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mail: Bill Thayer 
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Friday 11 August

Very tired, sitting in a Fossato-bound train from Falconara, in my stockingfeet and them up on my knapsack on the seat across from me: just want to stare into space but if I do I'll have an awful time catching up, so here goes.

Wednesday evening, finding the hotel was easy; the reception desk near impossible. The hotel section is clearly an afterthought tacked on to a very large restaurant operation: a huge rectangular slab of house, nowhere marked hotel, both floors of which completely given over to restaurant. After trying three doors and each time finding empty tables, out of this cavernous space full of maroon tablecloths a woman popped up, leading me to what passes as a reception desk: about 2 feet worth of the counter of a bar in the center of it all. On the way to my room (the rooms, all 10 of them, are in an outbuilding in the middle of a parking lot! with all this scenery-greenery!) I said something like "Gosh, I wish I'd known you had a pool, I'da brought my suit! Is there any place to buy or rent one?" which got me "No. You should have known it, we have the first pool in the province." Well, maybe I'm getting old, but this didn't sit too well with me, and I made up my mind to find another place to have dinner, failing which I could skip a meal after all.

So I went poking about Furlo; quick work: there's not a lot of it: about 250 m of 2-lane highway with a few houses, mostly on the W or hill side, with three establishments, from S to N — the bar I was writing at Wednesday evening; my hotel the Ginestra (after the Pineta in Cagli, this is beginning to get peculiar: no broom anywhere); and — found my dinner — the Ristorante Furlo, where I checked that they'd be open; the proprietress, a pleasant matronly woman in her forties, volunteered to show me Mussolini's bedroom: he liked the area (to say nothing of the white truffles of Acqualagna) and stayed in the hotel something like sixty times. The room felt like an office with a large bed in it; some OK early 20c furniture, and lots of graffiti incised on all the walls, post-Duce, and much of it political, anti- or pro-fascist.

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I was told that the furnishings and blanket you see are those of Mussolini's time.

Past that, northward, Furlo peters out quickly; I did about 200 yards of a side road that rises rapidly above the Flaminia, mostly so I could get a photo of the beginning of the Pass that would give me a good idea of it. Didn't succeed, I don't think, but I risked my life to get the photo I took: one misstep of maybe 2 inches, or a bit of ground fritter under foot, and I'da been hash, with a rocky near-vertical fall of 30 m —

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The Roman Via Flaminia goes thru this pass, about a mile N of the camera:
the Gola del Furlo.
(for the Roman tunnel, continue on to next page.)


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Page updated: 11 Aug 03