08 Aug 2008 Kagiswil (3)
09 Aug 2008 Mensanello (3)
10 Aug 2008 Tavarnelle
11 Aug 2008 Elba (3)
12 Aug 2008 Volterra
13 Aug 2008 Florence
14 Aug 2008 Corsica (5)
15 Aug 2008 Pisa and Lucca
16 Aug 2008 Assisi (2)
17 Aug 2008 Chianti
18 Aug 2008 Rome (2)
19 Aug 2008 Arezzo (3)
20 Aug 2008 Monteriggioni
21 Aug 2008 Ravenna (4)
22 Aug 2008 Locarno (2)
23 Aug 2008 Freiburg (3)
24 Aug 2008 Lelystad (1)
Summer holiday to Tuscany
In August 2008 we had our summer holiday in Tuscany, Italy. We travelled with a Piper Archer from Lelystad, and we also took the car from home. We visited quite a number of places.
From Lelystad to Kagiswil
Legs of August 8, 2008
On Friday, August 8, 2008, Charlotte and René departed from Lelystad early in the morning for a direct flight to Buochs, Switzerland. Near Trier the weather became too bad, and we stopped at Trier-Fohren to wait for the weather to improve.
After two hours we continued our journey, and we followed the Rhine from Strasbourg to Basel to avoid the higher Black Forest, that was in low clouds. When we arrived in Buochs, we cleared formalities and continued for a short flight to Kagiswil where we parked the plane overnight (Buochs was closed in the weekend).
Take-off RWY 23 Lelystad
Pause at Trier-Fohren because of the weather
René at Trier-Fohren
Sursee at Sempaer See in Switzerland
Charlotte on the ground at Buochs
Approaching Kagiswil airfield
René at Kagiswil
From Kagiswil to Mensanello
Legs of August 9, 2008
On Saturday Maurits was going to join René to Florence. From Kagiswil, René contacted Micheli to request permission to land at the private airfield of Tenuta di Mensanello in Tuscany. We were of course very welcome, no problem, and we planned for the journey to Mensanello.
The GAFOR indicated that the Gotthard was closed because of clouds, but the western part of Switzerland was good flying weather. We decided to leave Switzerland via Sion in the Rhône Valley. The GAFOR indicated that the Gemmipass to the Rhône Valley was "Difficult", but if we could not enter the Rhône Valley via the Gemmipass we could fly around to enter the Rhône Valley from the west.
Though the Gemmipass was in clouds we could safely overfly the clouds with room to glide free of clouds in case of engine failure. We landed at Sion airport to clear customs for crossing the border from Switzerland to Italy.
After clearing custom formalities at Sion we continued east through the Rhône Valley between the high Alps, and then made a right turn at Brig to continue via the Simplonpass towards Italy. Just before we passed the Simplonpass we also had a good view on the Ganterbrucke.
After passing Lago Maggiore, we flew low because of low Alfa airspace (which comprises most of north-west Italy) in the direction south of Brescia. Near Brescia begins the Delta airspace of Garda approach, where we could climb to 5,500ft in the direction to Florence.
We crossed the Apennines mountains north of Florence at FL 75, and Firenze Approach directed us to Final RWY 05. After formally entering Schengen again, we continued for the short flight to Mensanello.
Maurits at Kagiswil the next day
To Sion via Gemmipass
Long final RWY 25 Sion
Maurits at Sion
Ganterbrucke to Simplonpass
Approaching Firenze Peretola airport
Final RWY 05 Firenze Peretola
René at Florence airport
Florence after departure RWY 05
On Sunday we relaxed at our holiday home in Tavarnelle.
Holiday home in Tavarnelle
Legs of August 11, 2008
At Mensanello airfield
Piombino on the west coast
Approaching Marina di Campo
René at Marina di Campo
Fueling at Siena
Back to Mensanello
Colle di Val d'Elsa, Volterra
On Tuesday we started the day at the pool. We were in Colle di Val d'Elsa, and we visited Volterra. Volterra, sited on the confluence of the Cecina and Era Valle, is an ancient city of Etruscan origin. It is now an attractive Tuscan medieval hilltop town. The typical medieval appearance has been preserved almost intact over the centuries. The 13th century city walls are also well preserved and retain a few of the original gateways. In the evening we had dinner with Camiel, Nicole, Wies, Max and Siem.
On Wednesday we visited Florence (Firenze). Florence is the regional capital of Tuscany. Florence is packed with tourists being shepherded around the city's museums. The town is situated on the river Arno, which is spanned by the famous Ponte Vecchio, the only of Florence's bridges not to be blown up in the Second World War. Florence's most striking landmark is Brunelleschi's dome on the Duomo, and its most reproduced sight is Michelangelo's statue of David. We ended the day in the pool at the holiday house.
Trip of August 14, 2008
On Thursday, August 14, 2008, we brought Wies from San Vincenzo to Bastia, on Corsica. Charlotte and Maurits joined for the trip. We first flew from Mensanello to San Vincenzo, on the west coast north of Piombino, where Wies joined us.
We crossed the Tyrrhenian Sea in about thirty minutes. After leaving Wies with friends at Bastia, Charlotte, Maurits and René continued for a flight to Corte, in the inland of Corsica. At Corte we had lunch, and then we flew to Pratello, a private airfield in the Firenze airspace. At the hotel nearby the field we had a refreshment from the friendly owner Paolo, and then we flew back to Mensanello.
