Friday, 13 September 2013

'Top of the world, looking down on creation...'

As The Carpenters sang.  That song was in my head when we drove to the top of Passo Lanciano.

Our Italian friends had warned us that there was a two day heatwave on the way of 42 degrees.  They were right.  What do you do when you can't stand the the heat?  Drive to the top of the mountain and cool down.

We drove out of our village and kept on the main road (the Passo Lanciano) and kept heading up until we reached the ski cafe.

Will has cycled up the pass many a time and it is quite an achievement.  Pro-cyclists always say it is one of the toughest climbs.  We saw many cyclists that day, even in that heat, which was slightly crazy.

A lot of work has been carried out here over the last couple of years because the skiing is so popular.  There are tourists who come to ski, but most people (at the moment) come from Pescara.  If you love skiing, it is a very cheap, unspoilt place to ski, which is mostly undiscovered outside of Italy.  The Pescarese drive up on a Sunday morning, ski and then that afternoon can be back walking along the sunny seafront eating a gelato.  One of the few places in Europe this can be done.  Brilliant.

Ski Cafe
One of the slopes
After a nice cool drink, we continued on to the top, drove the car as far as we could, parked up and got out to have a wander.

The view (as always, in Abruzzo) was fabulous.  More importantly, the air was fresh, clean and cool.....well, it was 21 degrees, which compared to the heatwave below in the valley was marvellous.

As you near 'the end' some of the top looks almost lunar in appearance.  I love how the mountains change depending on what side you are standing on.  Some are 'carpetted' in fluffy trees.  Others are rugged and volcanic.  No mountain looks the same.

Alfie near the top

One very fit, but tired cyclist!
The Mamma Rosa Hotel

Other people had clearly had the same idea as us and there were many hikers who were continuing over the top to walk to the Corno Grande, families having picnics, motorbike enthusiasts and one very brave cyclist (most stop at the ski cafe below on a hot day) who insisted on cycling to the very top.  We applauded him as he went past us and said 'Sei molto bravo!'.

Whilst my parents had a look around.  Will, Alfie, Ralph and I took in the views.  We love Abruzzo very much and I understand the following quote very well indeed.

Will, Ralph and Alfie

"You may have the universe, if I may have Italy" Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer 1813-1901


Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe said...

Sounds nice to be able to cool down a bit. What beautiful views!!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Hi! Visiting from Thursday Favorite Things and following you via Bloglovin'! Love all your posts about Italy and I want to see more and more! I was there 17 years ago and really want to get back sometime!

LuluG said...

Hi Tina. Yes, the views are lovely and it is nice for a change. Thanks for reading.

LuluG said...

Hi Ann Marie. Thank you for following! So nice to hear you're enjoying my posts. Hope you get the opportunity to travel back there one day!

Bally Girl said...

Hey I love your blog so I've nominated you for the Liebster Award!! You can check out my questions for you here:

Good Luck!! Can't wait to read your answers :)
Beyond Bally.

LuluG said...

Thank you! I am so chuffed! My first Liebster nom! : ) xx

Erica said...

extreme meaures to escape the heat! But the view is so so beautiful, I can see why the carpenters popped into your head.

LuluG said...

Hi Erica. Yes, a bit extreme, but a good excuse to go up there!

mail4rosey said...

Totally worth the effort. It looks like a nice thing to me. I have to say just looking at the incline makes me tired. We went biking not too long ago, and hills wore this old lady out. ;)

Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync. :)

This Ole Mom said...

That is awesome congrats on your award! Love following you and looking at your beautiful pictures.

Have a great night!
Stop over for a visit and look around.

Kim This Ole Mom

LuluG said...

Hi Rose, I have hiked/walked up these mountains, but never cycled! I leave that to my husband - future blog on that at some point! : )

LuluG said...

Hello Kim, thanks for reading and your lovely comments. I'll check your blog out.

Tiffany {A Touch of Grace} said...

Beautiful! I love seeing all the places you guys are discovering!


LuluG said...

Hi Tiffany, thanks for reading. I'm pleased you think it's beautiful! x

Liene said...

Hi, visiting from the Friends Around the World linkup! While living in France we saw a good bit of northern Italy, and I just loved it. I hope we'll have the opportunity to return someday and see Rome and Abruzzo, maybe even Sicily... Thanks for your beautiful pictures!

LuluG said...

Ciao Liene! Thank you for stopping by and reading. It's nice to hear you liked my pics. I love France too....well most of Europe really!

Lindsey Marie said...

Another reason to head to Italy. I love the quote at the end by the way! Your family looks so beautiful!

LuluG said...

Hi Lindsey, that is so lovely of you to say. Thank you!

Jessica Hobin said...

Sush stunning views! So neat that you can escape the heat by driving up the mountain. It is so flat here that I could never do that! not that we need to escape any heat...its -20 Celsius today, haha.

Lulu G said...

-20!! Hope you've got your thermals on Jess! ; )