In the morning, after shopping for bras and pants at the street market - I'm all for practical souvenirs - I managed to meet up with mammadibiba herself. We had a coffee and arranged to go out for pizza later, then Howard and I set off on an important mission.
The reason for our presence on this side of the country was Tavullia, hometown of a certain Valentino Rossi and Howard's place of pilgrimage for the trip.
The town is proud of its most famous son: every cafe and tobacconist has a flag, a poster or a life-size cardboard cutout in the window, and there are banners on buildings and trees. Everywhere you look, you catch a glimpse of yellow and the number 46.
The Official Rossi Souvenir Shop was closed until 3, so we had a sandwich at the Official Rossi Cafe then made for a short stretch of coastal road much beloved of Rossi in his youth. It had started to rain and surface conditions weren't ideal, but we could easily imagine the young Valentino honing his skills along it.
The rain worsened as we headed towards San Marino, another tiny country visited for the sake of completeness. It was further away than I'd thought, and after a quick photo stop we headed back to RossiWorld along a road with a glass-slick surface where both Howard and I managed to lock up a wheel and scare ourselves.
The Official Souvenir Shop, now open, proved to be a disappointment of overpriced, unappealing tat. So we went instead to the Official Fan Club, where Howard signed up to be an Official Fan and received a sack of yellow goodies.
The rain was over and it was a beautiful evening when we reconvened with mammadibiba and entourage (including the excellent Child and several small plastic puppies). I enjoyed both the meal - especially the dessert - and the conversation; I'm always relieved and delighted when meeting a person-from-the-internets goes well, even though my past experiences have been overwhelmingly positive.
Afterwards the Child was taken to inspect the bikes and, asked which she preferred, chose mine. I was so pleased by this response that I let her sit on it.