Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 11 (Italy): Verona - Paluello

today’s distance: 113km
total distance: 1103km
riding time: 5h

The day was pretty much bridging the areas of Verona and Venice. I was up early to head back to Verona with Andrea and Cristina, had morning coffee (tea in my case) at Giovanni’s, who is Chinese, took on an Italian name and taught me a couple of words in Chinese after overcoming the usual astonishment. We had taken a slight detour to Verona - Andrea living some 20km away from the city in an old and beautifully refurbished farmhouse. The views were amazing, the foothills with their lush green in the morning sun and the cherry trees blossoming. The area is ideal for any kind of biking I’m sure.

The night before - after visiting a local wine bar - Cristina and Andrea had treated me to homemade tomato sauce with olives. Not a big fan of olives generally, these were exceptional. Made from their own olives in the garden, they were dehydrated by putting salt over them, put in a jar and then “just forget about them. When you remember, they’re good!” And good they were, really good. Thank you Andrea and Cristina for everything!!!!

In Andrea’s shop, some more organizing for the day, figuring out which route would be better. Knowing what SR 11 had looked like coming into Verona I was happy to avoid it as best as I could. Steering clear of SR 11, 20km outside of Verona, there was less traffic, making the ride quite enjoyable. No major hills, a slight wind from the front (which neither hurt nor helped all day long), I made good progress towards Padova. Lush green countryside abounded, spring has definitely set in.

Padova struck me as a nice place - not as overrun by tourists and quite relaxed. It also has some of the shortest bike paths I have seen …

After a tour of town, I hunted down an internet cafe, updated the website and took off to make some more mileage. After getting lost in the maze that is Padova East (the IKEA sign giving me rough directions), I got lost again following the advice of an elderly biker. Could have been me and my lack of Italian though. Ended up in a dead end street and saw a family sitting outside their house and stopped to ask the way. The sun was already setting. The look on their faces was priceless. They drew up a map, the grandfather telling me all about his days as a truckdriver between Italy and Germany and grandmother stuffing me packs with ham, cheese and bread. I couldn’t do anything but say thank you and went off to head towards Venice. On the way I met Fabio, a local mountainbiker who confirmed the way I was heading. Slept on some farmland tonight after asking permiission from a farmer.


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