|If only they'd been for sale...or free, by the dumpster|
Our time in Tuscany passed, at the same time, at a snail's pace and faster than I ever imagined. It was an interesting feeling to have at once a feeling of endless time and not enough. Nathan and Uncle Ted fit in one more ride, this time from Radda in Chianti to Castelnuovo Berardenga. Aunt Lisa and I followed, parking in our "secret," free parking spot in Radda to explore while the guys put their bikes together and took off on their ride. Radda is a nice, little town, and on the day we visited, filled with Americans. The streets were filled with the sounds of Americans chatting. That may not sound that unusual in such a heavily visited region as Tuscany, but Radda itself was all of one main driving street and one pedestrian street. But big with the American contingent. Although on our subsequent visit the following day, French...French people everywhere, almost as if the town has some sort of underground list of assigned days to various nationalities.
We drove from there to Gaiole, trying to follow the route the guys were cycling. We got to Gaiole during riposo, but took a short stroll down the small, pedestrian zone. Like Radda, a nice, little town - not necessarily a destination, but a good stop on the way. From there, we drove up, up, up the mountain to Vertine, a walled, mountain top village that sounded interesting. And it was. The village looked like it hasn't changed a bit in the last 400 years or so. We parked outside the walls, then walked through the enormous opening cut into the stone walls. To walk the town was about a 10 minute loop, assuming one stops for some photo ops. We didn't go into the church, but did sit at the small cafe near the entrance for a lunch of a panini and meat/cheese platter. Our view was of the old, stone buildings and the quiet village, but the surrounding countryside outside the walls filled our eyes with Hollywood worthy, Tuscan views.
|Post ride in Castelnuovo Berardenga - too bad we didn't notice the mural before they changed out of cycling gear|
We traveled on through the countryside, past a small river, through the woods, and over the mountains, finally reaching the guys in Castelnuovo Berardenga. While they changed and loaded bicycles back into the car, we walked around the town - still during riposo, so our walk had no real destination - just a chance to explore yet another lovely town. To continue our more relaxing day, we decided on a casual dinner in our apartment and ended our day with some cotolette di pollo (fried chicken cutlets), pasta, cheese, salami, olives, and wine. Yumm!