Ready for Mugello? I'm already in Italia!
I flew in to Bologna, Italia, this evening, after a one hour delay out of Barcelona. The flight was interesting, going over the water and along the Italian coastline before heading inland once we were past Livorna. The pilot was one of those guys who is a little hard on the brakes, then hits the gas extra hard to compensate, and it was an up, down, fast, slow, left, right approach to the airport that seriously had me considering whether or not he was a commercial airline pilot or a recently discharged military flight jockey. Upon landing, I was met by my friend, Andrea, the data technician for the Hoff. He lives about an hour outside of Bologna (where Ducati is located), in a smaller town just north of Reggio. Knowing how much I love eating, he had invited me for a genuine family dinner before we would drive to Mugello early the next morning. How could I say no?
Just look at that tower - straight out of a fairytale!
On the way back to the family residence, we stopped in the city centre of Reggio, where I managed to catch up to this beautiful little "APE". Those of you who are familiar with Valentino's autobiography will remember that he and his friends used to bomb around in a little Ape, and this is one such three-wheeler. This guy is a Fruit-ologist!
In between checking out some of the architecture and government buildings, we paused at the Miami Cafe, and did the normalist thing for an Italian to do - have a shot of coffee! Italians can have 5 or 6, or 10 shots of espresso in a day, and for whatever reason, they don't seem to stay up all night as a result (like I'm obviously doing now, hahaha).
Some of the buildings are incredibly nice, and there were a couple stores lining the towns main walking streets. Mostly sunglasses, jewelry type places, and clothing. It seems like most Italians have a thing for sunglasses, and they've got the market locked down on those big shades (think Bug Eye) lens that hide half your face behind these gi-normous black masks. Because we're in an Italian city, you get to see statues, too.
Once we had run through the city a little bit, we finally got down to some fantastic food that Andrea's mother had prepared. We started off with a pesto based pasta with walnuts, then moved on to salad with prosciutto (maybe some of the best I've ever had - so thin and absolutely divine), and finished up with fruit salads, a peach cobbler/biscuit of some sort, and champagne! Here's to Mugello, and to doing our best! I missed taking photos of the meal, which is probably for the best because then you'd all be even more jealous of me, but take my word for it, this was some of the best home-cooked food that I've ever had, and it wasn't fancy or overdone in any way. Just good, old-fashioned, regular food that kicked butt. Thanks Mrs. Oleari!!!! That was incredible! We shared some funny jokes, and while there was a communications barrier between myself and Andrea's parents (I don't speak enough Italian, they don't speak English), we got along fine and Andrea handled the translating duties well. I'll definitely have to keep working on it!
This was definitely a great night to remember, and after dinner we had a beer before trying to get some sleep. I decided to throw these photos up because I'm not likely to have internet access in Mugello, and who knows how crazy it's going to be afterwards when we head back to the Catalunya Grand Prix, which is my second home-race, haha. For your initial listening pleasure, The Mugello Kick-Off Song! Some of you may recognize this eighties synthie sounding stuff, mixed with some bee-gee's type vocals, because this guy also happened to do the entire Scarface soundtrack (yeah, the Pacino one). Oh, and this sure as hell ain't the Scissor Sisters! Ugh. One last thing, if you're having a problem with Milano-butt, just go to this place. They'll make everything better.