In riding through Italy for the last few days, I can say one thing about the scenery here: it's amazing. Riding through the mountains has been one of the most amazing things I think I have ever experienced. The views that one can see out here are simply incredible.
It's not just the views though, it's the absolute inability to get lost that makes everything that much better. I was worried at first that I would have a hard time finding my way around out here, but that has been more than qualmed.
In Italy (so far) all you need to know is where you are headed, and possibly some of the intermediate cities on the route. With that small amount of information, you can get just about anywhere. Even with all the roundabouts, there are still signs everywhere telling you which direction to go.
There are surprisingly few roads in the mountains as well. You just get on one and it will pretty much take you where you want to go. All I've had to do is make sure I stay on the road and not suffer too much, and I get rewarded by being able to see some of the most beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers, etc. that one can see.
That being said though, the one thing that sucks about the mountains is the fact that it is one of the rainiest places in Italy, or so I was told by a guy in one of the restaurants I ate at. I believe him though. See, I went on this trip with the plan of staying in hostels every two or three days and camping all the days in between.
Since I'm riding my bike and only have a backpack, I could only bring along a sleeping bag and no tent. This means that when I rains I must find shelter somewhere. The only thing is that out in the mountains of Italy where there are no tourist towns, there are also no hostels.
So instead of paying 15-20 euros for a hostel every couple of nights, I have to pay 50 euros for a hotel room. And when it rains 4 nights in a row, that means I spend 200 euros just to sleep, when I was only planning on spending a maximum of 40. Bleeding money is not fun, so hopefully the rain decides to play nice for the rest of my trip.
One other thing that I think I should mention in this post: how incredibly nice and trusting the Italians are. So far in every town I've gone through, I'll talk with someone and instantly feel as if we have been friends forever. Everyone is so kind and willing to help out.
The trusting thing is equally awesome. I forgot to mention this about when I was in Spilimbergo, but there were a few shops that just had bicycles sitting out in front of them. Not cheap bikes either. There was an ice cream shop that had a very expensive-looking carbon time trial bike just hanging out in front of the shop.
A few other stores had the same type of thing and I was encouraged to just leave my bike outside because "we are nice people here". I decided to go along with that same attitude a few times (though I did make sure I was able to see my bike from inside). Other than people stopping to admire, nothing happened and my bike was completely safe just sitting in the middle of the town.
Not that all Italian towns are like this, I'm sure, but the small ones are, and it makes me happy to know that this world isn't as bad as the media wants us to think all the time. These Italians are really nice, helpful, and upstanding people, and I am adding this region (minus the rain) to my favorite places I've been to. What a wonderful time.