From Lake Como the route south bypasses Milano on the network of motorways running through northern Italy's industrial heartland. Past Parma, Modena and just beyond Bologna, almost on the east coast, we turned west into the centre of Italy - now hilly and green with ochre villages - heading for Perugia and beyond.
By mid afternoon there was a view of a slice of Umbrian hillside from a bedroom window in a house surrounded by olive groves.
The sunflowers are drooping and finished by now, in mid-September
but the hillsides and vineyards are deep green from Italy's rainy summer that has done wine production no good.
Vineyards at Tenuta Castelbuono winery, producers of Montefalco Rosso and Sagrantino wines
Avenue of cypresses at the Fattoria Colsanto in the Montefalco DOC
And the sun's shining in the little walled Roman town of Bevagna in Umbria's wine producing region
Simple good food at a taverna in Bevagna: panzanella, truffle omelette, gnocchi with Sagrantino wine sauce.