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Wednesday 1st September 2004
Mantua (Mantova)

A quiet day in Mantua was planned – but first job was to find a supermarket.   We had spotted a notice last night just round the corner from the B&B directing us to one.  The landlady wasn’t around to ask the way so we decided to follow the signs.  About 6km later, having negotiated half of Mantua and going in a very circuitous route, we found ourselves at a very large supermarket.   I was able to buy, amongst other essential foodstuffs, an adaptor to convert continental plugs to Italian sockets.   I hadn’t realized that my continental adaptor wouldn’t fit.   Having worked out on the map roughly where we were we managed to get back to the area of the B&B in half the distance.   This expedition took a fair chunk out of the morning.   We then went to visit the Palazza Ducale in the centre of town – another incredible building with tapestries and wall and ceiling paintings all housed in the very large “palace”.  We spent over two hours there and then retired for lunch to the lake again – this time choosing a spot on the east of the town.  After lunch and a rest we then went to see the Basilica Saint Andrea and had a potter round ending up by cycling down the cycle path which borders the lake to the east of the town.  (Yesterday we had cycled the path to the west of the town.)  Our map shows this path continuing along the Mincio so in an effort to find it we cycled out of town in the general direction indicated.   Having gone round in several circles we eventually came across a gravel track which must have been what we were looking for.   Its condition however meant that we would be using the road.

We returned to the B&B hoping to ask the landlady for help in finding somewhere to eat in the evening – she was out again.  We wandered round the immediate area and came across a supermarket and then a delicatessen.   We bought some rice salad and some chicken breasts – which the owner kindly microwaved for us. He also gave us plastic knives and forks to eat with (good quality!) and these became treasured possessions for the rest of the holiday.  Next door was a cake shop where we bought two slices of torte – one pineapple and the other pear.   Total cost for the meal €16.50.   A bargain compared to yesterday.   We returned to the B&B to eat in comfort – it tasted very good.

Mileage today 16.1  Total mileage so far 93.9.

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