Our plan on leaving Florence was to visit Siena, staying overnight in a free car park on the edge of the city and taking a bus into town. We’d read that the car park was full during the day, so we arrived late afternoon. Unfortunately, the car park was quite compact, and there were only a couple of spots which would be suitable for a large motorhome like ours, both of which were already occupied by Italian motorhomes which looked like they’d been there for a while, possibly owned by locals and parked up for the winter.
Plan B was to stay on a sosta further out of town, a half-hour bus ride from the city. The sosta was in a village called Rapolona, located next to a spa complex with a thermal spring. Although it was close to the motorway, the traffic noise wasn’t too bad at all, and we both slept soundly. The next morning we headed to the bus stop, only to find that we’d missed the 9:25 and the next bus wasn’t due until 14:20. With nothing to do in Rapolona, we decided that we’d have to abandon our visit to Siena and continue on our way to Rome.
Next stop was a sosta in Torrita di Siena, just outside the medieval city wall. The sosta was another one of those we like best which has been purpose built for motorhomes with decent services and electricity, all for free. The weather wasn’t great – cold and wet – but we enjoyed a wander around the town and stopped for a coffee on the way back to the van. With no other vans for company, we had to sosta to ourselves for the night.
The next morning we made the short drive to another free sosta, this time next to a wine production facility in the town of Montefisacone. Despite the weather not improving, we set off to explore the old town at the top of the steep hill. By the time we made it to the top, the skies had turned very grey and the hail began to fall, but fortunately it soon passed. It was well worth the climb to the top as the views were superb, especially over the huge Lake Bolsena.
The sosta was free to encourage campers to buy some wine from their shop, and normally we would oblige, but as we already had a supply in the van we didn’t bother, and instead set off yesterday morning to Tuscania, and another free municipal sosta with electricity. It was another short drive, just long enough to listen to the Desert Island Discs podcast with Kylie Minogue. The sosta was empty when we arrived, so we picked our spot and hooked up to the electricity only to find that none of the connections were working – probably karma for not buying a bottle of wine at the previous place!
Tuscania is another town within a medieval wall, and we knew how photogenic it would be having checked it out online beforehand. As we’d decided to stay for two nights, yesterday we just went to the market we’d driven past on the way in, and today we walked around the old town.
The market was nothing exciting, mainly clothes and shoes, with quite a few lookie lookie guys around the perimeter selling dodgy trainers.
This morning we had a great time walking around the old town. It dates back to the 7th century BC, when it was inhabited by the Etruscans before falling to the Greeks and later the Romans. In the surrounding area lots of ancient sarcophagi have been uncovered, some of which adorn the walls in the main square. We spent a good while exploring, and it has to be one of the best medieval towns we’ve visited. I just hope that UNESCO don’t find out about it, otherwise tourists will come visiting by the boatload and ruin the place.
Tonight we will go back into town for a drink, and then tomorrow we will move on to Rome.