By: Karen Wilson
Traveling to Italy isn’t just a line item on my bucket list to check off- it’s a calling from deep within. Most travelers inevitably seem to be tantalized to discover her beauty and way of life. This dream is soon to become true as my husband and I follow the calling and celebrate 25 years together!
Rather than going the easy route with a bike touring group, I’ve decided to create my own tour. It’s taken months and countless hours of research but I’m confident that the places and experiences I’ve mapped out will be fruitful:
1, Red Eye from Montreal to Rome (great airfare from Montreal)
2, Rental car for two weeks (cheap)
3, Drive to the Almafi coast-2 nights and hike “The path of the gods”.
4, Drive to Puglia (the heel of the boot) to Ostuni -La Citta Bianca (the white town) and stay in the heart of the city for two nights.
5, Drive farther south in the boot to Borgagne and stay at a Masseria (old fortified farmhouse) for two nights.
6, Long road trip north to Citta della Pieve in Umbria near the Tuscan border for one week on an organic farm.
Finding places off the beaten path with options to bike and hike are the focus. Living close to the locals is accessed with airbnb and planned well in advance for the best options. Most offer breakfast and the Masseria offers bikes as well. In Umbria I’ve booked 3 different bike tours with 3 different companies. I like having a balance between planned tours and spontaneous adventure. Spring is prime time for biking so reserving in advance won’t leave us high and dry. No cross-country, single track tours have been on my radar via online searches, but I’m good with riding through the vineyards, olive groves, hidden ancient ruins and coastal paths along the Adriatic Sea! Save the single tracks for the Dolomites on another trip…
Being a tried and true non-motorized Kingdom Trails rider, I’ve surprised myself with reserving one tour using e-bikes. I figure we can cover more territory in hilly Tuscany. I expect the scenery to be pleasantly a little more serene on that day. On the other days we can scope out one of their thermal hot springs for some ancient healing powers!
So stayed tuned next month for a follow up blog reporting on the ups and downs of the itinerary, the challenges of driving and communicating with bare bones Italian and the highlights of fresh, flavorful foods and vino. Hopefully my shared experiences will inspire you to respond when Italy Calls!
Photo Credit: Tour Radar