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….