We found the way to the Navaglia Milanesa, a beautiful canalside bike path without getting lost! It took some focus, but ultimately our experience from the previous day helped immensely. We met up with a couple from England now living in New Zealand and cycled with them for a while. They had been cycling for four weeks and we took some comfort in their struggles with road signage. It is almost impossible to understand how one can put a directional sign on a pathway that only goes one direction, yet when you get to an intersection where a decision must be made, there is no sign at all!
At lunch in Turbigo, after Julia asked a local where a cafe was, the local inquired "why did you come here, not Italy, but Turbigo!? There is nothing here to see." It is hard to explain that these are exactly the type of places we want to visit, but attempting to explain that, in almost any language is futile!
As we rolled past one bucolic village after another, a Agritourismo (farm with rooms to rent) sign appeared, we quickly said goodbye to our new friends and rolled into the farm. Anna greeted us with amazing charm, and although she would not budge on the price, which was very expensive for our budget, she did provide a basket of fresh fruit that was incredible. A great conversation ensued, mostly in French, some Spanish, a little Italian and occasional English once she realized we were from California. Amazed, she was, that Americans would be cycling and stop in this tiny village.
The bottle of wine from the Panaderia (bakery) and dinner at the Trattoria were simply astounding. The chef sat with us after we finished the best Polenta with meat sauce we have ever eaten and explained, in French, his journey of becoming a chef, something that is clearly his passion.
What a first day on the bike. If the remaining days are half as good as this, we are in for a real treat.