After descending from the castle, we climbed and were treated to some of the best gelato so far on the trip.
Our group took up 3 local hotels, so we road off to ours which was about ½ mile out of town. The hotel was a renovated farm house that was delightful. We walked into town and had dinner at a local bistro.
The next day we left our hotel for a loop ride to a monastery that is now a winery and restaurant. As usual, it is at the top of a climb. We arrived and went on a wine / olive oil tasting tour. We learned about Chianti wine making and tasted three wines and olive oils. At lunch, we sat at table with vistas of the country side and feasted on wild boar with chocolate sauce and risotto.
Here are some pics…
In the wine cellar, we found wines produced in the years we were born, but not for sale.
After lunch, we descended and started another climb that ended at the corner of the “best gelato in Chianti”.
Castellini-in-Chianti to Florence
The ride is supposed to be primarily downhill. And it was once you descend and then climb over a ridge. The descent in the morning was long and fast with many sharp technical turns. We rode by a couple of teams stopped on the side of the rode squirting water on their brakes.
Once we were over the ridge, the pace picked up. We were in a high speed pace line for several miles. As we approached Florence, the traffic increased and we were riding in very close quarters with cars. We crossed over a bridge and descended into the center of Florence on cobblestones. One is never really secure on these things and the tires seem to seek their own direction. We arrived and walked our bikes about ½ mile to a train station where we were reunited with our bike boxes and we boxed our bikes for the trip home.
Walking in Florence
That evening was our 36th wedding anniversary and we had Florentine Steak, white Tuscan beans and arrugula. We were up at 4:30 AM to board buses for Rome and our flights home.
Waiting for dinner
Wolfgang and Dagmar: German Santana Dealers
The trip home took 28 hours, including the bus trip and layover times. However, it was truly a great cycling vacation and we are signed up for Santana’s Mallorca tour next year in October.