Where's Frankie?

Siesta at the Sosta

Tuesday 11th October

Last night was our first night without electric hook up for over a week. We’ve had a problem with the batteries and last January we bought new ones in Spain which seemed to work even worse than the ones we had taken out. We would spend one night barely using the lights, we even bought Kindle paperwihites so we could read without any lights, and in the morning the gauge would be saying that the batteries were flat and they need charging.

Chatting with Darren last week he told me that he had reprogrammed his system when he added a new battery so I sat down, read the manual again, and found the reprogramming section. Last night we tried all lights on, charging my laptop and Lucy’s tablet and having the heating on all night. In the morning the gauge is at 85%. All that time it had just been our system not knowing what to do with the power it had. If you have a Schadt Elektroblok in your motorhome then make sure it knows what batteries you have.

Lucy had found a small town to the east of Udine called Cividale which had some interesting statuettes in the Monastery and I found a free sosta close by so that’s the plan.

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And immediately behind Frankie are four bell towers with another to the right.

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We were about to visit the town when I spotted a walking route to the next town and back, about 6km n all and since it was sunny and warm off we ambled.

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Persimmons, or Sharon fruit or Kaci as we called them in Spain growing wild by the roadside.

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Wild straw bales just littering the fields. Our destination village is right in the middle. Note how lovely the weather looks.

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Pomegranates growing wild.

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And Passion Fruit. We also saw walnuts, grapes, olives, apples, corn and crocus in bloom. Lucy is becoming a proper Alan Titchmarsh.

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I thought that this barn looked rather nice. We arrived at the small village right on the dot of noon so everything was closed ready for siesta time. This was when the church clock started striking. By the time we had walked out of earshot it had chimed 172 times, how are the people meant to sleep through that?

When we got back to Frankie the heavens opened so since it was the right time we had a siesta in the sosta. I’d like to thank Giorgio for today’s title, he is an old customer of ours who has traveled the world and knows everything about everything really.

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Just before three o’clock we strolled into town, past the magnificently painted Chiesa San Biagi.

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Through the Porta Brossano.

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And into the old town.

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A medieval house.Here the streets are very narrow, cobbled, steep and twisty.

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The loggia in Cividale with a statue of Julius Caeser outside. Caeser founded the forum here in 50BC but there are signs of life here from prehistory.

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The town lies either side of a ravine and is very photogenic.

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Ponte del diavolo. This bridge was designed by Jacopo da Bissone in 1442 and finished in the 16th century by Bartolomeo delle Cisterne. 

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After wandering around for a while we found the Tourist Information and I asked in my best Italian for the keys to the Celtic Hypogeum, I obviously didn’t wave my hands about enough because she recognised that I was foreign but I did get the keys! I’m well chuffed with myself. After confirming that we don’t have ID cards, passports, driving licences or any other means of identification just incase we didn’t bring the keys back she let us have the keys but only for 30 minutes because she was off for her post siesta siesta. We were the very first visitors to this place since it’s redecoration (or something – I missed exactly what she said.

Dating to the 4th century BC no one really knows what these caves were used for. Possibilities include underground storage of human remains, a Jewish baths, a prison or somewhere to tell ghost stories.

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I made that last bit up but there are three carved heads and if you pitch your voice just right it does sound a bit creepy.

Unfortunately the Monastery was undergoing refurbishment so we just peeped through the door and didn’t get to see the carvings. Maybe another day.

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Not sure we can keep doing these beer photos of the day – after German beer it seems a bit wishy washy (and expensive).

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Meal of the day was beef and potato hash with fennel. It looks exactly like the picture in the book and any resemblance to the above picture and the book are purely coincidental (due to copyright reasons of course).

You’re looking for somewhere to go but don’t know the area or you want something different to see, what do you do? I used to visit a website at www.nerdydaytrips.com but it hasn’t been updated recently, luckily I have just discovered www.atlasobscura.com We’ve now got some ideas of places to visit in the surrounding area.

3 thoughts on “Siesta at the Sosta

  1. Giorgio

    I agree on Italian beer not being quite on par with the mighty German versions. Peroni Nastro Azzurro is fashionable although many Italians enjoy Birra Moretti [recently – read 1996 – acquired by Heineken] was founded by Luigi Moretti in Udine – so you are not too far. I will leave you to research how the elderly mustached man became to be its logo. Interesting story. I look forward to a photo of the bottle.
    What to see: the ancient city of Aquileia – a must see in my view – a UNESCO world heritage site
    What to do: Mountain biking in the Natural park of the Dolomites
    What to try food wise: Prosciutto San Daniele [up there with Parma ham] and the Cheese of Montasio
    Lucy: You are still near Austria so treat yourself to some quality strudel.
    Safe travel.

    1. Mark Post author

      Peroni and Moretti are both in my list of beers to try before we leave Italy. Have had the in the UK but don’t think they travel well:-)
      The mosaics at Aquelleia are on Lucy’s list but mountain biking is definitely off mainly due to too much strudel.
      We bought a small lump of ham in Germany and have been chewing on that for a while, you certainly get your money’s worth. I’ll look out for montasio.
      See you soon

  2. Clunegapyears

    Big thanks for the nerdydays and atlasobscura. Just been looking at what near us in Canterbury. Been reading about Denge sound ears pre radar and part of the mulberry harbour that got stuck. There are so many WW sites in Kent – came across the site of a bomber down walking yesterday and a local told us the woods were used to store D Day equipment.

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