After a few days spent enjoyably taking in the beautiful sights and fascinating history at the centre of bustling Florence I was ready to get out into the Tuscan countryside. I decided to get in touch with Giovanni at Fiesole Bike to arrange a bike tour of the Fiesole area. It was really easy to get there from Florence, as Giovanni advised, you just take the number 7 bus from the Piazza San Marco, the bus journey takes about 20 minutes and you get off at the last stop, which is the main square in Fiesole - Piazza Mino da Fiesole.
Giovanni was an excellent bike tour leader, he arranged a route to suit my abilities, provided me with water for the journey and made sure I was ok with the bike before we set off for Montesenario and it's monastery.
It’s a bit of a climb to get up to the monastery but well worth it as you are rewarded with glorious views of the Apennine Mountains. On the journey, we passed by beautiful olive groves, vineyards, chestnut trees and cypresses, old Tuscan villas and farms and saw the villa where Dante spent some of his summer months.
Giovanni was really knowledgeable and companionable, his enthusiasm and love for the stunning countryside and its history made for a fascinating and uplifting trip. I feel like I learned a lot about that area, the flora and fauna and people who lived there, and would highly recommend taking a tour with Giovanni to anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of Florence and get a taste of the real Tuscany.
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