DAY 5: Vinci loop

Bicycling (South Africa) - - Stories -

14.7km 10km/h 401m el­e­va­tion

Early af­ter break­fast the fol­low­ing morn­ing, we left for Vinci. Of­fi­cially a city, it’s best known as the birth­place of the Re­nais­sance poly­math Leonardo da Vinci.

A match for any Tus­can town in charm and beauty, Vinci’s main at­trac­tion is the Leonardo da Vinci mu­seum [left], where one can see full-scale mod­els of many of his en­gi­neer­ing works, leav­ing one in awe at the man’s ge­nius. A climb up the mu­seum’s bell tower [right] is a must, with the views once again sim­ply in­de­scrib­able.

The next port of call was Leonardo’s birth­place and home. But to get there, we had to tackle a mon­strous climb, over rough ter­rain.

Leonardo had a priv­i­leged up­bring­ing (his fa­ther was a no­tary), and the size of his home, spa­cious and mul­ti­roomed, re­flects this. From here, we con­tin­ued into the moun­tains and even­tu­ally back to Vinci again.

The climb­ing here was bru­tal, but as on the day be­fore, well worth it for the views and the ex­pe­ri­ence. A short loop for our fi­nal day per­haps, but throw in the 400m of climb­ing and we all gave our­selves ten out of ten for ef­fort.

All too quickly we were back at the guest­house, pack­ing our bags for the shut­tle to Em­poli. From there we took the train back to Florence, for the last night of our tour.

The fol­low­ing day we flew back to Jo­han­nes­burg, and re­al­ity; but we brought home with us some un­for­get­table Ital­ian mem­o­ries.

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