Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bike Ride in the Tuscan sun

As far as attractions go, a bike ride through the Chianti region is high up on my list. The change of pace was fantastic, the weather was perfect, the scenery so picturesque and I have a bit of sunburn to prove it.

It all started with a quick ride outside of busy Florence to a small quiet family owned castle that has been producing olive oil and wine since 1199. We toured the production facilities and climbed the castle tower for some breath-taking views. Then we tasted a bit of wine and bread covered in the olive oil for some energy :), yummy, before hitting the bikes.

Riding through the hills we soaked up the views and the sun seeing vineyard after vineyard and olive grove after olive grove. No people flipping over their handle bars like in Hawaii though. Oh, one side note, where ever the grapes are grown so too are the olives at least in Chianti. The same soil is good for both.

As you can probably tell we had an absolutely amazing day riding through the spectacular Tuscan country side with our Irish and Scottish tour guides. You read that right. Ironic huh, go all the way to Italy and have tour guides from the UK but they were fantastic.

Tomorrow we pick up our rental car. Need I say more... Ok, so we are taking the advice of our Bologna friends and driving through Tuscany to see what we can find. We are armed with our travel guide, a GPS unit, a willingnees to explore and free time. We need a bit of a break from the cities so the country side here we come.

Hope all is well. Plenty of pictures and stories still to come...

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