We were extremely excited to be entering Italy. A place close to both our hearts, mainly as we got married here in 2008. But considering this, neither of us had travelled extensively here and I had never been to the south. It was into more familiar territory – a part of Europe close to home, food we were used to eating, a language we could almost understand. We were happy to be in Italy and the six plus weeks we spent there definitely did not disappoint us.
April 22nd to may 1st. 542km
Up in Monetier, we had 1,500 fun units (aka metres) in the bank which we slowly cashed in over the following few days as we rode out of the Alps. Initially we backtracked as far as Briancon, then continued south towards Gap. It wasn’t all coasting downhill though, the road still dipped and climbed, and the headwind picked up at times but, generally, we were losing altitude.
We put together a few of the video clips from the ride up the Val di Susa and over the Col de Montgenevre into France. And a bit of skiing!
April 12th to 20th. 499km
Malcesine was a nice trip down memory lane. We spent our few days there relaxing, eating and drinking by the lake, and reminiscing about times spent there with friends and family. There’s a cable car which runs up from the town to the Monte Baldo ski area, so we went and had a bit of a walk round up there. Not much snow left though, so no skiiing for us (…..maybe later). When we left, we retraced our steps down the eastern side of the lake, as the road on the west side is mostly in tunnels. Our first day took us into the countryside just south of Peschiera, where we found a place to camp in woodland.
April 2nd to 8th. 368km
It’s hard not to like Florence. Sure, it’s expensive and touristy, but a real pleasure to walk around and explore, with beautiful buildings and piazzas down every alley. We had a really nice few days catching up with Suzi and soaking up a bit of culture. We even went to an art gallery! Well, Clare and Suzi did. I stayed in the hostel to do some work on the bikes. On our last day, we had prosecco and cornetti beside the river (if only all cycling days started like that!) then went our separate ways – Suzi to the airport, us to the north into the hills.