I was not born to be a runner, swimmer, weightlifter—and especially not a tri-athlete—because I really don’t like any activity that causes me pain or discomfort. In high school, I tried out for the wrestling team—for a single day. And then the same for the swimming team. My comment after quitting both was something like, “If I’m going to work that hard, I at least want to get paid.” On the other hand, I love playing baseball, basketball and volleyball, for the simple reason that I get lost in the joy of competition, camaraderie, teamwork and a focus on the required skills, so much so I don’t even notice that my body is being tested to the limits of its endurance.
|We see this activity on nearly every street in the fall.|
|Collapsing houses are a common sight, as it|
is often less expensive to build a new house
than it is to remodel an old one.
What do I love about riding in Tuscany? Well, first off, it is Tuscany, and that word alone should be self-explanatory. Just tossing out the word Tuscany sells books, wine, cheese, steak, ham and of course vacation bliss—all for good reason. It’s one of the most beautiful and famous regions in one of the most visited countries in the world. The weather this fall has been unseasonably warm, even for Tuscany, so I have continued to go riding almost every day.
Today is sunny with a high of 68f/20c, a little colder than the previous month but still ideal. Lucy has been busy all week making a quilt, so I took off by myself in the direction of Capannori, with the idea that I might make it to the Torre degli Spadoni. It was almost 3 p.m. when I left the house, and it gets dark now around 5 p.m., so I wasn’t sure I’d make it all the way, but the destination was not as important as the ride itself.
|An almost unknown--and underfunded--park|
that I rode past in Capannori
I didn’t make it to the tower, but I made two discoveries along the way that proved even more interesting. The first was an archeological site called the Park of the 100 Roman Farms, basically in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t have time to explore it, but later in the day I looked it up online. The excavations were begun in 1987, and in 2004 the first of many Roman farms was uncovered, with intact tools for making wine and olive oil. However, I also found an article on the website “Toscana Nascosta” explaining that promised funding for continued exploration and displays for visitors never reached the archeologists, and the site, which could be a valuable “economic and tourism resource” was nothing but “a waste of money.” The article also says that a unique oak wood temple of Dionysus was also found in the same general area, but plans for a museum focusing on this discovery have also stalled for lack of funding.
I may go back to see the ruins of the farms on Monday, though I don’t hold hope that I’ll find much worth seeing. Hopefully in future years, funding can be allocated and further explorations will be made and displayed. It’s part of an ongoing problem in Italy, because historical ruins are abundant, but money is not.
|Two riders doing a wheelie.|
|I found this very friendly and talented "gang' of bikers just|
hanging out, socializing and practicing their tricks.