We are glad we followed some good advisors. Gianni in Torino and Hans, one of Eveline's running friends in Breda, have done well. Bellisimo is probably the word that a native would use to decribe the beauty of the countryside that we have been riding through this last period. The crossing of the mountain range south of Parma, the ride over the Volterra plain and especially the day towards Siena presented one scenic highlight after the other. Sometimes we had to work hard because of Apennines and the Tuscany hills, but it's no secret: good things don't come free. And it's not that we especially like climbing, but we have developed a skill in it by now. We don't mind so much any more. As long as the rewards are so good. And we have not finished yet! We have only reached Siena today. From here we want to proceed towards Perugia and Assisi, and then down to the Adriatic coast. So more climbing and hopefully more beautiful scenery is coming up.
Tomorrow there will be this year's second Palio in Siena. The famous and wild horse race on the shell-shaped central square in the centre. It's a contest between the city's districts and a centuries-old tradition. The town is crowded and hot, we are a bit tired, so we don't go into the centre. We've been there before, even on (rented) bikes.
We do remember the Palio-square as one of the most beautiful squares ever seen though: bellissimo!