Ride to Rome

Morning... time for my morning shower; time to put the cute elephant to good use.
Also time to say goodbye to Hotel Crismar.
Hey! There really was a sign leading you to the hotel!
You think it was so easy? Your turn! Find the street that leads you to the hotel! Not the gap on the right... too obvious!
We're closer. Can you see the sign? Don't worry if you can't. Even knowing where it was, 20 m on the right, I couldn't (and still can't) see it!
This is Manuela (the hotel owner) with her son Nickolas...
...and this is papa Marco without whom I could not have ever left La Spezia... Motorcycle! Motorcycle! Where are you?
A final view from...
... my lovely little room and it was off to Rome...
... but not before I took one last look...
... around the lovely city I was saying goodbye to.
One of the things I loved on the waterfront was the cute little "flying" motorcycle beside the standard "giddy-up" horse.
I was flying south along the autostrade when I suddenly met a huge traffic jam. It was hot and we weren't going anywhere. I finally took a cue from other motorcycles and split lanes to drive ahead of stopped traffic.
The problem? A semi-truck's trailer on the opposite side of the median had run into the concrete median and dumped its load of paper on our side of the road. There wasn't a lot of room for even me on a motorcycle to get by.
Driving on the autostrade can get very boring but luckily they have turnoffs where one can rest.
When the view is of pretty flowers...
... stopping is a bonus.
I also loved driving past the many fruit (??) groves.
Italy's autostrades have stops where you can get both gas and food. The food at these stops is surprisingly good.
More pretty groves. I loved the way the trees were lined up so perfectly along the slopes of the hills.
About halfway to Rome, I took a detour to Monte Argentario, an island which is accessed by a long causeway.
Don't ask me what prompted me to pick Monte Argentario as a stopping point. I'm just glad that I picked it as the place I'd visit along the way.
One of the first things I noticed was sponges in the water. I felt tempted to dive right in and get myself a couple!
I took the road...
... that followed the North shoreline.
Along this road, I saw many beautiful beaches...
... and lovely landscaped properties.
When I got into the city, there was (of course) a huge marina.
The road climbed sharply past the marina and a couple of switchbacks later, you had a view of the marina from above.
At the same location, there was this interesting building. I have no idea what it was. The building had no sign and there was no one around to ask.
As I walked back to where I had parked the motorcycle, I noticed something on one of the houses.
Evidently, someone was celebrating a big event. Perhaps it had been a wedding!
I traveled further along the road.
The road was now above the houses.
I didn't even consider going down any of the skinny, steep roads leading to these houses. The view from above was just fine!
Not too far along the road, signs of "civilization" were sparse.
Some residences that I did see...
... belonged to owners of the many vineyards situated along (both above and below) the road.
In the more remote areas...
... perhaps not as suitable for growing grapes...
... some villas were tucked away in scenic spots.
I found it interesting that machinery probably used for harvesting or processing grapes was somehow unobtrusive.
Looking at this mighty gate, complete with lock, I got a good giggle. It might have kept unwanted visitors out, but the fallen chain-link fence certainly wouldn't have.
As I continued around the island, the views continued to be spectacular.
How lucky is the person who lives on this spectacular property?
I looped back to the town by way of an inland road. Along the way, I saw this "garage" for huge boats.
I passed the causeway that had brought me to the island...
... and left the island on a second, smaller causeway.
On the last leg to Rome, I had to ignore my GPS's suggestion to drive through water and also the wrong way down a one-way street to get to my accommodation, Casa Per Ferie Giuseppe, a convent in Rome.
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