We woke to clear skies and beautiful landscapes, enjoyed breakfast at the agriturismo, and headed off into the Tuscan hills.
We were done with major climbs, but we would have some more rolling hills as we headed towards the coast.
Our first stop was in Cerrito Guidi, where we got to tour one of the Medici family villas. We got it tour it for longer than expected because at least two people had flats, but it was a beautiful day to hang out on the veranda and take in the view.
The riding kept up the beautifulness, as the gently rolling hills brought us into our lunch stop in Orentano.
There, we arranged another breakaway, and a group of about eight of us headed out ahead of the main pack. We had to deal with about 2km on a busy, narrow highway, but once we made the turn off it we returned to awesome riding.
The roads by Castelvecchio, not only rural but also forested, were some of the best of the whole trip.
We kept things moving pretty well on super-pleasant roads, enjoying our own pace and our own company. And we even got to do some loops around traffic circles; Luisa had gotten mad at us about that earlier in the trip. (Hey, it’s a tradition for us.)
Lucca is a walled city, which makes it tricky to get into. We wound up climbing the walls on a staircase, though later we found the pathway we should have used.
Because the walls were built to withstand cannon fire, they’re 10+ meters wide, and there’s a pathway around the whole city, with lovely trees and a nice vibe.
We took the loop, which was about 5km, at a leisurely pace, and stopped off at a bar on the walls once we finished our circuit. That meant that we were well into beers, snacks and relaxation when the rest of the group caught up with us. (We win!)
It was still pretty early, so we arranged to get to our hotel just outside the city walls, clean up, and meet to get rid of the rest of our limoncello and other liqueurs together. It was a very nice scene.
That contrasted with the scene at dinner, which was comically bad. I don’t know what the problem was, but the hotel had absolutely no capacity to handle a group our size. And they ran out of wine. What self-respecting Italian runs out of wine? Didn’t Jesus solve that problem for someone?
Kathleen took hers to go.
Anyway, the vegetarians all bolted for other restaurants, and the rest of us had food that was actually quite tasty, but haphazardly prepared and presented. And they ran out of dessert, too, so Rosita launched an emergency expedition into the city for gelato. The place she wanted to go was closed, but we found another, where she shared some of her favorite dessert (caffe crema, sort of an espresso gelato slushy).
Only one more day to go!