May 26: Vicenza
This morning we left our beautiful hotel at the crack of 9 (as usual). A number of folks were interested in purchasing bike duds such as the ones I was wearing from Chesini. Since the Chesini shop was near the hotel on the route out, I showed everyone to the shop.
When we arrived, it was already quite busy. Our group was big enough to overwhelm the shop. (I think we had Mary, Faye, Nancy, Walt, Irv, Joan, Birdie, myself and certainly some others. Some waited outside because it was so crowded.)
The commesso recognized me from yesterday (it could well have been because I was completely decked out in Chesini duds), and asked me to help those in our group. It was really fun to help everyone out and to be asked to help them. Typically, in an Italian store, you do not help yourself to clothing to try on; the shop keeper will help you find whatever you need.
I did my best to assist everyone, and I think our group must have purchased 5 or 6 jerseys and some other assorted items. I needed a mapholder myself (it's getting difficult to juggle the cue sheet and map without one), so I asked for una coperta for la mia carta. He found one that worked just fine and gave it to me -- a commission of sorts!
Everyone was pleased with their purchases, and we finally got out on the road. Kurt and I started out with Faye, Walt, Nancy, and Mary. The route took us down a busy section of the S11. After a ways, we got off of the road and onto one of the smaller roads that wove through the vineyards.
We picked up Bill, Ellie, Tom and Natalie for a time, as we all tried to weave our way through the vineyards. The signs were not very good, but we miraculously wound up in the correct towns anyway.
As we got into Montebello, it was around lunch time. But there was no place evident to eat. We were all quite hungry, and when Walt needs to eat, he needs to eat! We stopped at a bar, but it was a traditional American type of bar that just serves drinks. They gave us directions to a pizzeria nearby. Bill, Ellie, Tom and Natalie had brought food to eat and stopped in a park across from the bar for their lunch.
As we followed the directions to the pizzeria, none of us believed that the directions were correct because we were out in the middle of a completely residential section, but in fact it was there, and we had some of the best pizza we've had thus far on the trip! Who would have thunk it.
After our nice lunch, we continued on to Vicenza. Our nice little roads were shortlived, and we found ourselves back on the S11, replete with lots of cars and trucks. The scenery was very industrial, not at all like what we've been through to date. After a long slog, we made it into our hotel, which was right on the S11.
It was a very hot day. We changed our clothing, and a number of us took a stroll into the city centre of Vicenza, trying to keep in the shade wherever possible.
Vicenza is a very nice city, filled with buildings built in the Palladian style. We were able to look at many fine examples of the Palladian architecture as we strolled through town.
We bumped into a number of people from our group. We learned that there was an organ concert in one of the churches, and the organist was practising for it. So we peaked into the church and eavesdropped for a little while.
In the main piazza, filled with more beautiful buildings, they were setting up for a big concert. Tonight there was to be an event that started at six. We were able to hear some of a jazz group playing before we headed back to the hotel for the evening meeting and dinner.
We had intended to go back into town after dinner, but we didn't because the hot day just took too much out of us.
Domani, we go to Abano Terme, a spa town near Padova.