Thursday, September 1, 2016

finding routes for drive


On the day of the recent earthquake I wrote to hosts in Vasanello (further away) and San Severino Marche (much nearer) with sympathy and concern that they were well . All well in Vasanello, but fear and shaking and I think minor damage (i.e. "nothing serious") in San Severino. The violent centre of the recent earthquake hit towns further south in Le Marche, news here.


We have had a preference for going out without a map and finding things unexpected. But this time we have to actually move from one place of accommodation to another, which carries a need for a bit of guidance...

We have acquired two big paper maps, Touring Club Italiano's Umbria-Marche [AUD7.99] and Michelin's Northeast Italy [AUD14.99]. Both from ebay, prices including delivery from the other end of planet. The $7.99 item is used but in good condition. Amazing to be able to buy thus.

As the top of this blog indicates, seeing the journey on a big piece of paper makes it easier to get a good sense of where going. In the flat lands of the Po roads are generally straight; in Le Marche they appear on the map often with lots of wiggles. And that's only in two dimensions.

A piece of the TCI map to show
wiggly roads in two dimensions
north of San Severino Marche.
Note Elcito top left, see photo.
I have used google maps for general sense of road distances, also with quick information on trains and buses. But for very detailed information I have looked to ViaMichelin. In particular, to discover, among the maze of roads in Le Marche, whether there is a wandering route from San Severino Marche to Forli. I entered those two points in the ViaMichelin page, chose the option of 'discovery' and got these results. I have printed out option 2, not certain whether I will be fit enough for that winding winding road, but certain that if we go that way we will need the instructions!

Find the town of Elcito on the two dimensional map.
Here is a photo of Elcito in three dimensional glory.
We expect there will still be lots of snow on peaks
in March. The law obliges winter tyres
(or carrying snow chains)
in cars until 15 April, in mountainous areas.
Our long stay in San Severino and then long stay
in Forli means capacity to cope with possible
road closures for a day or so.
Photo from here.
To add to those aids  I have ordered from AliExpress a GPS device (with other functions) with Europe maps [AUD106] plus an SD card with GPS maps for Australia [AUD19].

If you rent a GPS with a rented vehicle in Italy the price is generally more than AUD20 per day.

I have not had a GPS in my car at home, we tended to disparage them, but in Helen's office car the GPS has shown its value. It will of course make errors, it will of course offer the most straight line options, but if you disobey instructions it will recalculate and offer new directions. In complicated geography in Italy it may help us get home.

The remote small towns are enticing. The TripAdvisor page for Elcito is full of positive accounts of visits: "Bello, bello, bello e ancora bello!" And for a town with seven inhabitants much is happening.

But it's not necessary to hunt things so reviewed on TripAdvisor, you may happily be diverted along with way. A nice sunset photo near Santo Stefano is here. This little movie of an exciting re-enactment day at the Castello di Picino, 11km from San Severino, shows more landscape.

... and another photo, Elcito in winter

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