I went to sleep in Split and awoke in Ancona. Immediately I went in search of suncream having being cremated in yesterday's scorching heat, after finding some I proceeded to get completely lost. This theme continued until I was well underway having made so many wrong turns over an hour of today's pedalling was superfluous. My first wrong turn saw me going through a long motorway tunnel - with no lights on - I pedalled hard to get through it as fast as possible.
Perhaps I didn't give the place much chance, but I can't say I enjoyed Ancona all that much, it felt a lot like Hull in the sun.
The entire coast line wasn't particularly enjoyable in honesty. Just a long, busy main road. It was monotonous, dull and true to Roman form, a completely straight line. A local in flip flops did tow me along at 35kph for quite a while which was nice.
But the rest of the day was spent trundling through dilapidated industrial estates and run down seaside resorts. The East coast of Italy that I experienced certainly wasn't like the postcard perfect West Coast.
I rolled into Pescara, a small but quite nice town, albeit a tad industrial as Ancona was. Sick of the long, straight dull road I hopped on a train from Pescara to Milano.
From what I saw through the train window - which ran parallel to the road I would have taken - it looked like the 300km of pedalling I'd just skipped out was more industrial, straight, boring road.
I had to change trains in Bologne. I didn't have time to properly visit the city, but after being manhandled as someone tried to 'help me with my bike' and then an attempt to scam me for a coffee 20 seconds before the train departed I can't say I left with a particularly romantic view of the place.
5 hours later (bikes were only allowed on slow, regional trains) I was in Milan. I'd searched for a couple of hostels and had a very vague idea of where they were. I couldn't find the first one, but eventually found the second. After going to the supermarket I made myself a semi-decent meal and went to bed with a fully belly. Sleeping in a proper bed felt amazing, despite me having undertaken only 1 day of camping so far.
Today called into question the purpose of my journey. Am I here to enjoy myself, or to ride every last mile so I can say I completed the ride completely under my own steam? I'm not attempting any records and have nothing to prove, yet part of me feels I should have ridden it all. However, a bigger part of me says I should just enjoy the trip!