Yesterday we road to Montalcino .. noted for its wines . especially the Brunello di Montalcino! It was a great ride giving us wonderful views of the hills as we headed west from Pienza to San Quirico d'Orcia then a quiet back road to Torrenieri and the climb up to Montalcino. Marion and I visited this town a number of years ago from Arcidosso and wanted to see it again.
Really windy up top but this time we found the more interesting old centre and had some lunch watching the tourists arrive by van from Siena with chauffers and select their wines.
We deviated from the planned route and headed over to Buonconvento which seemed to be a quieter road then back through Chiusure (lovely windy road to the ridge) and home to Pienza. One of these pics shows San Giovanni d'Asso in the foreground with the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto up on the hill in the background. Apparently 500 people live at this Abbey .. monks?
We came home and cooked in our apartment an omlete with various veggies and of course bought a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino! I can't decide if it is worth the 12 extra euro over the Rossi di Montalcino we had a few days ago!
Today we woke to a perfect sunny day and selected a route that took us up past the small village of Monticchiello .. Quite the climb! When we got to the top and turned right the road was gravel .. so we detoured towards Montepulciano and had to suffer through a busier road before joining up with our route to Sarteano .. which is just 12 km from Chiusi where we started a week ago!
The roads from here on were great as we swung close to Radicofani and met a German couple .. then took the short cut down into the valley and up the 3km ascent into Pienza. A great ride all considering! 81km 1500m ascent!
Note the picture of the hill top village of Radicofani on the left (castle-tower) with the twin peaks of Monte Amiata on the right! Saturday we cycle between these two landmarks to Santa Fiora with Doug, Rosemarie and Tom! We got word yesterday that they arrived in Chiusi without too much adventure and we will see them Friday night!
I think tomorrow we will look for a late start and a short ride!