Cycling in the land of Chianti

No, I haven't started a new cycling tour in the land of Chianti wine. But yes, I couldn't stop myself from borrowing a bike during my stay in Tuscany and hang around Florence. As a matter of fact, coming back to the places where I grew up, I just figured out that 15 years ago, when I had the chance to do it, I would have never imagined to get by bicycle from Pistoia to Florence and back in one day (70 km all together). Well, now it sounds like a normal cycling day, nothing too extreme.

So on Thursday I packed Maurizio's bike (a 7-gear city bike) just with some spare clothes and headed to my parents' place. Fantastic weather, sunshine and about 17 degrees, perfect temperature not to sweat too much. The main differences from Northern Europe are quite evident: just a few cycling paths (mainly in downtown Florence) and loads, loads of cars and lorries. However, the journey was very smooth, as I was pedalling across the valley. It'd be another story to get to the mountains. Guess I'll do it some day, maybe with another bike.

The scenery was nice, but the amount of houses along the streets still takes away the beauty of the nature: for that you have no other choice than take a detour to the near hills. One thing is for sure: if you have enough strength in your legs (you can always improve it along the way), using the bike is the best choice in big towns. The queues of cars are unbelievable, especially when you realise that you are so much faster by bike! Here people use a lot of scooters and mopeds, but think about saving money on fuel, avoid the search for parking it (yes, here it's difficult also to find a proper place to park a moped), and after all you don't have to think about doing some fitness 🙂


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