Thursday, April 10, 2008

On The Road - Italy

For a while now Thomas and I have been planning a trip to Italy that will see us setting off on an adventure from his home town in Tours and embarking on an exciting road trip that will take us across the Northern half of Italy. Along the way our plan is simply to train, share methods and ideas with the local traceurs, explore and have fun.

Chosen for it's natural beauty, various delights and attractions, Italy will be the perfect place to explore in style from the airy open-top of Thomas' version of the legendary Citro├źn 2CV, as seen in the photo below...

We are also both delighted to be joined on this trip by our good friend Andy 'Kiell' Day, who will be there every step (and leap) of the way to capture the many special moments with his considerable photography skill - as well as teaching us a thing or two around the Dolomites with all his recent climbing experience I'm sure!

Our plan is loosely in place now and with the aid of many generous locals who have already been in contact with us to offer some very kind hospitality, we know it's going to be a very memorable and positive experience.

Above is a rough map of our planned route. Starting in Tours we will navigate anti-clockwise around Italy with the first scheduled stop being Torino, then moving on to Genova, The Cinque Terre (La Spezia), Pisa, Florence, Sienna, Roma, Napoli and Pompei, before heading North again alongside the East coast of Italy.
Once on the East coast our idea is to travel to Vicenza and Verona before exploring the Dolomites and its collection of Via Ferrata, or Iron Roads. These consist of a network of iron ladders and rope bridges secured in to the sides of the mountains and they were first built during World War I to support troop movement throughout the area. I'm particularly excited about this section of the trip as the photographs I've seen from other climbers have been really whetting my appetite and sparking my sense of adventure...

Before or after the Dolomites we will be stopping off at Lago di Garda (Lake Garda) and finally Milano before beginning our journey back to Tours.

Right now our plans are all just that - in the planning stage - and although this is the rough guide we will be following, there will remain an element of flexibility and freedom throughout. Therefore it is very difficult to say right now which days we will be visiting which cities. If you like the idea of our trip and reside in any of the cities or destinations we have mentioned, or if you have any other suggestions for places we might like to visit... feel free to contact either Thomas or I here and we will see what we can do!

Our trip will begin during the end of May, beginning of June time and will finish when it is finished! We don't want to put a strict time limit on this trip but we hope it will take 2-3 weeks to complete.