Monday, June 15, 2015

The European Trip, Day 9 - Maserati Motorcycles and Pisa

After breakfast at the Corte di Sogni, the lovely hotel we stayed at while in Modena, it was time for one of the main reasons we'd chosen to stay at this particular hotel.

You see, Andrea Ascari, the owner/operator of the hotel also houses onsite seven of his 22 vintage motorcycles that he owns and cares for.  He gladly gives very informative tours of the motorcycles to all the guests of the hotel for free, all part of the package you might say.

His website is here: LINK   The hotel information can be obtained here: Corte di Sogni

Here's a small write-up of his collection and hotel in the Italian MotorValley website.

In my last post, I showed a picture of the converted former barn that we had stayed in.  Turns out, the bedroom we slept in was right over the room where the onsite motorcycle collection is housed!

Andrea Ascari's first Maserati moto, 1953. (I forgot the model, sorry)
Maserati only produced motorcycles between 1953 and 1956
so they're quite rare.  He obtained this one when he was 15.

I especially liked the colors on this particular Maserati

Andrea Ascari

Andrea and Monica Ascari
Lovely hosts/proprietors of Corte di Sogni.

Too soon, it was time for us to go and drive to Potendere to visit the Piaggio Vespa Museum.  Alas, we got there and found that they're closed on Mondays!  Doh!

We are not sure why there's a small airplane parked outside the museum

The one scooter we could see from outside

We're also unsure what the story is behind what looked like
an old street car, wedged in as part of the main entrance
to the museum.

We drove onto the city of Pisa and found our hotel after a bit of heavy traffic and searching, even with the GPS, parking wasn't obvious till we walked in and had things explained to us.

We relaxed in the hotel till about 30  minutes before the tour we'd booked online to climb up to the top of the Tower of Pisa was due to start.  Bottom Line: Not sure it's worth the cost.

We had a bit of a kerfuffle when we found out 10 minutes before our turn came that bags of any kind weren't allowed, to include Martha's small purse and my camera fanny pack!  We rushed over to the nearby luggage office and checked our stuff in and made it back in time.

our view of the Tower of Pisa as we waited near its entrance

Once we walked inside, we were given a 3 minute spiel on
the history of the tower, I didn't realize it was hollow on the inside

After a climb of some 300+ marble steps, we were at the top (so we thought) and took some pictures.

Took lots of pics of the surrounding cityscape but will instead defer to the panos below to give you an idea of the views.

As we moved our way around the tower, we were then shown a small entrance that led even further up the tower....all the way to where the bells are mounted!  

So, our 30 minutes were up, and we all headed down the same steps we took on the way up.

Once back on the ground, Martha retrieved our bags and I helped Miles secure this "epic" pose with the Tower of Pisa as the main subject:

ah, my son....

Martha the supportive wife

The Baptistry

Later on, around 7:30 PM, we went out for dinner, on the way we enjoyed the way the "golden hour" lighting illuminated the Cathedral and Tower:

Dinner was at a little street side tratorria.  The food was good and Patrick mistakenly ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese thinking it was "al pomodoro".  Still, he was a tropper and ate almost half of it which surprised and pleased both myself and Martha.  He got himself a McDonald's credit to be used later in the vacation as a reward.

By the time we were done, it was past twilight and the lights had come on to barely illuminate the buildings.


RichardM said...

Patrick looks thrilled to be awake at another museum…

I think the streetcar is yet another Vespa. Maybe the plane as well. I like the second to last photo. Beautiful sky and lighting.

redlegsrides said...

Yes, RichardM, as I walked around Monterosso al Mare today, noticed the Piaggio name on small trike-type trucks as well.

Thanks for your kind words.

Trobairitz said...

More great pictures. Pretty nice view from the Leaning Tower. Worth all those steps?

I like that you managed to stay above the vintage bikes. Now that is planing ahead.

SonjaM said...

Again with the stunning pics. Pisa in the golden hour is one of the best architectural sceneries in Italy.

Bummer, the Vespa museum was closed.

redlegsrides said...

Trobairitz, thanks for the kind words, as to the worth of the climb up? I don't think I'd do it again, shall we say. It was a bit costly at 18 Euros per person. As to planning ahead, all the credit goes to Martha.

SonjaM. Thank you as well for your kind words. I was kinda bummed about the Vespa museum.

ToadMama said...

I LOVE the epic shot of Miles. LOL. Really.

I was wondering about teens and the food in Italy. Not something I think most kids would appreciate. :-)

redlegsrides said...

Kathy K. Ah yes, Miles' epic photo...such a proud moment for me. sigh.

As to the food, Miles was always up for something new....Patrick, we settled on a few things and called it a win.