Day 1 – Porto Santo Stefano

Wheels in the Adriatic, with some impromptu Italian friends

We arrived at Rome airport today with the same number of bikes as riders.  Hurray!  Unfortunately, two of our group are deplaned in Newark, stalled by bad weather which includes tornados.  Everyone’s flight was late, but that now seems trivial compared to overnighting in Newark.  Even Jim’s experience–sitting down on a urine-soaked seat cushion upon boarding, and subsequently spending the 10 hour flight in wet (though rinsed out) pants–seems vaguely tolerable compared to the Newark option!

Mike of Andiamo Adventours met Howie, Rich, Bill R. and myself at the airport and we loaded our gear into a van and drove 1-1/2 hours up the west coast to Orbetello.  We had a quick lunch, unboxed and assembled our bikes, and by 4 PM were riding westward on a narrow causeway surrounded.

Porto Santo Stefano

Our destination was Porto Santo Stefano, a small town on an island west of Orbetello, connected by the causeway.  We knew we must start our trek across Italy with a tire in the ocean if it was to truly be a “Sea-to-Sea” ride.  Stretching our flight-cramped legs and enjoying Italian coastal scenes would only add to the bargain.

Porto Santo Stefano

It was Sunday, and the beach and boardwalk were packed with Italians seeking some sun and relaxation.




Boats in cove off Porto Santo Stefano


Just west of Porto Santo Stefano is the infamous Isola del Giglio, where the cruise ship Costa Concordia lies crashed on rocks while Capt. Francesco Schettino is at home, presumably sober, under house arrest.  We could see the island in the distance, but not the ship.

Porto Santo Stefano








Distance:  37 mi.

Vert.:  1,800 ft.


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