FROM UTRECHT TO FLORENCE BY BIKE! (part I)

 

Since I do not like to just lie on the beach, but I also like doing sports, I had planned to cycle to Florence in the spring of 2009.

Why Florence? Because I like to cycle in the direction of the sun , once wanted to cycle through the French Alps, I love the Italian cuisine and because I really just got the idea watching a football game on TV from Fiorentina:

 

After I could arrange some five weeks off at work, I checked in google maps and I roughly determined my route.

I was there quickly: Liege, Luxembourg, Geneva, through the Alps towards Menton, follow the Ligurian coast to Pisa, Florence.

I wanted to cycle back over the Apennines and the Po Valley to Lake Garda and Lake Como and from there to Switzerland.

 

 

 

My bike was a new racing bike from the brand Cannondale that I had bought that year.

My luggage consisted of a backpack and a little bag mounted under the saddle with only the most essential: clean clothes for the evening, personal care and a spare inner tube.

So I had previously broadly defined my way to Florence before leaving, and with using Michelin maps, I determined every night my route for the next day; you write some place names on a note and you follow the signs, and if in doubt you just trust on your intuition, or the direction of the sun. In this way, I made an average of 110 km each day.

 

 

 

biking from holland to italy

 

Because I was on the racing bike, I could not bring a tent and I stayed in hotels and B&B’s. This was often fairly standard, but sometimes you find something special in a beautiful location. As in Imperia Italy, where I slept in a Solarium, a glass house on a rooftop terrace overlooking the sea! :-)

 

 

bike from Holland to Italy

 

The accommodations itself were not so important for me, but for me was more important the surroundings and the price  If I had brought a tent, I could have saved a lot of money, but that was difficult with a road bike and to be honest, who likes to set up a tent after a day of cycling … i prefer  a beer :-)

 

Cycling through the Alps and the mountains that are known from the Tour de France is a great experience Click To Tweet

These include climbing the Colombiere, Aravis, Val Thorens, Col de Madeleine, the Glandon, Alpe d’Huez, Les Deux Alpe Col du Lautaret, Col d’Izoard, Col de Vars Col de Cayolle and Col de Turini.

People have a different idea about holiday, but for me it was great feeling to climb these mountains : finding your rhythm, the hairpins, the views, the countdown of kilometers to the top and the sweat drops falling from the tip of my nose on my cyclometer. And on the top the reward, the descent!

 

 

 

biking from holland to italy

 

Rest of the story in the next post :-)

 

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