Florence, Bikes and Flying Machines!

Sep
2013
20

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Leonardo flying machine Fiesole Tuscany

Leonardo flying machine by androidworld.it

This year, from the 21st to the 29th of September, the World Cycling Championships will take place in Florence. This tough race will take the riders past some of Florence’s most famous landmarks as well as around various other locations nearby. So why don’t you take to the saddle too? Get ready to explore beautiful Florence and the surrounding countryside with one of our bike tours? Enjoy some of the most beautiful sights in the area…without just racing past them!

Florence is one of Italy’s most charming cities. Steeped in history and culture, it is slow-paced and incredibly beautiful; perfect to explore by bike! Meander around the historic centre with an expert guide, past famous locations such as the Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, Basilica di Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria and take in everything that this city has to offer. Florence is also surrounded by picturesque landscape, which is dotted with delightful little hilltop towns and villages. But don’t worry about those pesky hills, as your bike is electric!

One of the locations on your relaxing bike tour is the peaceful hilltop town of Fiesole. Here, you will find narrow, winding streets to explore, as well as quaint little shops and restaurants. This town is steeped in history, as it was established by the Etruscans and was later inhabited by the Romans. Later still, it was taken over by Florence and deemed to be a fabulous ‘weekend retreat’ for rich Florentine families. There was even a Medici Villa, and this still stands today. In fact, the famous Pazzi Conspiracy was actually due to take place here in 1478, but plans were scuppered. Unluckily for those involved it still took place, just at a different location in Florence.

As well as being a great place to visit on our bike tour, due to its rich history and stunning surroundings, Fiesole is also famous for its association with Leonardo Da Vinci, who spent a lot of his time here testing his flying machines. In fact, it was from nearby Montececeri that he launched his ‘first human flight’, back in 1506. For Leonardo, who was simply fascinated by the concept of flight, the sheer drop and characteristics of this location were perfect for doing his tests. It is said that one of his pupils who tested a machine for him, actually ended up in a disastrous accident at the hands of Leonardo. Well, it is known that some of his designs were a success, and some notably less so!

Leonardo Da Vinci himself said that ‘The great bird will take its first flight from the back on Monte Cecero…’ While you may not be keen on launching yourself off a steep hill, why don’t you try something new, and explore this wonderful area not by flight, but by bike…

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