The overnight ferry from Sardinia to Rome was just the same as I have told you about before -- kind of long, a little expensive, and not the most exciting thing to do.
I got to the port just south of Rome early in the morning. I was rested and ready to ride. As always, my GPS takes me on the most confusing routes down little side streets and up tiny lanes; navigation is probably my biggest challenge.
I finally made it to Anzio just south of Rome. The trip was interesting because all along the route women were sitting in chairs waiting for men to pull up and talk with them. It was kind of early in the morning for this kind of activity, I thought, but they did seem to have some customers pulled over to ask prices. I found all this to be a great mystery -- I mean, do they pick up their chair and get into the man's car, or head off into the bushes, or what. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions; maybe these scantily clad women had fruit stands there just off the road -- you think?? Nah!!
I was surprised at the amount of trash piled up everywhere. Apparently Italy does not have the strict anti-littering laws the rest of Europe does. I remember the women along the road from my previous trips, but I don't remember all this trash. Perhaps there is a strike going on. I say that because Italians are very hard workers in all other regards, with construction jarring me awake starting at about 5:30 a.m.
I wanted to see Anzio because one of the biggest Allied Invasions of Europe took place there just about two days before I was born. I couldn't find much about the invasion, but I did have a nice campsite right on the Mediterranean Sea. It was terribly windy, and just as my camera took this picture its tripod blew over into the sand. I had a terrible time getting it to work again. It was quite the unhappy little thing.
I remember a hay baler almost exactly like this one that came and did some work on our tiny farm in southern Missouri when I was a kid. I got to ride around on it and watch the workmen tie up the hay bales. I loved riding around on that thing.
I didn't take any pictures of the war exhibits, but they did make me want to go see Monte Casino because it was one of the biggest battle sites of the war in Italy during WWII. The road there goes up through the Apennine Mountains which stretch like a hog's back down through the middle of Italy from the Alps to the tip of the boot.
It was a fun road getting to the top, steep and with a lot of switchbacks. I enjoyed it, but I expect Debbie and Michael had to baby their camper to the top.
But it is beautiful now, and here is the neat thing: it was began by Saint Benedict who spent his entire life there, he and his sister, and they are entombed there now. It has been visited by bishops and cardinals and popes and head of state. It is really famous, and some people say it is the second most important site in the Christian religion. I don't know about that myself, but it is certainly worth a visit.
It is possible to ride almost to the top of Mt. Vesuvius, and hike up the rest of the way. I might do that if there is a day before I leave when the mountain is not shrouded in clouds.
Those Roman villas in Pompeii were very nice, by the way. Some of them were absolutely huge, covering an entire city block. They had indoor toilets, running water, and lots of shops to go to out on the city streets. Sometimes we think Romans were all warriors and politicians, but most of them were hard working plumbers, farmers, butchers, firemen, Etc.
There is a great internet connection at this campground, and I just used it to talk live with Patrice, my wife, back home in Illinois. It is only 8 a.m. there, but I am getting hungry for supper so it is time for me to go to the restaurant up on the hill. Some pasta sounds good.