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By Guest Bloggers /

Last night was our last night in Siena, I am going to miss Siena! Each morning we have breakfast at the hotel and then our guide does a briefing on the day’s ride and activities. We get a turn-by-turn route description and also maps of the cities that we stop in, it’s really nice having the details of the day laid out for you. All of the routes that Austin-Lehman uses are hand picked; they spend months choosing which cities to see and which roads to take, so our guests can get the absolute most out of their trips. Our European director Ron van Dijk goes on the rides himself, exploring the best routes possible for a great adventure. Our tours don’t just take you to the big cities and popular museums, we get our guest right into the heart and soul of a country. So now about our ride to San Gimignano, today’s ride took us to a different landscape of Tuscany. We got to ride through forests and by rivers, and it was nice to see the change in scenery.

San Gimignano

One of the rivers we passed on our way to San Gimignano

We made our way north to the city of Colle Val d’Elsa, here there is a street called Via Vittorio Meoni and if you can pedal your way up to the top, ALA we’ll give you a bottle of wine. Trust me it is a brutal winding street, that is very steep. But Jim “montebello” Waite made it to the top in one piece and earned himself a nice bottle of wine. Don’t worry if you’re not in his class: there’s an elevator at the bottom of the hill and it takes you right up to the amazing views over the town.

Looking down onto Colle Val d'Elsa

Looking down onto Colle Val d’Elsa

Once Jim and I caught our breath, the group got back onto the open road and headed to San Gimignano. When we were about 12km outside of San Gimignano, Misty let out her “WOW” for the day as we got our first glimpse of where we would be staying the night. We stopped and took in the incredible view of San Gimignano, that’s when Misty exclaimed one of my favorite quotes of the trip: “This is why I came to Italy, this is what I wanted to see! It’s like a fairytale.”

First glimpse of San Gimignano

First glimpse of San Gimignano

The next WOW of the day was riding into San Gimignano and seeing our hotel for the night.

La Cisterna in San Gimignano
The ALA van parked outside hotel La Cisterna in San Gimignano

Our balcony at La Cisterna
Our balcony at La Cisterna

After we relaxed on the balcony for a little while, we walked up to Prunello’s Fortress at the top of the city. I will add some panorama shots once I get back home (so check the ALA Facebook for more photos to come)

View from Prunello's Fortress in San Gimignano
View from Prunello’s Fortress in San Gimignano

Once we got done exploring the city, we headed back to our hotel and were amazed at the ristorante at La Cisterna. A panorama view of what seemed like all of Italy.

So after another beautiful day and a delicious dinner, we retired for the night. Tomorrow is our last day of biking for the trip and were riding to Artimino.

Ciao,

Jon

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