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The Wrap

Good-bye Florence!
Good-bye Florence!

We traded our bikes for walking shoes and spent the rest of our time prowling the streets of Florence. In a day, we chalked up 8 miles. We were on a mission to buy the things we wanted but didn’t want to carry on our bikes. Plus, we had the chore of packing our bikes.

We returned to the olive oil shop we visited on the Foodie’s Tour. It is located in the tiny Piazza del Limbo, where there’s a plaque marking the water level (about 13 feet), when in November 1966, the rising waters of the Arno River flooded Florence.

Piazza del Limbo, Florence

We spent 45 minutes in hardware store waiting to be served; you take a ticket, like in a deli, and wait until it’s your turn. There, we had a found a “chitarra” to make pasta and so, we waited.

We spent another 45 minutes waiting in line at the famous sandwich shop, All’Antico Vinaio, and like most everyone else found a patch of curb to sit on and eat our sandwich (well, half — they are huge!). Could something like this work at Deerfields Cafe in Buffalo Grove, we wondered?

We met Adriano who stored our bag in his garage for the month of May and graciously brought it to our current digs. His place was the first Airbnb we stayed.

We walked a mile to get our bike boxes and another mile carrying them back “home.” We had really lucked out staying at an Airbnb, where the hosts were fellow cyclists. Flavio had gone to a bike shop, picked up bike boxes and stored them for us in his garage. He also gave us a phone number for a local company, CapCosi, in Florence where y0u can reserve a van for transport to the airport ( CapCosi and our driver, Massimo, were excellent. For 55 euros, we and our bikes were transported to the airport. These are the details that can make or break a cycling adventure. For us, it all worked out perfectly.

In total, we biked 22 days. We had zero flat tires, one fall each, two soaking wet rides, three rest days (San Casino del Bagni, Montalcino and Radda in Chianti), and too many pizzas (pizza) and liters of wine to count!

We toasted Tuscany, its storybook towns and reminisced about our experiences.

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