Every City we visited on this trip was wonderful, but as far as accommodations go this is the most interesting, friendly and refreshing. We arrived after another wonderful, long, hot day of rinding about 60 kilometers from Orvietto through the Riserva Naturale Monte Ruffino. When we arrive at Ai Lecci, Bruno, the owner, is on the front steps to greet us, tell us where to park our bikes and give us a short tour of the property. To our surprise this B&B comes complete with a pool, a much welcome pool after 6 hours of riding.
The pool is a welcome sight after a days ride
The house and property are adjoined by The Church of San Francesco. Brunos grandfather purchased the land from the Catholic Church in 1950 and built the house. When Brunos grandmother passed a few years ago he took the opportunity to turn it into a B&B. The rooms are large and bright with modern fixtures in the bathrooms. The Gardens have been planted and maintained by Bruno with a variety of local trees and shrubs and although he professes to be an horticultural apprentice he can share quite a bit of local knowledge with you.
Bruno making sure we wont get lost.
This was the easiest and shortest day we had on the tour. The great news was that our hotel in Piobico had a pool so the plan was to get into town and spend the day relaxing. We did get a short swim in before the thunder showers started. With the free time we also had a chance to explore the local museum -Museo Geopaleontologico Naturalistico Antropico e Ornitologico, for about 15 minutes before they kicked us out at lunch time. So far in our travels we had seen a lot of history, arts architecture etc. Now we see a collection of 66 million year old ammonites. Ammonites – an extinct group of invertebrates or molluscs which became extinct 66 million years ago. More on that in tomorrows blog.
Italian girls in Sansepolcro.
Terry at the summit of Val Viamagio
2 great days, yesterday the longest at 69 k and today only 67 with a couple of solid climbs. The mountains were challenging in this heat but apparently it was much hotter in the valleys. Every evening is a bonus with another beautiful medieval setting for dinner.
San Leo, Italy
The original fortress of San Leo was built by the Romans. If you look closely you can see the one road leading into town. Fortunately for cyclists there is not a lot of traffic.
Albergo II Castello in San Leo. Michelin recomended restaurant and cold beer.
San Leo seemed to be a destination for a lot of local cyclists. Cappuccino or beer at the Albergo and off for home.
We started off from Orvieto early this morning, Sunday and not a lot of traffic. One of the first cars passing us was an old Citroen Deux Chevaux. Funny to see those cars still on the road. Then this Ferrari comes ripping past and the quiet Sunday morning becomes an F1 race at Monte Carlo. Soon all becomes quiet again as we leave Umbria and enter Tuscany. During our 65 k ride we encounter 3 Ferraris so I figure that Sunday is when the local cops take a break and the Italians take their biggest brand out of the garage.
Arriving in Sarteano, Tuscany
Turns out there is a bit of a Ferrari Fest in Sarteano and as we’re looking for the hotel we come across about 20 in the local piazza.
Thats a whole lot of Italian muscle. Then this dude shows up in a Lamborghini and you probably never knew that testosterone was an Italian word, but all the boys are sitting there in the Piazza revving their engines and I’m thinking of my time at the Montreal F1 and looking for my ear plugs.
Back to cycling, it was a beautiful hot Tuscan day and the biggest surprise was upon our arrival at the B&B AI Lecci, we discover a swimming pool. Since it’s a B&B, no bar at the pool, but we found a new use for our insulated water bottles. Salut!
Another glorious day in Umbria. We travelled on some very quiet, very hilly mountain roads for most of the 46 kilometres. We started out with a great downhill stretch. At the bottom Terry comments how happy she is we came down and weren’t riding up. She didn’t know that our destination for the day had a much higher climb.
If you look past the vineyard you can see Todi behind, and below us. We see a lot of Roses in the vineyards.
Prodo. We wanted to capture this village but didn’t know we would go through it.
Prodo, again from the opposite side.
Into Orvieto in time for lunch – pizza and beer. Contemplating the fact that every town in Umbria is built atop a hill.