Tuscany, Italy-VBT

September 15th we started on our VBT Bike Tour along The Tuscan Coast. We met the other riders and the tour leaders at the Hotel Tornabuoni in Florence. There were 14 people on our tour and the two trip leaders, Massimiliano Cenni and Paolo Cossovel. We hopped on the van and drove to Collemezzano to the Agrihotel Elisabetta, where we will be staying for two nights. Our Agriturismo is family run, owner is Luigi Brunetti, who has a passion for farming and wine making. After our warm-up ride, Bob and I rented E-bikes, the group had a guided tour of his wine Cantina, sampling some of Luigi’s varietals. We finished the evening with a sumptuous feast for dinner. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Florence Italy

On September 13th, 2017 we took the fast train from Rome to Florence. Traveling by train from Rome to Florence is quick, easy and affordable and takes about 1 1/2 hours. We took a taxi to our Airbnb and went to explore Florence. We are staying near the Piazza di Santa Croce where we saw the Basilica di Santa Croce, the principal Franciscan church in Florence and the largest Franciscan church in the world, completed in 1385. We walked to the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge to wander through the shops and have dinner. The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone closed-arch bridge over the Arno River, noted for having shops built along it. Butchers initially occupied the shops, now the present tenants are mostly jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. Continue reading

Rome Italy

On our first day in Italy, we met Kevin and Ericka in Rome and took a tour of the Colosseum. We booked our tour through Caroline Wallace  and our guide took us down side streets to see unique churches before arriving at the Colosseum, an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is the largest amphitheatre ever built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete and was completed in AD 80. Going with a tour guide we did not have to wait in the long lines. Once inside you could see the enormity of the amphitheatre, it is estimated to hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, and executions. Continue reading

Sardinia, Italy

Italy here we come! On September 7th we arrived in Sardinia with Kevin and Ericka to attend Chris Dore and Lisa’s wedding. We landed in the town of Alghero on the northwest coast of Sardinia, Italy. We are all staying at the El Faro Hotel, a beautiful resort overlooking the sea in the Regional Natural Park of Porto Conte. The setting is perfect for a wedding. When we arrived we were so excited to see Tony and Darlene Dore again after many years and of course, Chris and Lisa and Tony. We hung out by the pool reminiscing and meeting their friends from Ohio who came for the wedding. In the evening the dinner was in the hotel with all the family and friends of the bride and groom. Eric finally arrived for dinner and we spent the rest of the night partying with the young. Continue reading