From the sparkling of the sea, to the chill of the mountains

Waking up to the most beautiful breakfast, with gorgeous views of the bay of Rapallo was a perfect start to the day.

After saying our goodbyes to our hostess Lucilla who was an absolute delight, we made our way northwards, today utilising the autostrads towards Aosta.

Passing through Genoa there is a choice of two motorways north, we opted for the second one, realising as we arrived that it was across the bridge which had collapsed just before we set off on our trip. Quite horrifying to see the huge gap in the bridge and think about all those people so tragically affected.

So we had to do a u turn, which involved coming off the motorway and paying one toll, before turning round and getting back onto it to go in the other direction to get to the first motorway option.

The drive was smooth, weirdly straight compared to the last couple of weeks so Amr took the opportunity to set the cruise control and relax his right leg! The scenery changing from the vineyards and olive groves to maize fields and becoming more ‘alpine’ as we progressed. Then through the haze we began to see the snow capped mountains.

As we continued into the Aosta Valley the number of castles perched atop hills and peaks was incredible.

Coming to Aosta

we wandered the streets,

noting the distinct difference in shops, the produce and souvenirs being more alpine and less Italian.

The signs and directions moving to French more than Italian.

After a stop for a late lunch, how after all that breakfast we could manage I’m not too sure but the hotel restaurant didn’t open till 7.45pm so we needed sustenance.

Finding the hotel was easy and after checking in we walked up to the Finis Castle,

which we could see from our window.

A complete but small castle we were delighted to find it didn’t close till 7pm so chance to look around. Or so we thought!

At the gate the chap informed us that it was only group tours, and they were only in Italian. Seeing the number of people for the next tour we declined and walked around the castle and back down to relax before dinner.

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