Walking, Walking And More Walking

Why is it that every picturesque and historic village in Italy is at the top of a hill? We set off yesterday for Bagnoregio and Orvieto, about an hour's drive away. Knowing that Bagnoregio is only accessible on foot, across a bridge and up a hill, we parked as far up as possible. Only problem was that it was the wrong hill. No wonder the parking was free, as it was about a twenty minute walk to the correct hill. As you may realise, the return journey involved another uphill walk. 

Whilst having lunch in the village, we met some girls from Ballina. They had good things to say about Croatia so all bodes well for the next part of the trip.

By the time we had walked back up to the car, we weren't too keen to visit Orvieto, but pursuit of gelato spurred us on. Fortunately, six escalators were conveniently situated in the car park to take us to the top of the town.  We found gelato and the duomo, which was the typical fantastico cathedral. It was molto fantastico (oh yes, the language is coming back to me after more than 50 years, thank you Sister whatshername - I can't remember everything) so we bought tickets, and even Dave ventured inside. He has an ideological antipathy towards Catholicism (don't we all) but could still be wowed by the art and architecture.

Thanks to Ray's watch, we know how much walking we do. Thanks to my knee and Lynette's hips we know our limits. We are averaging about 12 kms each day. 


You see many mad things in Italy, mainly as a result of things that people from hundreds of years ago decided to do. Some of the results of those mad things that people did can be found in the pages of this blog from past days and today's as well. But not many things would top the madness of the image above. There is a huge canyon and in the middle there is a single plug of rock sticking up, joined to the edge of the canyon of a thing blade of earth. Perhaps it is an extinct volcano with the core still surviving. Then a thousand years ago, some guy says "I think we should build our new town out there on that plug of rock". All the elders confer and say "What an excellent idea! It should only take us a couple of hundred years."


Then later, that strip of earth connecting the village to the edge of the canyon is so weathered and worn, some modern day Italians say "we'll just a build a bridge across to it instead of risking our lives travelling across there every day". Lynette and I decided to celebrate that decision., prior to crossing the bridge.


There were plenty of people in the main square on BagnoRegio, which is more like an island than a village.


The rest of the crew in the Square.


Don't ask me how that car got there.


After surviving Bagnoregio we made our way to Orvieto. More madness ensues.


Brenda doing her best impression of Pinocchio. I did not find her performance believable.


See what I mean. It looks like Orvieto and SIenna were in a striped cathedral arms race. Who can build the most incribible stripy Basilica? I'm not sure I can answer that question as it has been some time since I have been to Sienna. Let's call it a draw. Update: Visited Sienna again yesterday, and I thinks the stripes are better on this church but the facade is better in Sienna.


Yes, Striped in and out. Then we see that some of the windows and marble, thinly cut, as windows.


One more look at that incredible facade. There is barely a square centimetre on that face that has not been crafted to a millimetre of its life. The effort that went into it is barely imaginable. Now the poor bastards (the italians) are no longer capable of building a new bathroom without it leaking, although (wierdly) they do appear to be quite good at building trains that go fast. We shouldn't laugh too much as Australia is headed the same way.



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