We motored out of Florence this morning and drove through more beautiful Tuscan countryside. Along the way we picked up three members of our group as it started to rain, and they opted for the van ride up the long climb of the day. By the time we reached the summit, the roads were dry and they got back on the bikes. Peter and I remain van-bound.
The drive up the climb with the van was quite taxing for poor Alain
We gathered outside the hotel Monna Lisa before checking in. This is a delightful small hotel in the town of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo.
Once checked in, we were on our own to explore the town, especially the museum, on our own. First, however, was lunch. I had a very nice lunch with sauteed clams and mussels followed by a tagliatelle with wild boar ragu. Excellent. Just what I need to provide the stamina for walking to the museum and then climbing the tower. The museum, devoted to Leonardo's inventions and anatomical studies had some English signage, but much of it was in Italian only. However there is an app that you can download to your phone that provides a complete English guide. This was a great tool.
There is an exhibit showing "Leonardo's bicycle" based on fairly recently discovered drawings. There is debate as to whether it was done by Leonardo, by one of his assistants, or is a forgery. Nevertheless, here it is.
After visiting the museum proper and the church where Leonardo was baptized, I climbed the tower which offers magnificent vistas of the town of Vinci and the surroundingTuscan countryside.
It is just about time to head out for our group dinner. (By the way, we are a much smaller group now since nine riders ended their tour in Florence, leaving only nine of us.)
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