Wednesday 20th April.
As mentioned yesterday, today was Phil's birthday, thank you to everyone who sent congratulations. We decided to have lunch at Picchio Verde and what a good choice it was. The restaurant was just busy enough and the waitress spoke excellent English and translated the menu for us. Our meal was delicious although the portions were enormous! However we managed, just. Here's the menu:
The plan this morning was to have a lie in as we had nowhere to go until lunchtime but we are parked right next to a school and about 30 of the students arrived between 7.50 and 8.05. On scooters. And parked 5 metres from our "bedroom". To some of you 8am might be a lie in but to us it's an early start and I guess we'll have an early start tomorrow as well.
The weather today was glorious, sunshine and blue skies all day but yesterday it rained throughout our journey here. Italian roads, even busy dual carriageways, have more than their fair share of uneven road surfaces and "repaired" potholes. On one section of road yesterday a car coming in the other direction hit a "repair" and showered the van with dirty water. Just before we left Bolnuevo we had the van washed and polished and it was gleaming so obviously we couldn't leave it in the filthy condition it arrived in here yesterday. Bucket, sponge, cleaning cloths and an hour and a half later it was gleaming again and we'd worked up an appetite.
When we were here last year we spent two days sightseeing in the old town. We explored a little bit more yesterday where we came upon a sign declaring, in English, "Life is too short to drink bad beer", a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree so we followed the arrow to a small bar. With the help of one of the customers all the beers on offer were described and we sat in the sunshine with a half each and no sooner had we sat down than a complimentary Pizza was plonked on the table. Weatherspoons eat your heart out. We had no time this morning for further sightseeing and this afternoon we were so full of food we could just about walk back to the van but I managed to take a couple of the obligatory "narrow street" photos.
The streets and alleyways overlooked by the Ducal Palace have been well preserved and more recent developments have been constructed with the same stone and in the same style. All the old houses have beautiful old thick carved wooden doors and it seems as though it's a requirement of new developments to have the same and whilst the doors aren't always as ornate or elaborate they are still attractive. Gubbio really is one of the highlights of the region of Umbria and I hope we have the chance to visit again.
We sail for Greece on Friday so tomorrow we'll get a little closer to Ancona and set off for Jesi, which also has an old town so maybe some more "narrow street" pics.