Venzone to Udine - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 8, 2020

Venzone to Udine

Earthquake aftermath then out of the mountains and onto the plains.

September 8 Saturday 42kms

Venzone to Udine. 

Earthquake aftermath then out of the mountains and onto the plains.

In the morning, before leaving, we have a look at the rebuild of the church and others of the town’s structures that have been restored. The church is interesting in view of the discussion over the possible Christchurch cathedral restoration. In Venzone, the church has been rebuilt from the same stone, but no attempt has been made to disguise the fact that it is a rebuild and several features directly reference the disaster. 

Morning of a fine day in Venzone.
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Setting off for Udine.
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The townspeople lobbied the government to restore the old town instead of destroying it after the 1976 earthquake.
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Showing how post quake rebuild was done.
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Venzone‘s main piazza.
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Birds of a feather.
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Terremoto memorial.
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The rebuilt church.
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While inside the church, high pitched eerie  haunting notes emanate from somewhere on high. I comment to Ann that this is the kind of thing they do in Italian museums sometimes to create a particular atmosphere, and I’m not sure it really works here. She quietly points out that it’s actually the organist tuning up! 

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The Sant’ Andrea Apostolo entirely rebuilt after the 1976 earthquake.
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We also look at an exhibition of photographs of the 1976 terremoto by a local photographer. They are black and white and in colour. The colour has been digitally restored and is as clear as modern photos. The impact of the tragedy is clear from expressions and the widespread destruction also from photographs of buildings reduced to piles of stones. The mass funeral scenes are particularly tragic. There is reference to the determination by locals to rebuild the town’s important old buildings before they were demolished, and some details of the methods of reinforcing used.

Memorial artwork to the 1976 earthquake, "Tiere Motus" (Moving land) museum.
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It’s a pretty moving and sobering experience and once outside I  cannot help but look up at the surrounding mountains - somehow they seem to embody a mute and overwhelming force of nature.

The cycle path out of town continues an easy path but gradually leaves the mountains behind in return for more farm land and a forest area. The road alternates between seal and ‘bianca’ - white roads. In the forest section, a young deer flits across our path- the first wildlife we’ve seen for a while.

Rebuilt city wall.
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Osoppo- landscape becoming open and mountains now distant.
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In the small town of Buja, just when we think everyone has disappeared, we find a bar still open and have the only thing left on the menu- a cheese and ham toasted sandwich and a drink. Sitting out front are two remnants from the bikie weekend and their massive Triumph, chatting to a redheaded woman of indeterminate age called Meggie. Her English is good and she tells us that she has come to this town  from the north to live and work in an attempt to rebuild interest in the area. She gives us her card and we ride off as the bike riders each offers her a fond farewell.

Buja- Meggie’s bar - we only had the toasted sandwiches.
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Meggie and biker friend.
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 The path to Udine continues across the Celato  river - vibrant blue-green and fed by ice from afar, and into inner Udine where it becomes a little convoluted, but remains very well signposted.

Rio Celato.
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Tricesimo
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 This cycle path, in combination with Ann’s expert map reading (my words as well as her’s) soon have us in the centre, the Piazza Libertà, and before long, at the mirror glass facade of Hotel BnB, our hotel from a Slovenian chain of the same name. We’ve booked two nights and so are pleased with the ease of access from the garage where our bikes are stored via the lift to our room, and with the view we have of Udine, a fairly quiet and restrained town from what we have seen so far when riding our way in through the evening passeggiata. I should add that from my reading of events here at the end of WW2, it was anything but quiet and restrained.

Udine - looking back to the mountains we’ve cycled from.
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Best of all perhaps, the bed has two summer quilts! We will not have to suffer the suffocating weight most hotels have foisted upon us, resulting in our casting the offending quilt aside altogether. A visit to Spar equips us with bread, smoked salmon, salad and melon - ingredients fit for, well.....cyclists.

Today's ride: 42 km (26 miles)
Total: 3,958 km (2,458 miles)

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