Made it down to the coast to see the Giro go by. However it became quickly obvious that there were far more police than competitors and by 11 a.m. they had effectively closed off all the roads that gave access to the Giro route either by design or by just too many cooks in the kitchen. However I had noticed that the route ran alongside the Autostrada about 2 kms from the start and that one of the bars on the Autostrada backed on to the Giro route. Perfect I thought and in we drove to see if we could find a vantage point. Now years of drinking in english public houses (pubs) had taught me that it was only polite to spend some money if you were to use any of the facilities . Pubs in the UK are really private houses where a licensee is given permission to sell alcohol . I remember drinking at The Black Boy just outside Henley on Thames in the 60’s. They’ve done it up since and made it very PC with two chimney sweeps now ! The landlord then was a crusty old alcoholic and I had called in during Henley Regatta week for a heart starter . As we sat watching the traffic build a large Rolls Royce drove in and the driver hopped out and trotted around the side to the outside Gents loo. By the time he returned the landlord was leaning against his car pen and paper in hand. Could I have your address he said. What for asked the driver. In case I’m caught short in your area and want to use your loo the way you have just used mine. The man took two crisp one pound notes ( it was a long time ago) and gave them to the landlord for a round of drinks on him.
So I ordered drinks in our bar and asked if we could watch the Giro from outside. With that a truck driver at the bar said that there was a concrete building at the back with steps and a flat roof that would give unparalleled views or words to that effect I think. So my new friend and I went to find it while my wife sat outside shaking her head. Soon we were standing on a roof above the road way with a straight line of sight down the road and so close to the road that as the riders came around I would be able to touch the helmets. What a stroke of luck. Oh there is a theme tune for the 2013 race
My new friend and I made polite conversation as we waited . I asked him questions in Italian he didn’t understand and he in turn asked me questions in Italian I didn’t understand. Such are the delights of living in a foreign country! We watched a helicopter circle us a couple of times luckily drowning out further talking and then got ready for the race. A car then four wheel drifted into the car park and a guy clearly with a gun and holding a badge high in the air came running and shouting towards us. Even with my Italian it was obvious that he was saying get the blank blank off that building. We did with some alacrity and were chastised on arriving at ground level . Italians are so excitable sometimes. I was relegated to standing behind a fence to see the race go by.
After our brush with the Italian security forces the race was a bit of an anticlimax especially as they clearly treat the first few kms as warm up time sticking in a huge bunch that is past you in a minute. I think this is Wiggo with the sky logo
Though it’s hard to tell as they all look the same however this is the Sky support car one of seemingly hundreds that follow the bunch of riders.
The best bit of the Giro is the Caravan of publicity cars and vans giving away free stuff and doing loads of advertising. I love this video from 2010 featuring them
So a good day out and nearly spent the night in jail it seems.