Dear Family and Friends,
I have returned. A bit changed, no doubt – as inevitably happens when visiting a new place, meeting new people, experiencing new things. Happy, tired, filled, and fulfilled. Full of bicycle memories and wonderful food, the warm colors of of the Tuscan landscape, the lyrical and expressive sounds of the Italian language. Awakened to important lessons – learning the beauty of living slowly, savoring the flavors, taking in the landscape, speaking through actions and gestures.
I’ve been debating on how best to tell some of the stories of this trip … As you may have already guessed, there is an excess of photos (will be putting final cut on my Flickr as I manage to get them uploaded) along with experiences on the bicycles that are probably too numerous to re-tell. But for my family, and especially my boys away at school who wanted some details, I have decided to tell the story over the course of several days (and several posts). So please bear with me – and check in as often or as little as you care to. I guess that’s the beauty of the blogosphere, isn’t it?
The story begins in Florence, where we arrived and had roughly a day to spend walking and enjoying this incredible city before setting out by bicycle across Tuscany. The architecture is stunning – from the cathedrals and museums to the Ruine Anno (river) and Ponte Vecchio. Bicycles and cyclists are everywhere. From the young and hip, to the older and more classically chic Italians, everyone rides bicycles.
The streets are typically European – narrow, cobbled, winding, and always charming. Everyone gathering in the piazzas in the evening for food and wine and fellowship. The food was beyond description; olive oil, rosemary, porcini mushrooms, crusty bread, vino rosso, and light fragrant pasta dishes … hard to get enough. And of course, our daily GOD (Gelato Of the Day).
Twenty-four hours is not nearly enough time properly see and appreciate this beautiful city, but we managed to walk until our legs nearly fell off and saw as much as we could. Simply, it was breathtaking. And I want to return someday.
So began the adventure….
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Awesome photos – and let me ride your basket next time!
You can ride on the back of my Xtracycle, how about that? ;))
Kinda looks like Cleveland. Seriously, why no photos of you two? And YOUR bikes? (Don’t get me wrong; I love it. But, you know. I want proof that you were actually there…)
LOL. Just hold your horses – you will see more of us/our bikes than you will care to, undoubtedly, so enjoy the scenery (senza noi) while you can! 😉
Beautiful photos! Why do all Europeans look so elegant while biking?? I think Firenze is going on my list of places to visit – the only place in Italy I’ve been was Rome, and it reminded me much more of the US, as there were mostly cars and motorbikes everywhere. Granted, the cars were generally much smaller (many Smart cars!), but still cars 🙂
Thank you on the photos, and yes, it is amazing how elegant (and non-sweaty) they always look. I suppose not wearing a helmet (which I will refrain from commenting on) helps the whole “look”. And I hope you get to visit Firenze soon – it is absolutely wonderful!
FANTASTIC pictures! Love, love, love these pictures! Welcome back from your vacation. I know just how you feel when trying to settle back in.
I was so excited to see your new post pop up in my RSS. It’s so good to have you back….I honestly did miss you (and your blog).
Incredible pictures as always and once again you have relaxed my mind just by being here on your site. I want me and my Family to visit Italy so bad.
ditto, what he said, hear-hear
welcome back Cassi
awesome pictures as always
Thanks, T. It’s nice to be welcomed back by my great friends! 🙂
And good to be back. (Kind of). ;)) Missed my family and friends, but I really wanted to stay forever… It must be put on your to-do list, D. You would love every bit of it.
I’ve been waiting for these pics… knew they would be fantastic… and of course they are. Not sure I can identify a favorite, but the family transport photo speaks to me. Can’t wait to hear these stories!
I loved the that photo too. It was so representative of the people we saw riding. Lots of parents with kids. Thanks, always, J, on the photos – I’ve got more coming (you will be sick of them by then end, I figure).
Bella, Bellissimo (and others I can no longer remember). I’m so glad we’re going to get the whole story. And welcome home too.
If my phone had worked better, I would have been calling you for translation services on numerous occasions. ;)) Will be in touch soon. Missed you!
Love it! Florence is really a special place; can’t wait to see your photos & hear your stories.
Aw, thanks … there will be no shortage, I’m afraid. (Just warning you ahead of time… lol)