Sardinia and Florence Italy 2023

Cycling in Sardinia with E motions BIKE TOURS was an amazing experience with spectacular scenery. Fortunately, I had an E-bike which helped get me up the mountain roads, which had spectacular views. I was mostly in the OGLIASTRA region, known for its centenarian population. I spent four days cycling to different villages. The rides varied from 50 to 70k a day, with stops, along the way at points of interest. There was always time to explore when you arrived in a new town

I started in Ulassai and cycled to Sadali which was 60 Ks. The streets in Sadali appear empty as you walk around, but at around 2000 hours which is dinner time the town transforms, It seems like everyone is out at restaurants and bars socializing. This seemed to be the norm along the way.

The next day I left Sadali for Villagrande Strisali(Neuro)
Again, the views on the ride did not disappoint. I was cycling up and down hills. Today, I cycled about 900 meters above sea level. The roads were curvy at times. I was also on a dirt trail for a few miles.
My accommodations in Villagrande strisali was the Hotel Orlando which was in the park. What a sight a pool and the mountains for the backdrop.

On day three leaving Villagrande, I cycled to Santa Maria Navarrese
on the coast This was a 60k bike ride and another day of great views.
Upon arrival, I walked around the town and went for a swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea which is the arm of the Mediterranean
I stayed at the Albergo Santa Maria Hotel
Again, everything seems quiet until 1900 the town gets a new look everything’s open with the patios full.

The next day, which is sadly my last day of cycling in Sardinia. I left Santa Maria for Cardedu which was another 60k bike ride. Can I say it one more time Spectacular views. The sea on one side while cycling up the hill and the mountains on the other side In Cardedu I stayed at the Genna e Masoni Hotel, which was up had a huge hill great view.

Part Two
After leaving Sardinia I flew into Rome and took the bullet train from the Rome airport to Florence. This is where I’ll be for the next few days. My accommodations will be at Via Ricasoli 8 in Firenze. also known as Florence. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the main train station in Florence. Santa Maria Novella

On my first day full day in Florence, I went on a trip with the Viator tour, also known as the Walkabout tour to Cinque Terre, which means five villages. It was a two-hour bus ride due to traffic. We started in Le Spezia where you enter the Cinque Terra Park and the train rides between the villages began.

We were all given a day pass

We took the train from Monterosso to Verrazzano and had lunch at a restaurant. We had a fish salad, pesto pasta salad, and water for 17 euros. Then the hike (the stair climbing )began at Monterosso this, was about a 90-minute hike with stops. About halfway through we stopped for a lemon slushy, which went down very well, and to take in the excellent view. Then onto the train to the next villages. which were Cornigila and Manarola. All were small, colorful, and full of life. From Manarola we took the boat to Riomaggiore it’s beautiful. We got to see all the villages from the water. We then took the train back to La Spezia. Then the bus back to Florence.

The next day was another busy day no complaints. I was up early, hoping to get tickets to the Domo, but was told that they were all sold out until October 6.
I even went to Viator and Get My Guide. Everybody was sold out ,that’s okay.
I went to the free part of the DOMA which is the Opera di Santa Maria. Del flora. Architecture is something. all I can say is that I was in the line at 930am, and it didn’t open till 10 o’clock the line was around the church I can’t believe it Wow.
But it was beautiful inside

Next up was the Uffizi Gallery you should see the ceilings some have gold. It is famous for its collections of ancient sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages,
I then went for a walk around the Pont Vecchio bridges where the jewelry stores are.

I tried to get a ticket for the Academy of Gallery of Michelangelo. But was told that it was sold out again.But to try going directly to the gallery. I did this and was fortunate to get a ticket to the Accademia Gallery of Michael Angelo Museum, which houses the famous statue but again, like a lot of things here and in Europe, it’s under renovation, but it was so beautiful to go inside.
The museum was just a few short blocks from where I was staying.
That evening I was off for a sunset view of the city from the Michelangelo Terrace. It’s beautiful to see the dome, the bridges, and the hills at sunset.
Then off to the Central Market for dinner, so much to choose from. I had a salmon burger for 14 euros inside the market because it was closing down outside, they a lot of restaurants and they had clothing and shoes to be bought.

Another packed day was spent with Viator /walkabout tours this time. We started at eight o’clock at the train station and off we went at eight o’clock for the two-hour bus ride to Sienna with a stop at the Dome Siena ,wow is all I can say. Inside is beautiful with marble floors that have artwork on it., mural painting on the walls, and the vaulted ceiling arches. From what I can tell it feels kind of Moorish influence like Spain and I must say this cathedral was amazing. Then we were off to the wine winery.IL Vecchio Maneggio in San Gimignano for lunch. nice scenery we a different wine for each lunch course pasta, cold cuts with desert. Next, we’re off for a walk around town. You feel like you are in Tuscany with the landscapes the winery the olive trees,

Then off to Pisa,which was about a 90 minute drive .The Leaning Tower did not disappoint and is beside a church in a museum which you never see. I walked up the narrow-curved stairs to the top for a view of the amazing town. PISA has a market for tourists selling clothes, purses, etc. around the tower. Then the tour bus ride back to Florence train station. I had dinner at Antico Ristorante Sasso Di Dante

Again, early start to the day. I went to McDonald’s Believe it or not to see the window display because someone told me they have croissants , cake slices, muffins, and macaroons., in South Korea, you can get wine because

After the above I walked to Market Central to look for things to bring things home, like olive oil on the way to my lodging I stopped at San Lorenzo at the Rodeos la Basilica and looked around is very nice artwork and back to the central market for lunch. Steak and fries. Now off to the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens which are put together.
I was only originally going to the Boboli Gardens to walk around but decided while I was there to see Pitti Palace and I’m glad that I did. This palace is amazing and it reminds me of Versailles Palace in Paris. With all the chandeliers, the paintings the carpeting, a whole thing
Pitti Palace houses paintings from the 16th and 17th-century amazing museum, Then the Boboli Gardens. With a stop for lemonade. As you start walking down the gardens on the path you get a view of Florence and Ponte Vecchio bridge and more. Lots of people can’t believe this is still a high season in Florence I thought September was a low season it’s still a high season till October.

I was going to go to the Baptistry of St. John, but I was told at the ticket office that it was under renovations inside and not much to see so I didn’t bother going inside. I had dinner at San Lorenzo by the water and it was packed. It was great. Sunday, October next paragraph.

Sunday, October 1 is my last day In Florence Italy so I just walked around and went to Central Market for breakfast had a vegetable focaccia sandwich slice, and then walked around the city. I went to the other side of the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and walked around and at one point I had lunch at Eataly we have one in Toronto but I just wanted to compare it’s not bad but the food you get at the other restaurants in Italy is much better. I’m still searching for olive oil but that’s okay
and that’s the end of this trip.

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