Last Days in Italy

On Monday, Maria and I went on a 15-mile bike tour through the hills of the Chianti wine region in Tuscany.  It was by far one of my favorite days of the trip!  We went through an organization called I Bike Italy.  They said it was “moderately difficult,” and that is no joke!  Killer hills!  We met the tour at the bridge at Pointe Grazie, got on 21-speed-bikes, strapped on helmets, and were led out on the tour.  The first part was grueling–supersteep hills, but I led the group!  Yeah I did! 🙂  It felt so good to bike again.  There were ten of us altogether, and four couldn’t keep up and had to have a van come pick them up.  The guide stopped us at various points and taught us things about the region and famous people (Michelangelo, Da Vinci, the Ferragamos) who lived in that area.  We finally got to the winery and had a picnic lunch of paninis with prosciutto and mozzarella, to which we added olive oil that was made at the vineyard where we were, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil.  So good!  Then we ate a lot of fresh fruit, picked right off the trees in the orchard where we lunched–white peaches, white plums, apricots, pears, and grapes.  Delicious!  After a tour of the wine cellar and the cellar where they store the olive oil, we biked back to Florence.  Maria and I had a pretty long walk back to the hostel, so we treated ourselves to our last gelati in Italy–pistachio, hazelnut, and chocolate rum–it was so good we couldn’t even talk!  And we were so tired from the day!  Later that night, we all went out for our last night in Florence.  Two guys we befriended at the hostel drove us out to a restaurant called Flo, which overlooked the city.  It was lovely!  We had an amazing time!  I miss the girls so much, especially now that I am home.  Maria is in Poland and Allison and Rosiemara are in Greece.  I wish I was with them!  But it does feel good to be home where I can make phone calls again, text message for free, not have to pay for water or internet, and easily communicate in my native language.  However, that said, I can’t wait to go back to Europe and see more of the world…a lifelong traveller is born!