I woke at 8.00am. The smell of fresh bread and pastries wafting through our shuttered window.

A deep breath, I remember I'm in Tuscany !!

The distant chime of the church bells...

Yes, I am in heaven !

Leaping from my bed, I'm excited for the planned day of cycling ahead.

Wandering downstairs I greet my fellow companions who are already enjoying their hearty breakfast.

We assemble outside with our bikes ready to pedal off for a wonderful day in the saddle.

As we ride through the countryside I keep pinching myself.

Olive Groves, Vineyards, stonehouses and hill top villages.

This is the Tuscany I dreamed of and it is real !

Scott has told me today is the day !

Reputedly, the second best cake shop in the world is our first stop.

We leave the valley floor and climb to a majestic hilltop village.

The tower can be seen for miles.

I'm astounded by the frescoed ceiling of this out of the way Pasticceria and yes, the cakes and coffee live up to it's reputation.

Where's the best ?

We are still searching .....

Leaving the village, I reflect on the camaraderie and the laughs over morning tea.

As we cycle through the iconic Tuscan Hills, I'm still in awe of the roads, the scenery and the courtesy of the Italian drivers.

Tuscans love cyclists !

As we make our last climb up to the "medieval Manhatten San Gimignano" I look forward to meeting my wife for lunch.

A couple of the lady cyclists decide to stay in San Gimignano a bit longer and return in the van.

Not for me !!

I can't get enough of cycling through this countryside.

Another stop on the way home for a

"refuel" (code for coffee and pastries).

Arriving back at the hotel 15 minutes before my wife.

I'm showered and smelling fresh as she strolls in, shopping bags in hand and a smile on her face.


I feel my husband jumping out of bed. I can tell he's excited for his day ahead. I think I'll take a few minutes to enjoy the bed to myself.

Hmmm, I smell the pastries... maybe I won't snooze after all, so I'm out of bed and down to breakfast minutes after my husband.

We enjoy some time at breakfast, discussing last night's meal and the day ahead.

Driving through the countryside Kerrie is full of interesting information.

It's lovely to be reminded of the age of the area and what has gone on before.

Fancy, all the battles over that hill !

As we drive through the rolling hills, I settle back and enjoy the drive.

We stop at a hill top town for a cuppa and some photos then head off to San Gimignano.

I can't wait to see it.

I wonder if I'll recognize it from " Tea with Mussolini".

I have planned a trip to the church, and Kerrie assures me there's a great bag shop and, ooh those plates !

Can I get one home ?

A few of us decide to eat in the Piazza, the cyclists arrive just as we've made our decision.

Enthusiastically, we show our purchases and share our finds.

One couple went to the Torture Museum !

Note to self; wander through the art gallery on the way out .

The cyclists head off,

no rush for us.

Ahh, this is the pace I love, very Italian !

The drive back is just as beautiful. Maybe next year I'll cycle...

My husband has already returned and it's nice to relax together

and talk about our respective days.

A cup of tea would be nice....


Well rested, we decide to partake in a few of Carlis' pastries and a cup of tea out the front of the hotel.

We meet Scott, Kerrie and a few others.

A pleasant hour passes and our thoughts turn to dinner.

Some decide to eat at another new restaurant.

But after last nights seven course Welcome Dinner, we are happy with our Wood Fired Pizza and a bottle of wine in the Piazza, others join us and we have a great night.

Graciously,  Blake offers to take us to the bar and help in our selection of Gelati. We are greeted warmly.

He is obviously a regular !

Off to bed, pleasantly weary and all senses brimming.

Ahhhh La Dolce Vita !