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  1. #1
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Tuscany Tandem Tour Report - Part 3 of 3





    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 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.



    The gardens.





    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 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



    Boxing bikes



    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.
    Last edited by Hermes; 10-05-07 at 06:55 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  2. #2
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    I could kick myself for not getting a Chianti Classic jersey when we were there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I think club riding would be fun at times and it looked like you guys had that. I rode on a few rides down here and they got pretty ruff at times. Nice pics, thanks for sharing.
    George

  4. #4
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Hanging On
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    Thank you, Hermes. You've taken my dream vacation and it looks to have been everything I would imagine.

    -soma5

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Quite the tandem toot!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Happy anniversary to you guys

    What a great write up with pics.

    Just had my mini-trip to Italy vicariously
    The hill - It is long - Lungs filling - Heart pounding - Muscles Pumping
    It hurts so good - I am alive
    I cycle

    Smooooth and Sassy
    Walnut Creek CA

  8. #8
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    Wow!
    And happy anniversary as well.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures and story.

    Paul

  9. #9
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Happy Anniversary!

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and your trip report.
    =============================================================
    My cancer updates:
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    Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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  10. #10
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    Happy Anniversary and thank you for the ride report and pics.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    WEll, I guess Rome was pretty much OK. What a great vacation that must have been. Thank you very much for taking the time to write it up so well and to post the pictures too. It was a great virtual escape for me this morning. You both really do look great and congratulations on enjoying life so very much as you clearly do.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  12. #12
    Bike Curious.... bobby c's Avatar
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    Fantastico! I was in Italy earlier in the summer and did some riding (mostly in the north), one of the things I appreciated the most was the courtesy shown by other vehicles towards bicyclists.

    Bravo on a great trip and thanks for the pictures!

  13. #13
    Bike & SCUBA Sevenrider's Avatar
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    Hermes did a great job of capturing the essense of this trip. There was so much going on that we had little time to savor it all at the time. His report helps to bring back some of the wonderful memories for me. It was fun to ride with 54 tandems and we met some new friends that I look forward to riding with in the future.

    After several days we settled into a routine: ride and climb some hills for about an hour, stop for a cappuccino, climb some more hills, have a great lunch at a restaurant with a wonderful view, ride some more hills, stop for another cappuccino, finish riding hills for the day and finish with a gelato. My Garmin said we were burning 4 - 6000 calories a day.

    It was great fun!

  14. #14
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Great trip and pictures. That was a ton of climbing-but obviously the reward was at the top of every hill.

  15. #15
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Your reports and pictures are terrific! I felt as though I was right there with you all.

    Congratulations on your anniversary! That's wonderful!
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

    Visit my blog.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the report. I've gotten the Santana catalogue for a few years, and the trip decriptions sound great. Your description is better.

    By the way, In the "Wating for dinner" photo, wheredja get those snappy shoes?

  17. #17
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=kerlenbach@cfl.;5405630]Thank you very much for the report. I've gotten the Santana catalogue for a few years, and the trip decriptions sound great. Your description is better.

    By the way, In the "Wating for dinner" photo, wheredja get those snappy shoes?[/QUOTE

    Last year we lived in LA. I got the shoes at H a trendy shoe store in Los Angeles on Sunset Blvd. Here is the link. http://www.hlorenzo.com/shoes.html.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    I dunno - anything you can get at a trendy shoe store on Sunset Blvd. is certainly far too cool for me. Just ask my kids.

  19. #19
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Thanks for reading and your kind responses.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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