The tree-shaded road is cut into the side of the mountain, approaching a village that has been on the hilltop for a thousand years or more. An elderly man is walking his dog through the fallen leaves - it is October - and offers a minor salute as we pass. The asphalt gives way to cobblestones as the road narrows entering the village, where the front doors of the houses open directly onto the street.
When these houses in the town of Cingoli were built 500 or more years ago, the streets were considered quite wide.
The street opens onto a small piazza, church on one side, café with outdoor tables on the other, flanked by a tobacco shop and a bank. We pull up, dismount, leave our gear on the bikes, and settle down for 20 minutes of cappuccinos. Several old boys are at another table, and one leans over to ask who we are. [...]