Day 13 Wed 2018-10-17 Castellina - Levanto

Day 13 Wed 2018-10-17 Castellina - Levanto

We had our last breakfast together, and Franco gave us a tour of the private chapel. He was very proud of the villa and the chapel. The Villa was renovated in 1500s and 1800s!

We loaded the car and did our last drive down our favoured cycling descent (SP51) to Poggibonsi.

We bid farewell to Becky and Charlie at Poggibonsi Station. They caught 11:45 train to Florence then a fast train to Bologna for a few planned days of sightseeing before flying home.

The next phase of our Italian holiday started as we drove north west to the Cinque Terre coastal region.

On route we visited the walled town of Lucca, located at the north end of Tuscany region. It is a Renaissance era walled town which we enjoyed wandering the narrow streets. Interestingly, Wikipedia told us in 56 BC at the  Lucca Conference, Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus reaffirmed their political alliance.

Beginning in the 11th Century, Lucca became prosperous through the silk trade and came to rival the silks of Byzantium.

There was evidence of a recent large gaming and comics festival. The town wall seemed to also protect the town from flooding as it was on a flood plain near the Fiume Serchio River

The final drive to the Oasi Hotel at the seaside town of Levanto was a mix of tolled Autostradas (€12+€2+€2) and a final very twisty decent.

Finding the hotel and it’s parking was easy. It was close to the beach and the underground parking was easy. This town is a popular base and starting point for the train to the Cinque Terre villages, so parking is at a premium.

With the remaining daylight, we did a scenic walk from Levanto via the old Maremonti Pedestrian & Bike train tunnel located in an abandoned train tunnel. There were a few cyclists training doing laps.

Dinner was tasty seafood at a good cafe. Tomorrow is the big tourist day to see the 5 villages hanging on the seaside cliffs.

 Farewell to Becky & Charlie

Farewell to Becky & Charlie

 Lucca - entering the walled town

Lucca - entering the walled town

 Lucca - Cathedral At the main Square

Lucca - Cathedral At the main Square

 Lucca - Comic & Game Exhibition looked big

Lucca - Comic & Game Exhibition looked big

 Carrara Marble

Carrara Marble

 Levanto - The Oasi Hotel

Levanto - The Oasi Hotel

 Levanto streets

Levanto streets

 Levanto Baths

Levanto Baths

 Levanto Beach

Levanto Beach

 Old Levanto to Bonassola train tunnel built in 1874, survived Allies bombing in WW2, then replaced by a larger train tunnel. It was converted to bicycle/walking path and opened in 2011.

Old Levanto to Bonassola train tunnel built in 1874, survived Allies bombing in WW2, then replaced by a larger train tunnel. It was converted to bicycle/walking path and opened in 2011.

 Walking towards Bonassola at dusk

Walking towards Bonassola at dusk

 Bonassola beach side dining

Bonassola beach side dining

 Hotel Palazzo Vannoni, Levanto. Early 17th Century Palace.

Hotel Palazzo Vannoni, Levanto. Early 17th Century Palace.