Tuesday, January 14, 2014

(5/)6 Micro-nations III: Rome - San Marino - Milan

12/4 - Rome, not to the Vatican, to San Marino to Milan

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205. Leaving the Castella.

I planned to visit the Vatican, but didn't reckon on Italy becoming a cashless society.  Unwilling to take a 50-euro fine on a 1-euro fare (seriously to fuck Trenitalia, y u no do exact change?  Fuckers) for riding "schwarz" in from La Giustiniana, I tried to avoid one backtracking from Ipogeo del'Ottavi (also one ticket machine, also only taking credit cards) to get an early start on San Marino.  One day or another, I'll be back in Rome, and by civilized transit, staying somewhere close enough to walk to the smallest of the micronations.

206. Misty hills, headed out of Rome.  (DNCO)

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207. Village on a sheer cliff.

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208. Villa on another hill.

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209. Seriously.  Wonder what the people of this town call themselves.

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210. Hilltop medieval town.

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211. Church in Calesina, going past.

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212. Another old hill tower.

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213. Long view ahead.

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214. Rural forests.

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215. Raw slopes, high snow.

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216. Across the spine and headed for Ravenna.

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217. Exposed layers.

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218. An old watchtower.

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219. Objective in sight.

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220. Arch entering San Marino.

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221. View from the peak.

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222. German ultras get just everywhere.

223. Outside the walls.  (DNCO)

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224. Panorama at that level.

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225. Out past a shop knight.

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226. Pillar outside a church.

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227. The church itself.

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228. Public transit.  In these steep, narrow, and sharply-winding streets, it beats a bus -- especially at silliness.

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229. Portal in chiaroscuro.

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230. Statue in the plaza.

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231. Cast when these were neutral symbols of the Roman Republic.

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232. Front of the statue.

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233. Battlements and guard house.

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234. Plaque by the gate.

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235. Inattentive traffic cop and a class view.

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236. Monument to Garibaldi.

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237. The Palazzo Publico.

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238. A look out from the plaza.

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239. If it's higher, it's not by that much.

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240. Theater tower behind scaffolds.

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241. Basilica in the upper plaza.

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242. Plaza Borghese; due to its tax status relative to Italy, a lot of San Marino looks like a medieval-themed outlet mall.

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243.  And then there's the tourist traps.  The museum of torture looks like another franchise of the one in Prague, but this is just dumb, like pirates in Salem.

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244. Open look, going up to the watchtower.

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245. And through, to Rimini and the Adriatic.

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246. Tree and valley view.

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247. Guard ceremony, probably for the benefit of a contingent of American paratroopers in attendance.

v10. Troops rolling back the morning gun.

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248. Plaque outside the tower.

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249. Side of the watchtower.

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250. Main tower keep.

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251. Well and artillery -- this place needed defended until relatively recently.

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252. Tower battlements.

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253. Across the wall to the mountains.

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254. Tower from below.

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255. Mountain and fortress wall.

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256. Panorama from the east watch.

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257. Church in the town below.

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258. Graffiti in the mortar.

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259. Leonardo exhibit in the main tower.

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260. Originals, close up.

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261. It's not closed, so it's open.

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262. In the upper room.

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263. Top chamber, the highest publicly-accessible point in San Marino.

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264. Down towards the Palazzo Pubblico.

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265. Out into the valley.

There are other towers, but this is the highest -- and I was hungry and needing to buy limoncello before chasing the light to Milan.  I finished off the main keep and headed back down to the town.

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266. North peak watch tower.

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267. A little closer focus.

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268. Valleys to the north.

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269. Mona Lisa part of the Leonardo exhibit.

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270. Simple furnishings a la Da Vinci.

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271. Doors to the prison cells.

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272. History of the "Rock".

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273. Old art of the way San Marino was, before the towns built up.

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274. Graffiti by prisoners.

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275. Mad at the pope.

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276. More graffiti on the cell walls.

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277. Weapons of the garrison.

278. Halberds, without cameo.  (DNCO)

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279. North watchtower and battlements.

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280. Fortress chapel front.

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281. Inside the chapel.

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282. Graffiti covers the chapel walls.

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283. A cleverly-designed access panel.

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284. Bell tower from below.

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285. Along the face of the Rock.

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286. North watchtower and guardhouse.

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287. The connection to Da Vinci.

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288. The face of the Rock.

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289. Walled paths and brambles.

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290. Vegetation and the north tower.

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291. The north tower without the brambles.

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292. The corner of the Rock.

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293. Upthrust under the Rock.  This was laid down horizontal, obviously, but it's at a 45-degree angle now.  Italy was crumpled up the hard way, and every tunnel bears evidence of it, though usually not this dramatic.

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294. Forge markings on the cannon.

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295. Tourist trap -- it even admits it's a ripoff.

Tourism done, I picked up like 25 euros worth of provender, some of which made it all the way to Strasbourg, including a bottle of limoncello that was so preiswuerdig that I hesitate to put a number down here in case the people who I gave it to for Christmas ever read this, and a bottle of Duff beer, first encountered in Germany and now available from the thousand San Marino off-licenses that speak mostly Russian and sell mostly cheap wine in bottles adorned with art of women with their tits out.  And I'm pretty sure Groening doesn't see a dime of it.

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296. Heading off the autostrada for fuel, but I crossed it (again) later.  I couldn't figure out how to transcend it from the highway, because otherwise I would have done that.

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297. Big farm.

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298. Viticulture heading towards Lombardy.

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299. Random bouquet at the Milan tolls.

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300. Sunset in Milan; radiation + pollution.  The "gray line" is a lot thicker here in the industrial northeast -- it's not at Beijing levels, but it's as dense as I've ever seen it short of Hong Kong.  The Po valley is flat all the way to the Alps, and I guess the weather doesn't often come over and drive the air out into the Adriatic.

I'm moving on early in the morning, and I can't be out soon enough.  I'm concerned about the service indicator -- it went over 24000 km today, less than 1000km from the service schedule -- but I'm pretty sure I can get the car back to France, at least, if not all the way back, before the thing breaks down.

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