It was overcast and cool when I got to the little coffee shop in Pienza at 8 am. After a quick cappuccino and chocolate croissant, I took the road towards Montelpulciano -- a new one for me -- and soon found myself rolling along an undulating foggy ridge.
Time was short, so I didn't stay long in Montelpulciano (sad to say, I never made it into the old part of town). I took the usual quiet road to Montichiello, once again loving that winding descent.
Back at the villa, I took the pedals and saddle off of my bike, quickly showered, changed, and packed, and eight of us were in the van heading for Florence just after 11 am. We dropped Joyce, Steve, Jill, and Bobby there, and then Tom, Cathie, RandoGirl, and I drove on to Bologna. After finding our hotel and giving the van back to Silvia from BikeRentalsPlus, the four of us sat on the balcony to enjoy the views of the city ...
... and to decompress while again ensuring that our luggage was not overweight.
The Mortadello Festival was going on, so after changing for dinner we strolled around town and sampled free baloney. Oscar Meyer did not have a booth.
It started to rain, so we ducked into some shops and then headed to a restaurant. We had planned to eat about 7:30, but discovered that nobody in Bologna eats before 8 pm. Apparently, you just sit around drinking with friends until then. Little did we know that we had been doing it right all along.
After dinner, we dodged the rain back to the hotel and turned in for the night. Much as I had enjoyed the villa, I must admit that I enjoyed the hotel bed a lot ... I think that it is the nature of antique beds to creak any time that you roll over in them, but those of us that sleep lightly find that distracting. We slept in on Sunday, then went downstairs to have breakfast with Tom and Cathie before arranging a car for the airport.
From there, the trip back was a chore. Bologna to Munich to Washington-Dulles (where you have to grab your bags, go through customs, re-check your bags, and pass through security again) to Nashville. We were all pretty much brain-dead when Tom's son picked us up, and somehow RandoGirl and I made it home.
All of the Tuscany Badasses have begun planning the next trip, of course. Some have flight information for Italy, others are talking about the south of France, and I've decided that next time we need to get a BikeRentalsPlus tour guide to help us find our way. Maybe by then, RandoGirl and I will have retired and we can find some other way to get to Italy, too. Perhaps catch a ride on a cruise ship going from an American market into the Mediterranean.
If I could find a way to bike there, however ... now that would be the perfect trip!