Monday, May 15, 2023

Giro d'Italia rest day #1

 Giorno di Riposo

That's what they call a rest-day here in Italy. So let's catch up, OK?

First the news that Maglia Rosa Remco Evenepoel is out due to Covid-19. A real shame since the race was shaping up not to be the "Mow 'em down in the chrono, defend in the mountains" so many pundits predicted. Rigoberto Uran's out too, how many more will be sidelined before La Corsa Rosa gets to Rome?

Before all that we flew off to Napoli, rented a car and drove out to Atripalda to see the start of Stage 5. As you can see things were soggy, but that didn't stop the people from coming out! We could barely pass in-front of the Novi stand - the lure of free chocolate is pretty strong, even in the rain!

The race got started and we headed off to the finish in Salerno.

But first, PRANZO! Heather consulted our "bible" the Slowfood guide to Italy and after parking the car and some wandering the wet streets we soggily stumble into l'unico Taste of Italy. It was worth it! Sadly (for them) we were the only ones in the place as they thought the race would close access to their place by midday.

We enjoyed lots of fresh fish but since they figured on closing had nothing to offer us for dolci though they did treat us to limoncino along with a recommendation on where to go for caffe and sweets. Grazie Francesca!

Romolo was on the way back to the race finish, so off we went and were glad we did! They even served our favorite Napoli espresso so we bought a box of pods to take home.

Suitably fortified, we were ready for the race finish, still under gray skies with constant rain. But again, that didn't keep the people away!

Seemed like most headed home to dry out so we were able to get close to the presentations. Not close enough to get sprayed with prosecco but a guy behind us did catch one of the flying corks!

Post-race it was a drive along the Amalfi Coast to our night's lodging. We splurged on the best room on the was just one night...and we didn't spend on dinner, just some drinks while we watched the nightly race recap on TV. Tomorrow the race would pass right by us and our plan was to escape right after so we could cut across and see 'em pass by one more time, then race off to the airport for our flight home.

The next day was better weather-wise though there were a few showers but we were able to walk down the now closed road to get pizza, which the kind hotel management (grazie Valeria!) let us enjoy while watching the race on TV.
The race came past but our "W Magro" banner didn't get on TV as the 'copter shot was too far out, but we did score some bottles as a few teams handed 'em out to their riders just before our hotel.

After quick goodbyes, we were on-the-road behind the race, but quickly stopped at the first intersection by the police. The delay made getting to the next place to see the race a tough chore and by the time we got there it was too late... so off to the airport we went....

...only to find out our flight was delayed! Grrrr! But an ice cream cone and watching the race coverage on Heather's phone made the wait not so bad and we were back home in Sicily by 11PM.

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