Day Trippin’

If you are following this blog, you have probably guessed that this is not a day by day chronicle of the VBT bike trip.  Our visit to Giglio Island occurred smack dab in the middle, and given how hot it had been, the timing was perfect.  After all that pedaling along sunny roads, I was more than ready for some ocean breezes.

First stop,  Porto Santo Stefano, where we had free time to wander thru the markets before boarding the ferry.

Meat Market in Santo Stefano

In addition to open-air meat, fish, cheese and flower markets, there were some clothing shops, where Becky made a purchase. She still hadn’t received her luggage–but somehow managed to always look great.  And clean!!

Becky, wearing her favorite (and only) outfit.

Porto Santo Stefano, as viewed from the ferry

On the boat, I was captivated by this charming Italian, who waved and said “ciao, ciao” to me.  Finally, someone whose command of Italian equalled mine!  (Yes, I DO have a thing for blue eyed males…)

enjoying the ride

Remember that Costa Cruise ship that sank off the coast of Italy?  The captain abandoned his ship and passengers died?  I hadn’t realized that it happened off the coast of Giglio Island.

Tourist attraction? The Costa Concordia

What was truly amazing was how close the ship was to shore when it sank.

Costa cruise ship in the background

The port was lovely, with all the usual shops, restaurants, gelato stands, pastel buildings and clean, clear water.

Giglio Porto

Fortunately we didn’t have to walk all the way up to Giglio Castello, which, like all good fortresses, was built at the highest point of island, to protect the citizenry from invaders.

The well, an important water source when the castle was under siege.

One of the many winding paths within the castle

The staircases were built on the outside of the houses to save space within.  Can you imagine an exterior staircase in northern New England?  Try climbing stairs like these during a blizzard!

Ipads and iPhones were everywhere.  I caught sight of this castle resident using hers.  Maybe reception is better near the window?

modern technology in ancient castle

After our tour of the castle, it was time for lunch on Campese Beach.  Ordinarily, VBT offers an optional hike along the Faraglione cliffs, but with the temperature hovering over 100 degrees, all agreed hiking under the Tuscan sun would not be a pleasant alternative. Some of the group hit the beach.  Others (that would be me) found yet another great gelato stand and indulged, while enjoying the scenery.

Finally, we headed to our next lodging, Fattoria di Magliano, another beautiful agritourismo location, with incredible food and wine,  a million dollar view, and a wonderful pool.  Such luxury!

Fattoria di Magliano

Magliano, as seen from the Fattoria

This was the perfect opportunity to see what my Lumix zoom could do.  I probably should have manually adjusted the focus.  Oh well.  You get the idea.

Next post–the grand finale–our visits to Magliano and Capalbio