August 8, 2012
We decided to head south to the caves at San Vittore. This southwestern region is full of caves; the best know are the Grotte di Frasassi. To get there, the GPS took us on the provincial roads that hug the mountains. (In Italian there are different words for mountains depending on their shapes. In Calabria, with its Sila peaks, they’re montagne. Here in north central Le Marche, with its tall rolling hills, they’re colline.I love the ride through the center.
These are the provincial roads and the only arteries into the country with amazing vistas. (The tolled Autostrada and the non-tolled Supra Strada run in valleys, on flat terrains, along the coast, along the side of mountains, through tunnels in gorges. They are full of traffic – foreigners and locals. For the Italians speed limits and traffic laws are only suggestions. This drives the foreigners crazy. I like the Italian word for foreigner better than the English. In Italian foreigners are stranieri. Our word strange is wrapped up in the Italian comment about people not like them.) The provincial roads are the only access points for people living in the interior. They lead to all the postcard-perfect hill towns we see in travel brochure. But because most stranieri aren’t willing to deal with the roller-coaster ride that the provincial roads offer, they avoid the interior.
The image in this post is the gorge where the Grotte di Frasassi are located. Before we got here, we stopped at a local supermarket and bought lunch. You buy all the ingredients for a panino and the clerks assemble it. We left the store with two panini, two slices of pizza, some olives and both carbonated and non-carbonated water – lunch. There was a picnic table on the right. We sat there and ate out grocery-store lunch. (My pizza was bland, but that’s what I expected when I bought it at the large, chain store.)