The Tour of Tuscany started on Friday. We have quite an international group - Karim from Kuweit,
David and Kristin from Arizona, Gary from Australia, Chris and Niloo from New Jersey.
Our start hotel the "Villa Pitiana" is outside Florence inmidst vineyards and olivetrees just a wonderful place to start a vacation. Come join us....
Domenico is checking that nothing goes wrong
Rolling hills, vineries inbetween and curves, curves, curves....
Greve in Chianti was our first stop
The black rooster is the icon of the Chianti vine
Macelleria Falorni - the best prosciutto is coming from here, made from a special breed of pig
Giovanni da Verrazzano - he discovered New York harbour. The Verrazzano narrow bridge is named after him and connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.
Karim - in the background the area where Mona Lisa was living
The Jersey boys
The unique thing on this tour is - we are staying in every hotel 2 nights. Means not packing every day und provides a lot of options - riding, sleeping in, going to the cities for sightseeing. Makes everybody happy.
Of course we offered a restday ride around Siena, typical Tuscan landscape, which you know probably only from calendar pictures.
San Galgano - a gothic monastery built in the 12th century. A lightning hit the clock tower, the clock tower crashed into the roof of the church. It was never restored. Nowadays classical concerts taking place in this "open air" cathedral
Michael and Kristin
Karim in Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Le Crete - alleys of cypress trees leading up to farmhouses on the top of the hills
Karim is looking for a summer residence
Back home in the Garden Hotel Domenico was waiting with a delicious picnic
The Cathedral is one of Italy`s great Gothic structures. Building began 1215.
In 1339 the city`s leaders launched a plan to enlarge the cathedral and create one of Italy`s largest palces of worship. The daring plan, to buld an immense new nave with the present cathedral becoming the transept, was scotched by the plague of 1348
The cathedral`s interior is truly stunning. After looking up, look down, and you`ll see the cathedral`s most precious feature- the inlaid marble floor, decorated with 56 glorious panels, by about 40 artists over the course of 200 years, depicting historical and biblical subjects.
The rest of the group were sightseeing downtown Siena. Piazza "Il Campo" - one of the most beautiful plazas in Italy
For Dinner some of us went in a "slow food" restaurant. Great food, great location!
Mr. Michelangelo is preparing the briefing
Bagno Vignoni - this tiny spa town dates back to Roman times and was later a popular stop for pilgrims eager to soothe weary limbs. The hot sulphurous water bubbles up into a picturesque pool, built by the Medicis and surrounded by stone buildings.Some 36 springs are collected in the pool and cook at up to 51 C!
Tuscany simply makes happy
a typical drive way to a farmhouse
a flexible group, good riders - so we decided to try a new picnic spot - Bagno San Filippo.
Thermal water is flowing into several natural pools - just amazing.
Group picture in front of Fosso Bianco
So much things to do, such an amazing town. The boys decided to stay and see the city.
Karim, Kristin and Michael had a royal treatment and the tourguides as well
The town was put on the world map as the birthplace of St. Benedict in 480 AD, the patron saint of Europe.
Norcia delivers a fair share of impressive churches and museums
Norcia isknown throughout Italy and the world as a capital of pork butchery. In fact, the word "Norcineria" is now used to denote the butchers specialising in pork products. The techniques used in Norcia date back to Roman times. Norcia is also known for lentils, wild boar, mushrooms and of course black truffles.
Beautiful Norcia was just a coffe stop - our goal for today are the Sibillini mountains
The area is really, really beautiful. In May and June wild flowers covering the Piano Grande, the "Great Plain" - called the Tibet of Italy.
These days the area is home to peregrine falcons, royal eagles and porcupines. Eighteen hundred botanical species have been counted in this one area
Can you see the "Italian Boot" in the background???
The dreamteam in front of "Italy"
Monte Vettore is the highest peak in Monti Sibillini - stands at 2.476 m.
Castelluccio looks impossible. The crumbling village sits atop a lonely hill-top like an outpost in the middle of the vast expanse of the Piano Grande.
Everyone had an exciting rest day. Some went for the restday ride into the Monte Sibillini, some went for sightseeing in this awesome city and some ended the day with a Schubert concert in the Basilica of Saint Francis - Ave Malia
We made it on the highway around Perugia, thanks to our great riders. First stop was high above Lago Trasimeno, where the deadliest battle of the Roman Empire took place
Lago Trasimeno and Isola Maggiore
Vineyards along the way
Cortona - the film set of "Under the Tuscan Sun"
Urbino - the Renaissance town, birthplace of Raffael and Valentino Rossi was our coffe stop int he afternoon after having enjoyed the curves of the SS73
The palace of the Duke of Montefeltro
Behind this good looking guy you can see the Adriatic Sea
San Marino, the smallest state in the EU, 30.000 inhabitants, located at the 750 m high Mount Titano is overlooking the Adriatic Sea as well as the Feltro Mountains in the west.
We had a kind of hop on hop off day today - so much to see
First stop was at the Adriatic Sea the beaches of Rimini, called the German barbeque
all umbrellas and sunchairs are in a row, for kilometers and....
their are all numbered - Nr. 8 for Mrs. Schneider, Nr. 9 for Mr. Müller and so on.....
it happend in Sepang, 2011 on a Sunday at 4 p.m. - Marco Simoncelli`s memorial in this hometown Coriano. His No. was 58
the exhaust pipe is running every Sunday at 4 p.m. for 58 seconds...
What a sympathic and passionated guy...
Gabbice Monte - high above the Adriatic Sea - what a view
At "Bel Sit" we had the best lunch ever