San LeoJanuary 16, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C
We said goodbye to a snowy San Marino and drove southwest to the hill town of San Leo. The imposing fortress perched atop a rocky outcrop above the old town was what Dante chose to model Purgatory on in his Divine Comedy.
With snow all around us and our journey taking us higher into the hills, we were prepared to turn back if necessary but luckily there was a snowy but flat car park about half a kilometre out of town that we were able to leave the van in and set out on foot. Camper vans weren't allowed inside the town walls and we were very glad they weren't because we wouldn't have made it up the steep snow covered cobbles!
The view of the fortress looming hundreds of feet above us as we walked towards San Leo made it easy to see why Dante was inspired. A narrow road curved round the cliffside and allowed us entry to the town through a stone archway. The small streets felt cosy despite the snow and it wasn't long before we left them to climb the steps to the fortress. We passed a sign telling us it was closed due to snow but we continued up to the zig zag path to reach its outer walls anyway. The view from the top of the cliff was worth it. We couldn't see in every direction but all we could see was covered in white. Fields, small hills and cosy settlements stretched out under us to the far away horizon.
Retracing our footprints down the path, under trees laden heavy with snow, we took a while to explore the quaint town with its sandstone church, a couple of restaurants and a few small shops. We found another viewpoint that whilst lower down, offered us a wide panorama of the surrounding valleys.
San Leo concluded our time in the Region of Emilia Romagna and after a sandwich for Will and hot soup for Vicky back at the van we set off to discover Le Marche, the next Region on our journey south.Read more