Coast To Coast 2023

Coast To Coast 2023

For 2020 we had created a great event with a 2-day itinerary that would cut Italy in two, starting from the Adriatic coast of Abruzzo to end on the beaches of Tuscany.
Unfortunately, the arrival of Covid prevented us from carrying out this Tour but this year, finally, we managed to propose it again, taking participants along fantastic roads and admiring places and panoramas of indescribable beauty, of which not even photos can convey the emotion that these places transmit.


THE TOUR

SATURDAY

The meeting point is in Roseto degli Abruzzi, in the north of the region, near the border with the Marche.
A true Coast to Coast cannot fail to start from the coast, and for this reason we chose the Agriturismo Frontemare, which welcomed us for breakfast right in front of the Adriatic Sea.

As always, once we have registered, we are ready to leave for this first day of the Tour. Today an incredible itinerary of around 270km awaits us which will lead us to discover the Gran Sasso plateau, the Terminillo and then reach Rieti.
We leave the farmhouse to join the SP19. A hilly road that takes us away from the coast passing through many villages. The asphalt is not perfect, but at least in the first part it doesn't have too many holes and depressions. Unfortunately, the further we move away from the coast, the worse the roads get. The asphalt is visually very dated and potholes and depressions increase, especially when we start traveling along the SP37 to go up towards the Gran Sasso.

The first stop is in Rigopiano to regroup the group and allow the photographers to move to the next photographic point. After some chat we then set off again. The road winds up with low clouds obstructing the view. The asphalt is still bad but as we approach Vado di Sole the clouds open, the road drops and the spectacle of the Gran Sasso plateau opens up before us. A boundless, indescribable view. The very wide valley with the road that runs straight through the center until it reaches the SS17 which we take towards the north.

We travel along the very long straights interspersed with a few bends, immersed in boundless nature where you can also admire horses and cows grazing completely free. A unique panorama in Italy, so different from what we are used to that it doesn't even seem like we are on our peninsula . In fact, numerous western films were shot here, the famous spaghetti westerns, whose productions relied, among others, on these lands.
We reach Campo Imperatore for a break.
The weather forecast wasn't the best, but luckily there is sun and only a few sporadic clouds. Even though we are above 2000 meters it is not cold and we can enjoy the break before leaving again.

The descent from Campo Imperatore towards Assergi runs fast with a succession of wide, wide curves and with asphalt in fairly good condition. The panorama changes with the view of soft mountains with little vegetation. The pace is fast and in a few minutes we arrive at the large Marco Simoncelli car park where we stop to reach the La Villetta restaurant for what was supposed to be a drink stop, but which unfortunately lasted a little longer than expected. We set off again to continue on the SP86 in the direction of Passo delle Capannelle. A stretch of almost 20 kilometers of pure adrenaline; the road, in the conditions of the previous one, with a fast pace and rough asphalt, a little dirty perhaps, but which guarantees a lot of grip for the tyres, runs along the coast maintaining a rather constant altitude, where the brakes and you don't even need too much horsepower to keep up... interesting! Above all thanks also to the total absence of traffic.
This stretch ends by intersecting the SS80 del Gran Sasso which we follow descending towards L'Aquila.
Here too there is little traffic but the road surface is excellent and clean. The pace causes problems for the tires and brakes all the way down to the valley near the capital. From here a quick transfer stretch to Posta, first along the SS17 and then along the SS4, where we take the SR471. This road is full of curves, with good conditions and once again with little traffic. We follow it up to Leonessa where the climb to Terminillo begins along the SP10. The first stretch is fast and then enters the undergrowth in a myriad of curves and hairpin bends. The slightly damp asphalt is however in excellent condition up to the pass and further down towards Rieti.
The arrival is right in the center of Rieti, in the restricted traffic zone, where we reach the Albergo Quattro Stagioni and can park the cars on display.

   

 

SUNDAY

This day will see a slightly shorter itinerary but still over 200 kilometres.

 

We leave the historic center of Rieti just before 10.00 to take the SP45 to Cottanello and then the SR313 towards Rieti. The first stretch is very tortuous and the asphalt is a little ruined, but the little traffic allows us to have fun. It then continues in a continuous up and down between the hills approaching Terni.

We then take the SS205 which leads from Terni towards Orvieto. The road is gorgeous, very guided and quite fast. The vegetation begins to open up, showing off the beautiful towns perched on the hills, typical of these areas, including the beautiful Orvieto.
We then reach the Terrazza Farnese, which offers an enchanting view right over the town center of Orvieto. This is probably the best location you can find for a lunch stop.

With a full belly and after some chat we can set off again along a short stretch of rather fast road with perfect asphalt to Bolsena where we stop for an ice cream on the shore of the largest volcanic lake in Europe.
We continue the march to travel a short stretch of Via Cassia until we deviate for the SR312 and then the SP106. These roads gradually become less tortuous and faster as we leave the mountains behind to reach the rolling hills of Lazio.

Unfortunately, the surface gets worse, even if it is free of potholes, the roads are very rough with dips and bumps that are felt especially if you drive at high speed. The last stop of this day is at the castle of Vulci, a settlement of Etruscan origin, therefore with over 2500 years of history. A stop to refresh ourselves, to take some photos and to visit the museum cannot be missed before setting off for the last stretch of the road.

The surface is always uneven, with continuous ups and downs, but we don't stop enjoying these last kilometers of the Tour as we approach Manciano. From here all that remains is to take the SR74 which in the first stretch still makes us take a few proper curves to then accompany us with long straights up to Albinia. We cross the Via Aurelia to reach the Giannella tombolo and finally arrive at the Tuscany Bay Beach for the final aperitif on the beach with a view of the sunset over the sea.

 

Thus ends this incredible, fantastic and super exciting Tour. We traveled over 500km, crossed four regions, climbed the Gran Sasso with its immense valleys, crossed the Terminillo (closed for years and reopened only last July), drove on epic roads , admired the views, the sunsets, we laughed, we met new friends, we deepened our knowledge with others and we take home one of the greatest and unforgettable memories of Special Stages.

Thanks, as always, to all the participants who ensure that Special Stages achieves one success after another and never ceases to excite motoring enthusiasts, but above all those who like to drive cars!
Next tour is the Road To Dolomites on 6, 7 and 8 October.
#DriveClimbFun#SpecialStages


Click HERE to see all the photos from the event!
Click HERE to see photos from past events.

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