizza hit the spot and the leftover pizza was just what I needed before bed.
The great Italian motorcycle adventure ended here in Milan. It started in Rome and took me through Sabaudia, along the Appian Way, through the heart of Italy. The weather was perfect.
The ride from my hotel in Milan to the rental agency was quite an adventure… the GPS was a bit wonky (operator error?) and as midday lead to afternoon I found myself riding in circles among the Milan streetcar tracks that run along the streets… with the streetcars. I came across an intersection that was blocked because they decided to rearrange the traffic pattern. OK, go around. Then, construction. Try Google maps, sketchy. Back to the on board GPS. No luck. Back to GPS… I knew I was close, ask a utility worker. No luck. Try again… finally the garage where the rental agency was located. That was easy, eh? NOT. I wanted adventure and got it 🙂
I made my way to Sirmione and a beautiful hotel. I took this picture of the front desk from the second floor balcony because I was relived to find a nice hotel while traveling without making reservations ahead of time, it was a bit sketchy not getting a hotel as the day was ending in Verona.