Tour De Tuscany

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We've been pretty lazy lately, so we decided to try and get a little bit of exercise.  There is a bike rental place right around the corner so we took a couple bikes out for the day.  They also rented scooters, which would have been a heck of a lot easier on these hills, but we went with the bikes.  They were super nice bikes, luckily.  There is a small castle town at the top of a hill right down the road from Greve called Montefiore.  I don't know if starting our bike ride up a super steep winding road was the best idea (we definitely had to walk them a bit) but the views were amazing.  The town looked straight out of a medieval movie with stone buildings crammed inside a wall on top of a hill.  It had narrow stone streets and a church at the center.  It was very small though and took only about five minutes to walk from one end of town to the other.We started to get the hang of the bikes at this point and figured out how steep we could climb and at what point we needed to just give up and walk them.  We rode around through the hills and the vineyards for a while.  There weren't many houses and the roads were narrow.  One of the roads that wrapped around a hill was a dirt road.  It was downhill which we though would make it easier, but it was tuff to stop from sliding. So even then we had to walk them a bit so we wouldn't wipe out! After that we found a vineyard in the middle of nowhere on the side of a hill.  We walked a little way in and caught our breath for a little while.  The vines are just starting to grow and there were a few tiny grape buds.  It was getting towards the afternoon so we headed towards another town, Panzano, which happened to be another old castle, and found a place for lunch.  The restaurant was in a stone house that had to be hundreds of years old.  The food was awesome.  Pretty much all the pasta in Italy we've gotten so far has been handmade, and even something simple like spaghetti with meat sauce is amazing.  Maybe our exhaustion from biking all morning had something to do with how good it was too (Remember when we used to run and be in shape? Not any more!). We headed back to Greve, which took a fraction of the time since it was completely downhill from there.  We were flying down the mountains with ease.  There were some other bikers going up the hill that looked at us enviously. In downtown Greve there is a butcher shop that happens to be one of the most famous/best butchers in Italy. Lucky us! They specialize in cold cuts, especially salami with wild boar and some sort of seasoned wild boar bacon that I think you're supposed to eat raw (didn't try it), and of course proscuitto which is everywhere in Italy.  So we picked up some salami and chese there and some four cheese tortellini/gnocchi from the same place as yesterday and had another picnic at our garden.  I think the old guy from the bed and breakfast got a kick out of coming out and turning the lights on for us every night since we'd been out there until it got dark.I wish I had more to say...but really that's it.  Tuscany is pretty awesome, much much more laid back and quiet than most of the places we have been to so far.  The sun has been shining every day and we're just enjoying it!
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