Fano and the earthquakeJanuary 17, 2017 in Italy
Having abandoned our plans in the mountains we headed for the first coastal town with a free stopover; Fano. We had to take the long way round and go back up north to Rimini because only one road was being cleared of snow.
Fano had a medium sized car park with plenty of grass for Poppy. It was one of the few places that allowed caravans to stay and there were about half a dozen pitched up alongside 5 or so motorhomes and locals' cars.
The temperature had climbed to 7°C as we'd descended, but strong winds and heavy rain buffeted the van. We breathed a sigh of relief and sat down to lunch, exhausted from the stress of the snowstorm.
Later that afternoon the rain had stopped and we set off to look round. Poppy needed her annual boosters and we'd seen a vet ambulance parked in our stopover, so had our eyes peeled. Luck was on our side because the first business we came to, just 200m away was a 24hour vets and yes, they could see Poppy! She'd been an angel throughout all the stress of the mountain and was pretty tired now but we weren't going to pass up the opportunity of a vet seeing her, so we walked her round and they took us straight through. Poppy is often anxious at vets but the nurse fell in love with her and gave her so much fuss that she forgot about many of her worries. The only difficulty was the language barrier. All the previous foreign vets we've visited have spoken excellent English, but being so far away from the UK, the vet only spoke a little and Vicky had to use all her linguistic skills to make us understood.
We decided to stay two nights at Fano so were just relaxing in the van the next morning when it started rocking. Being on wheels we're used to movement from either of us or the dog shifting our weight or the wind blowing us. However none of us was moving and the wind had died down. It felt as if someone was outside pushing the side of the van back and forth. We both looked to the wing mirrors to see if we could see anyone. Not being able to explain it, we decided to ignore it and go for a wander.
On the sandy beach the wind had whipped the waves up to over 6ft and there were a couple of kite surfers zipping up and down the shoreline making Will jealous. However, the wind chill made it bitterly cold so after watching for a while from the concrete pier, we retreated to the shelter of the walled town, where we found market stalls packing up. We got a chunk of Parmesan from one of these, then went to a bakers for bread, some hollow spaghetti called bucatini, a slice of pizza and the regional desert of Frappe; fried leaves of pastry covered in icing sugar.
It was only later when we returned to the van and read the UK government alert email saying there had been earthquakes that we realised that's what the rocking we felt earlier must have been! It explained the recently fallen lampost we'd seen in town.Read more