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Hermes 10-04-07 03:25 PM

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.

RadioFlyer 10-04-07 03:33 PM

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

George 10-04-07 03:33 PM

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.

RockyMtnMerlin 10-04-07 03:40 PM

Yes, thanks for sharing.

soma5 10-04-07 04:19 PM

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


zonatandem 10-04-07 05:09 PM

Quite the tandem toot!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

Smooooth 10-04-07 07:18 PM

Happy anniversary to you guys :)

What a great write up with pics.

Just had my mini-trip to Italy vicariously ;)

PaulH 10-04-07 07:21 PM

And happy anniversary as well.
Thanks for sharing the pictures and story.


Beverly 10-04-07 07:44 PM

Happy Anniversary!

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and your trip report.

cranky old dude 10-05-07 03:18 AM

Happy Anniversary and thank you for the ride report and pics.

Terrierman 10-05-07 06:42 AM

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.

bobby c 10-05-07 08:43 AM

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!

Sevenrider 10-05-07 10:16 AM

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!

jppe 10-06-07 06:08 AM

Great trip and pictures. That was a ton of climbing-but obviously the reward was at the top of every hill.

Red Rider 10-06-07 01:11 PM

Your reports and pictures are terrific! I felt as though I was right there with you all.

Congratulations on your anniversary! That's wonderful!

Kurt Erlenbach 10-06-07 05:46 PM

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?

Hermes 10-06-07 10:12 PM

[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.

Kurt Erlenbach 10-08-07 04:42 PM

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.

Hermes 10-08-07 06:53 PM

Thanks for reading and your kind responses.

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