Tuesday 1st October Aquileia to Latisana. Heading West Heavy Trucks and Hemingway Tales. - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 3 - CycleBlaze

October 1, 2019

Tuesday 1st October Aquileia to Latisana. Heading West Heavy Trucks and Hemingway Tales.

Very pleasant breakfasting in the hostel dining room. For one thing, the coffee machine does a mean macchiato - well 4 actually, but we’re also able to put together some lunch. Ann has a chat to Giulio who has returned to live in Aquileia after University in Trieste. He wants to contribute to his neighbourhood.

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We load up and set out for Cervignano, a route we are familiar with from last year. Aquileia’s basilica and Roman ruins are also strong in our memory, particularly the basilica for its beautiful mosaics. 

As we leave a deserted and quiet Aquileia, cycling the wrong way down the one way system, we joke about how last year the local policeman apprehended us and set us on the path of righteousness. We have no sooner finished laughing at this memory, than around the corner appears a local uniformed member of the constabulary. He indicates the error of our ways with a twirl of his fingers and laughing heartily we follow his command. I think Oscar Wilde said something about repeating mistakes....

This is the most diverting event of our day although the autostrada diverzione that sends heavy traffic along the SS14 causes stress of another sort. For a while we have a shoulder, but the proximity of large farm machinery and trucks with massive trailers causes us to look for smaller roads. 

We are able to leave SS14 near Torviscosa and enjoy lunch in a quiet spot. We meet some young Canadian chaps and ask where they have come from. They are not too sure and as one wants to light up a post prandial cigarette we let them get on with it. They do congratulate us on the distance we have travelled though, and call us ‘veterans’. I think that means old (er) people.

 We cross the river at Cormo and continue down to Carlino. Here the road meets the SS14 again and we have no alternative but to mix it with the heavies until the turn to Precenicco after which we are on a quiet road with a cycle lanes. It’s been a warm day but the landscape has not been particularly appealing, although several small towns have picturesque towers and churches.

One spot of interest though, is the crossing of the River Piave on a permanent looking pontoon bridge. At this spot there is a plaque and information board recording the fact that Ernest Hemingway was wounded there in 1918, while a ‘Croce Rossa’ ambulance driver. It was here that Italy gained a great victory over the Austro-Hungarian army. The situation gave rise to the motto: "Tutti eroi! O il Piave o tutti  accoppati" ("Everyone a hero! Either (we hold) the Piave, or let all of us be killed").

The Piave Crossing
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Today Latisana is as far as we feel like pedalling, and we find a room at Hotel Bella Venezia. We take a turn around the town later and check out the river, separated from the town by a high earth wall - it is deep and green- and we read some of the information boards recording matters of significance. The most interesting perhaps, again concerns Hemingway. It was in Latisana that at 49, Papa drove into town in his magnificent Buick and encountered the siren he called ‘my last and true love’: Adriana Ivancich. Though it appears his obsession bordered on farcical, the town’s records reflect none of that, but rather seem to bathe in the glory of having hosted the writer, pointing out the hotel in which he stayed.

I try to recall details of the novels that he supposedly started with Adriana at his side, ‘Across the River and into the Trees’ and ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ but sleep comes too soon.

Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 2,709 km (1,682 miles)

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