Cos this week you really don’t have an alternative!
The World Cycling Championships are currently underway in Florence and for most locals it basically means blocked streets and looking for alternative transport to get to work this week.
Fortunately (depending how you look at it) I live very close to the office so will have no excuse to not go to work tomorrow and if this gorgeous Autumn weather continues, it will actually be a pleasure to ride my bike!
Yesterday we went for a family bike ride to check out how the roads had been affected. We rode from our place in San Niccolò to the big park at the other end of the center. Many people don’t realise that Florence is home to a huge park that is walking distance from the center. Il Parco delle Cascine lies alongside the river and is about 8km in circumference. It is the perfect place for running, rollerblading, having a picnic and of course riding a bike without having to worry about the Italian traffic!
As most roads around the center were closed to traffic, it made riding your bike such a pleasure.
We also went past the Vicolo dell’Oro where these is a great installation of bikes that run up the side of the Gallery Hotel Art.
In the same piazza there is also the ‘sculpture’ below, outside the new Leica store that has very recently opened in Florence.
I must add that as we had Matteo with us, it was much less stressful and tiring riding the bike with him rather than pushing the pram as he is approaching the age where he doesn’t want to sit in the pram for long lengths of time. The bike, on the other hand is much more fun, especially if you don’t plan on stopping to often to look at shops (I have learnt that I can only do Zara when Matteo is sleeping or even better still, alone!)
So, we did have one little re-fueling stop, at the Gucci caffe of course! The staff here are just so welcoming and the atmosphere is so lovely and relaxed. The staff are also really wonderful with children, treating them like first class guests. Matteo gets so much attention and also a few Gucci biscuits to munch on while we enjoy our coffee.
Below are two videos, the first is me riding with Matteo down Via degli Strozzi with Piazza della Repubblica behind us where you can see the barriers dividing the course. The second is us riding through the park with Matteo ‘helping’ me go faster by leaning forward.
If you are in Florence at the moment and wondering which roads are closed, you can have a quick look here or even download an App that will assist you plan your route from A to B without hopefully any further frustration!