DAY 5: Vinci loop
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.