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Secret Italy

By Jim Yarwood -

Touring & travel

 13 October 2013 17:16

I recently flew over to watch the San Marino MotoGP taking my 27-year-old daughter for company.

We flew from Stansted to Ancona on the Rimini coast. Having landed at Ancona we picked up a hire car and headed up the autostrada to Cattolica - 40 mins by car (our base for the short stay).

I've ridden to Cattolica a couple of times and have been going there for the past six years or so and stay at the same family-run hotel "Hotel Domus Mea".

I found it on the web a number of years ago and it's a brilliantly-run 30-room hotel with secure parking facilities for both car and bikes. The food and service at the hotel are first-class.

The owners speak good English and are more than accommodating; the hotel is only some 200 yards from the beach and is central to all of Cattolica's vibrant Italian-style nightlife, with its piazzas, restaurants, bars, shops and ice-cream vendors.

The Misano circuit is only some 15 minutes by car/bike or if you're really energetic can be walked to in around 35 minutes!

I can't emphasise enough just how pleasant Cattolica is. In all the years I've been going there I've never, ever seen any trouble with drunks, rowdy crowds or the like.

It's the perfect place for a long weekend or a 2-week holiday - there's masses to see and do; and for the bikers there's Rossi's village (some 6-7 miles away); Marco Simoncelli's village (some 10 miles or so); the Misano race circuit and if you fancy a few miles on the bike there's the Ducati/Aprilia/Moto Guzzi factories north of the town.

For culture lovers there's masses of churches, museums, galleries, old towns/cities and villages all within riding distance. If you're with your other half and she's not too keen on riding everywhere you can let her have time on the excellent beaches or give her your credit card and let her do some retail therapy in the excellent shops of Cattolica where the prices aren't too daft.

Next year is Ducati Week and I'm already planning ahead. If anybody wants any further info then email me at: jgpy@talk21.com; alternatively the email address of Hotel Domus Mea is: info@hoteldomusmea.com

Pic captions: 739: Coffe Rossi-style with "46" in the froth!
744: Tavullia's bar getting ready for the MotoGP.
746: Rossi's fan club entrance suitably decked out.
300: View of outside of Hotel Domus Mea.
782: Rossis' village sign; Possibly the most famous sign in the MotoGP world!