Thursday, April 18, 2013

AVOLA, as in Nero d'

Heather's back in the USA doing some academic stuff so Larry's unsupervised here in Sicily.
 Which sometimes means he decides to do some odd things on a whim, which today included a ride to Avola, about 30 kms down the coast from Siracusa. THOSE 30 kms are flat, but turn inland and the road goes up, up, up, though the grade was relatively kind and it was a gorgeous day.
 I posed for this photo about halfway up the climb, where this nice lookout was waiting for me. Think people have been living here for many years? Check out the terraces on this hillside!
 Some of you may be familiar with Nero d'Avola, the Sicilian red wine. A lot of it finds its way to the USA via Trader Joe's and the like. Still a great value in a red wine though once Tasca d'Almerita dreamed up Rosso del Conte, the first truly great bottling of what had been used mostly as a blending wine and sold in bulk, others have joined them, making excellent wines. In the USA look for Cusumano, Donnafugata and Firriato as well as Tasca.
I saw more than one route marking sign for this event, held just this past weekend. It was nice to discover a route I dreamed up on the spur-of-the-moment (including bringing nothing to eat for an 80+ km ride!) was one chosen by the ride organizers, at least as far as Pallazolo Acriede, where I turned for "home". .Luckily it was mostly downhill and I'm carrying enough onboard calories in the form of fat (as long as I go at a fat-burning pace only) to probably ride up to the Dolomites - and back! A plate of pasta alla Norma was enjoyed while watching the Giro del Trentino on TV. And people wonder WHY I want to move here?

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