From Mensanello to San Vincenzo
San Vincenzo airfield
Final RWY 16 Bastia
Charlotte, Wies and Maurits at Bastia
To Corte airfield
René, Maurits and Charlotte at Corte
Approaching the coast at Bastia
The Peccioli/Pratello airfield
Maurits and Charlotte at Pratello
Back at Mensanello
Pisa and Lucca
On Friday we visited Pisa and Lucca. Pisa is a historic town in Tuscany, near the mouth of the Arno river. Modern Pisa is best known for an architectural project gone terribly wrong.
Lucca is located on a plain at the foot of the Apuan Alps. The walls that surrounded the old town were maintained and preserved through the ages. In Lucca we climbed the Guinigi Tower which dates from the 1300s.
Pisa and Lucca
Trip to Assisi, August 16, 2008
On Saturday, August 16, 2008, René, Veleda, Charlotte and Maurits made a trip to Assisi. We flew to Perugia, and from there We took a taxi from Perugia airport to Assisi. We walked around Assisi, and also visited the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi and the Basilica of Santa Chiara.
Take-off RWY 25 Mensanello
René at Perugia airport
Charlotte, Veleda and Maurits in Assisi
Maurits, René and Charlotte at Mensanello
On Sunday we made a little tour with the car through the Chianti region.
Trip to Rome, August 18, 2008
On Monday, August 18, we made a trip to Rome. We departed early in the morning, and set route to Urbe airport just north of Rome. From Urbe airport we took a bus a few kilometers south, and then further by subway to the centre of Rome. After a long day of walking through Rome, we returned to Urbe airport where we took-off early in the evening to fly back to Mensanello.
En-route to Rome
Lago di Bolsena
Rome, Urbe airport
Having a break
Take-off RWY 34 Rome, Urbe
To Arezzo and Montecchio-Podere
Trip of August 19, 2008
On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, René made a flying trip to Arezzo and Montecchio-Podere.
From Mensanello to Arezzo
Left base RWY 30 Arezzo
René at Arezzo
PH-EAH at Arezzo
From Arezzo to Montecchio-Podere
Take-off RWY 23 Montecchio-Podere
On Wednesday we visited Monteriggioni. Monteriggioni stands on top of a low hill whose slopes are dotted with olive trees and vines. The castle was founded in the second decade of the 13th century by the Republic of Siena. Its main aim was to create a defensive outpost against its rival, Florence. For centuries the site carried out this function for which it was created, resisting countless sieges and attacks, one after the other. Its military function became less important in the second half of the 16th century, when the whole state of Siena, which the borgo was part of, was annexed to the state of Florence.
Trip to Ravenna, August 21, 2008
On Thursday, August 21, we flew to Ravenna. We could not reach anyone by phone in the morning at Ravenna airport, so we first flew to Lugo di Romangna. There we found out that Ravenna airport was not officially open, but that we could land there at our own risk.
We continued to Ravenna airport, and at the airport restaurant we called for a taxi. The old town of Ravenna is not too big, and we started our walk at the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare. The last Basilica we visited was the Basillica San Viltale before returning to the airport. We flew back to Mensanello via Forli airport, where we fueled.
Leaving early for Lugo
Passing Florence (Firenze)
Over the mountains
Final RWY 03 Lugo di Romangna
René and Maurits at Lugo di Romagna
Departing for Ravenna
Approaching Ravenna RWY 26
At Ravenna airport
Veleda and René
Approaching Forli for fueling
Maurits in a Tiger Moth at Forli
Departing Forli for Mensanello
From Mensanello to Locarno
Legs to Locarno, August 22, 2008
On Friday, August 22, René first flew to Locarno via Brescia, while Veleda, Charlotte and Maurits stayed one day longer in Italy. The idea was for René to fly to Hausen am Albis in Switzerland to visit Carsten and Maria, but when René got in Locarno to clear formalities, the Gotthard was getting in clouds, and René stayed the night in Locarno.
Airfield operator Filippo with René
Veleda waving good-bye
Final Brescia RWY 32
At Brescia to clear customs
Near Lugano, Switzerland
Locarno RWY 26R
From Locarno to Freiburg
Legs to Freiburg, August 23, 2008
On Saturday morning, August 23, René crossed the Gotthard to Hausen am Albis, and visited Carsten and Maria in Zug who where about to leave for South America.
Veleda, Charlotte and Maurits drove to Freiburg, visiting the San Siro stadium in Milan on the way to Freiburg. In the afternoon René also continued to Freiburg via Grenchen airport to clear customs. René would have cleared formalities in Birrfeld otherwise, but the Birrfeld airport was closed the second half of the afternoon because of a remote controlled aircraft event. In the evening René, Veleda, Charlotte and Maurits were joined again in Freiburg.
Departing Locarno RWY 08L
At Hausen am Albis
Carsten and René
Final Grenchen concrete RWY 25
René at Freiburg
From Freiburg to Lelystad
Leg to Lelystad, August 24, 2008
On Sunday, August 24, Maurits and René flew to Lelystad. Upon arriving at uncontrolled Lelystad, a local instructor was teaching his student that there is absolutely no problem to line-up behind a landing airplane and wait on the runway while another following plane is on final, and to just force that other plane to go-around, but otherwise it would have been an uneventful flight.
It was a great holiday, and certainly one I can recommend if you have the opportunity.
René and Maurits at Freiburg
En-route to Lelystad
Co-pilot and captain