Florence is suddenly emptying out in a mass exodous for the beach. It is Ferragosto (August vacation) which will climax this Saturday, 15 August, (which is the equivalent of our Labor Day.) Florence will be totally deserted on Saturday. I am looking forward to it in order to more meaningfully connect with la mia bella citta' (my beautiful city) even more intimately. I want to get to know her better. I am her new resident and few people have that priviledge. I am blessed and a day doesn't go by that I don't appreciate this gift.
Rolling out of Florence on my bike has been an amazing adventure. Every moment is filled with endless roads whose beauty is spellbinding. Riding under the cypress trees with the intoxicating smell of pine, seeing the abundant groves of olive trees, the old stone houses, the wildflowers along the road, the green fields dotted with bales of hay and laced with vineyards, is beyond stupendous . After climbing up to Fiesole, a whole new world opens up in the roads beyond. The only human beings to be seen are local cyclists. Many still bucking the helmet idea.
Today I ventured out again to ride at the higher elevations up to Bvigliano, where it's always guaranteed to be at least 15 - 20 degrees cooler than in Florence. A natural choice. Then I headed up to Scarperia in the Mugello area of Tuscany. I stopped to have a quick panino and feeling so strong and motivated, I decided to have a tiny glass of vino rosso. What a mistake! What had seemed like a flat road on the way from Pratolino didn't feel so flat on the way back.