Bicycling Through Tuscany: An Italian Bike Ride I Will Never Forget by Sheri B Doyle
In Tuscany, a small medieval town rests amongst the rolling green hills and mountains. For over 500 years a wall has surrounded the town, once serving as a road and now as a respite from daily life.
Originally built to keep the Medici family out of the town, whose inhabitants were rich from silk production, the wall has managed to keep Lucca safe. Now the tree-lined road on top of the wall is no longer open for cars but for pedestrians, runners and bicyclers.
More times than I can count I have ridden one of the ramps up the wall, and with music playing in my ear buds I have escaped reality, riding in peace among the gorgeous Tuscan scenery. Along the wall there are Italian palaces, men playing chess, elderly couples holding hands while they look out over the ancient churches, dogs running along their owners bikes, and couples pushing their babies in strollers. There are beautiful statues on the wall paying homage to pieces of history or perspectives on politics. Restaurants offer beautiful Italian coffees or dinner amidst the town’s lights.
No matter the reason for any of us being on that wall we all seem to experience the same thing – magic. It is a bike ride I will never forget and one I always return to in my mind when looking for peace. On that wall I felt like I was on top of the world, riding amongst the present and the past surrounded by people who must also have felt the same.