The weather forecast sounded a little poor for today, but when I woke up to a bright morning sky, at 6 am, I was pleased. I felt rested, so I grabbed the camera and went for a morning walk, around the grounds and olive groves. As I stepped out the door I was hit by the sweet musty smell of the winery below, mixed with the fresh cool morning air The Olive, cedar and oak trees were filled with birds singing cheerfully in the misty morning sun.
After shooting a bunch of pictures, and having a pleasant stroll, I came back and started a pot of coffee; slowly the others emerged from their rooms. I grabbed a cup and went outside to sit, listening to the birdsong, and reading about the route options for the upcoming days. I grabbed my maps to look for a few small roads that we could ride for a couple of hours, as we had to be back early to go into Florence for a personal, guided walking tour of the old city, that Beach's arranged for the group and then dinner at night with the rest of the tour members. We again headed east, and into the hills, this time to the SE. Headed for one of the roads and again as we started to climb the forest got thicker, and the turns tighter, again great flow to the roads, and endless corners, on perfectly smooth pavement.
When it was time to head back another meandering road took us back into the valley, where we then followed another nice winding road back to the Villa in time to shower and look presentable for dinner.
We headed into Florence for a personal walking tour of the old city. The walking tour was conducted by a local art historian and provided us with some great insight and information about the history of the city and its contributions in history and to the arts. The freestanding dome of the Duomo in Florence was finished in the mid 1400’s and took 16 years to complete, using 37,000 tons of material, including 4 million bricks!
Dinner was at a very nice restaurant in the middle of Florence, with some fine Local wine to complement the meal, and a final cordial of Grappa or Limoncello. The others on the tour seem like a laidback crowd, should be a perfect mix.
The interior of the restaurant.
Back to the Villa for a good nights sleep on a full stomach.