So Long to the Tuscan Hills ...Say Hello to Lazio's - 9 1/2 Weeks - CycleBlaze

October 30, 2019

So Long to the Tuscan Hills ...Say Hello to Lazio's

Buonconvento to Acquapendente

Another 'Play Misty For Me' day as we rode south out of Tuscany and into Lazio. The forecast called for rain but we were lucky and none fell from the sky, although it looked like that was going to be a certainty at several points.

A we've always seen on these multi-week cycle trips, there is a continuous incremental change in the countryside. You really don't notice the day to day change, but after a few days, you suddenly realize that you are in someplace different.

We got that sensation this afternoon after descending a looong way down from Radicofani and seeing that the lush vineyards and forests had been replaced by arid hills sides with rock outcrops and hoodoos. The nicely graded hills were still there though!

Another interesting aspect of today's ride was how remote it was. So far in Italy, there have been towns at least every few km's, even in the Alps in the far north of the country. However, today when we left Buonconvento, we came up on Torenieri and San Quirico at the regular(ish) 5km intervals,but then we had a 25 km run, with 450 m of elevation gain, before we came across the next village, Radicofani. We then had another 27 km run before we hit the next village, our refuge for tonight, Acquapedente. Beautiful country and riding, but being that remote in Italy was a  new sensation!

Radicofani is an interesting place in an amazingly beautiful setting. A fort on an 800 m mountain, dominating the area in a 360 degree fashion. It is obviously on the Pilgrim map as well. We saw several folks who looked like they were on a pilgrim walk, and you really have to work to get here, either on foot or bike, including a younger guy who had a donkey with him. Some folks go to great lengths for authenticity!

Our home for tonight is quite an interesting place as well. It's on what I think is the rim of the ancient volcanic cauldra that is now Lake Bolsena (we will be cycling around this tomorrow). Ancient (as is everywhere here) and devoid of tourists. Lively streets and squares with locals going about their business in an oh-so-Italian way ... which means full of life and energy. 

We have a simple room above a Trattoria just off the main square. Clean with very friendly and accommodating owners and inexpensive too! Dinner tonight was at a small restaurant above a butcher shop. Family run, no menu, you got what they cooked that day. Excellent and it filled the meal with anticipation and excitement!

Tomorrow we continue our slow but persistent path south towards Rome.

It's no cliche, around here, all roads do in fact lead to Rome!

Song of the Day, Birmingham by Shovels and Rope. Great little song and the line 

"Making something out of nothing with a scratcher and our hope, with two old guitars like a shovel and a rope"

reminds me of how we're making this tour up day by day, and it all seems to work out fine.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Didn't get the standard morning 'leaving' picture in Buonconvento, so here's one from the road a few km's south
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Another cloudy & misty morning riding through the last of Tuscan wine country - Brunello territory!
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love this pic ... very simple shapes and subtle contrasts ...the trees on the ridge-line of the hill are almost surreal
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A fairly simple, by Catholic standads, church in Torrenirei
Heart 0 Comment 0
really like the bucket and iron frame on the well oustide the Torrenieri church
Heart 1 Comment 0
interesting bell tower on 'the other' church in Torrenieri
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A lot of todays ride was on hwy SR53 that went to Radicofani. It was in very nice shape and this was pretty much the traffic level on it. Beautful rolling country with all hills very ride-able (no 15% + grades!)
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That's Radicofani and the fort tower on the horizon to the left! An honest 450 m climb but over several km's with very ride-able grades
Heart 2 Comment 0
The countryside is getting much more arid as we move south
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getting closer to Radicofani ... only 4 km and 150 m to go!
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Radicifani was a very beautiful town. We found great little lunch spot in a tiny square perched on the steep hill side
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... and shared it with a pilgrim and his donkey!
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Glenna Jefferiesdid you stay up all night and tell manly stories?
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2 weeks ago
great close up views of the fort and tower above Radicofani
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Church, square, bikes, restaurant ... everything we need ... not shown here, but another nearby square had a centuries old well and fountain supplying fresh drinking water!
Heart 4 Comment 0
just another awesome view from a different angle
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even the donkey seems impressed!
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the square in Acquapedente ... home of the inventor of Fabreeze! ... sorry, very cheesey Dad joke
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the view from our room ... love these roof lines and old tiles ... perfect light just before the sun was setting at 5:08!
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This place is an agricultural center and most of the shops seemed to be well stocked with local veggies ... like this garlic!
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getting closer to Rome and fountains are appearing everywhere!
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Goodnight from Lazio, our next Italian province
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Today's ride: 81 km (50 miles)
Total: 2,538 km (1,576 miles)

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