I have now finished my second week of classes in Florence and I am starting to feel like this is actually real. I am living in Italy! Last weekend was my first weekend spent in Florence so my roommates and I decided to take advantage of the great weather we have been having here and try a bike ride into the wine country of Chianti. I got the idea from a guide book and looked into it a couple days before we decided to go and looked up some bike rental places in the area. We ended up being able to rent eight bikes for a very reasonable price. In true McCauley fashion I persuaded everyone that we could do the trip on our own without having to pay for an expensive guided tour. Unfortunately none of the people we asked was able to tell us exactly how far Greve (the town we hoped to get to in Chianti) was from Florence. We heard everything from 14km-40km!
We set off early Saturday morning and got lucky with beautiful weather. What I had not anticipated was all the hills! We literally biked 6 of the first 10km uphill so we made frequent stops along the way to take pictures, rest, and drink lots of water! We finally stopped in Strada (the northernmost town of Chianti) to have the sandwiches that we had packed and decieded that we should probably turn around because some of the girls were really tiring out. If you ask me I think we could have made it, I think Greve was only 8km more south. Anyway it had taken us close to 4 hours of uphill biking to get there but it was all worth it because the whole way back was downhill, it actually felt like a roller coaster and made the hours of treacherous biking all worth it! Sadly my roommates were not aware of how directionally challenged I am and allowed me to be in charge of directions and the map. So although we made it there fine...the way back took a bit longer and more nerve racking. But we made it back and made a plan that we would take a bus all the way to Greve another day so we could see the town and taste the legendary wine! We did get some beautiful scenic pictures along the way and a great workout!