- 27 October 2013
After cycling the entire French Riviera we felt like a change in scenery and decided to head inland rather than doing the Italian Riviera as well, after all how different could it be? So once we crossed the border to Italy we jumped on a train to Tuscany. As it turned out the train ran right along the coastline so we got to see a lot of it anyway, and it did look very similar to the French part, maybe a bit more rustic.
We stopped in at Pisa for a night to check out the wonky/leaning tower and take a very original photo where it looks like we’re holding the tower up. Other than that the city was pretty average. Then it was on to a little town in the Tuscan hills called Montepulciano (pronounced mont-eh-pull-chaaaano) for seven days of R&R in a beautiful country villa.
The first thing we noticed when we got off the train in Montepulciano was the heat, it was an absolute stinker and made our skin feel like it was sizzling for the short 3km ride from the station to the villa. When we pulled up the cycle computer said it was 51°C!! It was a really dry heat that reminded us of Australia, except it didn't last all day like back home, just from about 1pm - 5pm.
The second thing we noticed was just how friendly everybody was, at first we thought it might only be the people working at the villa because they had to be (kind of, the French Rivierans would beg to differ), but then pretty much everybody we met was really nice and just seemed genuinely relaxed and happy, and they had the coolest musical accent we’d ever heard!
Tuscany quickly became our favourite bit of Europe, we liked it so much we ended up spending about a month cycling around it’s beautiful rolling hills and checking out it’s quaint little towns and villages.