Let me just start off by saying that the weather during the whole trip was just gorgeous. Initially I had my concerns, being mid-October and all, but everywhere we went it was beautiful, sunny, and warm with the exception of some sleet while we were upland in northern Molise. On day 1 (Tuscany) and 2 (Abruzzo) we averaged 400 km/250 miles on each stretch, made frequent stops for the dogs, and took caffeine breaks before hitting the road again.
Traveling during off-season scored us some really great deals on lodging. In Tuscany we had a 1-bedroom apartment (55 m²) with fully-equipped kitchen, free wifi, and a fine view of the pool and grounds for 39€/night plus an extra 12€ for the dogs. I imagine the price triples during the summer season but the location is perfect and a short drive to the beach.
The following night at a donkey farm in Abruzzo was mainly because we can’t seem to get enough of them in our travels. And a place that translates to Golden Donkey Inn? No resisting that, or them, and I did have the chance to ride one but changed my mind (too scared that I’d fall off). Walking one is easier, or so I thought, and here I am with donkey in tow. The owner, Gloria, advised against “being soft” and to take the lead, otherwise our cute friend would just stop and we’d end up with a stubborn ass on our hands.
We really enjoyed our stay at the inn but this is where we had our first experience with not so dog-friendly restaurants. In the north we rarely come across this problem, but the further south we went, it was different, especially for places that we already had in mind. In the end we found a pizzeria that allowed our two to accompany us. Pizza in the south is amazing. We’ve tried napoletano-style pizza in the north and while good, it’s just not the same. The dough has better flavor, a soft, thin crust and a high edge. After a couple of beers and coffee, we called it a night.
To be continued in Basilicata, in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy…