Il mio sogno…… My dream was to bike the hills of Tuscany

People that know me know I love bicycling. Add that to my love of Italy and you have my dream vacation. I told my wife about it, but she did not wish to go back to Italy again so soon, especially as our last trip was an 18 hour affair which was diverted from Miami to Freeport in the Bahamas! For several years I was getting brochures from Vermont Bike Tours and the ones in Italy really intrigued me

fullsizeoutput_729.jpegSo I signed up and started practicing  climbing the hills in Vero Beach, Florida. Well not quite, there are no hills here. Best I could do is keep going over the two bridges that the connect the mainland to the barrier island.  Add a  back pack and some weight and it was a start.

Our trip began in San Gimignano and ended in Pienza. Each day we biked 35-45 miles. By the end of our trip we have climbed more than 10,000 feet. fullsizeoutput_529d.jpegThe crowded roads we traveled on!

P1040828.JPGOlives and Grapes

fullsizeoutput_743.jpegQuick stop.P1040846.JPGAlways  beautiful views.

P1040852.JPGEach morning Claudio and Elena would give us a briefing on our ride for the day.

fullsizeoutput_3321.jpegfullsizeoutput_3323.jpegEach day brought new sights and some tough climbs.fullsizeoutput_529e.jpegfullsizeoutput_529f.jpegfullsizeoutput_14a5.jpegSo much beauty. I stopped frequently to take photos.

fullsizeoutput_25c0.jpegfullsizeoutput_52a0.jpegMonteriggioni, a beautiful walled village.P1040915.JPGfullsizeoutput_70d.jpegLoved the shirt Elena was wearing.

fullsizeoutput_702.jpegTorre del  Mangia, Siena

IMG_5341.JPGFrom the top of the tower, this where the Palio is held. P1040921.JPGfullsizeoutput_19f7.jpegOur rides took us through the town and alleys.fullsizeoutput_6f5.jpegAnother amazing duomo.

fullsizeoutput_1a06.jpeg

One of our rides from  SanGimignano  to Siena.

IMG_5349.JPGIMG_5350.JPGfullsizeoutput_6d4.jpegfullsizeoutput_6d1.jpegAs always when I am in Italy it is the Food. Fresh produce that has not traveled 3000 miles in a refrigerated truck. Always items that are in season. This was the best bruschetta I have ever had. The tomatoes were RIPE!

fullsizeoutput_6d6.jpegI passed by a couple of locals and they volunteered to take my photo. This was on one of those roads where we hardly ever saw another auto.  This trip was really a sogno!! I can not recommend Vermont Bike Tours enough. Every aspect of the trip was perfect. Can not wait to do another ride in Italy.