Saturday, May 30, 2009

Naples to Rome: Giro d'Italia Reverse Grand Tour - All Roads Lead To Rome

The final weekend of the Giro'd Italia begins this morning with Stage 20 departing on the panoramic Bay of Naples under Mt Vesuvius in the giant and stimulating city of Naples, Italy where the cyclist will head toward Rome in the region of Lazio, as the 100th Giro d'Italia comes to a close in what might be considered a reverse grand tour from Naples to Rome.

The Giro d'Italia spent yesterday crossing the region of Campania, which is the region of Italy where many of today's Italian-American fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers immigrated from in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This gorgeous region of Italy includes such famous destinations like the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Pompeii, the giant port city Salerno and the ancient Greek's site of Doric Temples Paestum. Many people are unfamiliar with the area of Stabiae, which is an excellent art destination in the Naples area just outside Pompeii, where well preserved homes of ancient Rome's oligarch's and emperor's were recently uncovered. The cyclist finished the day climbing Mt Vesuvius, which may have stolen the legs of many before the final two days of racing from Naples to Rome.

Food from this region includes everyone's favorite the pizza margherita, which is made with the local mozzarella di bufala which hails from the Campania region. Visitors to Campania this time of year will smell the tress flowering with lemons and oranges among other variations. Limoncello is a drink that comes from the Sorrentine peninsula and Amalfi Coast and of course the famous tomatoes from San Mazano ar grown on Mt Vesuvius.

Map fo Stage 20 Giro d'Italia Naples to Anagni:

Giro d'Italia Standings, as of Saturday May 30, 2009 - before Naples Departure:

1 MENCHOV Denis RUS RAB 81:13:55 0:00
2 DI LUCA Danilo ITA LPR 81:14:13 0:18
3 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA LIQ 81:15:34 1:39
4 SASTRE CANDIL Carlos ESP CTT 81:16:35 2:40
5 BASSO Ivan ITA LIQ 81:17:28 3:33
6 LEIPHEIMER Levi USA AST 81:18:50 4:55
7 GARZELLI Stefano ITA ASA 81:22:43 8:48
8 ROGERS Michael AUS THR 81:23:27 9:32
9 VALJAVEC Tadej SLO ALM 81:24:37 10:42
10 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA LAM 81:25:27 11:32

Today's stage and tomorrow's stage in Rome provide little chance for Di Luca to catch the Russian Menchov who leads by 18 seconds that may have sown the Giro d'Italia victory for Menchov after 80 hours in the saddle.

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