Florence Cycling MeetUp: An Easy ride to Settignano

"C'mon! The most is done!". I rest a little more while those two finish the climb and disapear behind a bend. The steepest part is from Ponte a Mensola to the Mezzaratta, where I put my foot down. I try to breath deeply and slowly to bring my heart rate back to normal, then I drink a sip of water and look up at the sky: clouded, a diffused silver light. The first day of Spring, and warm. I open my jersey and start climbing again.
The meeting point was at 11 am by Chiosco del Tempio as usual, in the garden by Ponte San Niccolò. From there a messy bike lane leads to piazza Alberti, where a bridge crosses the railway. This time I kept the main road - via Gabriele d'Annunzio - that gradually climbs toward the hills. Till Ponte a Mensola there was a lot of traffic, then less, finally almost nobody. Proud of my effort I stopped in the small square of Settignano and sit in front of the beautiful church. 
Honestly I'm not a climber but I prefer climbing to descending. I prefer going up slowly and by my own pace then flying dangerously down, especially on uneven roads where you can't choose your line because of the traffic. Descending you must be in controll, and braking all the time is not really handy. That's why I stopped again in Mezzaratta and so had the chance to take some pictures of the splendid view: Florence from a stretch of olive trees! the Cupola del Duomo, enormous, dominating the town. 
Proud and amazed I rode my way down, this time by a low traffic road, via del Gignoro, that leads from Ponte a Mensola to the Football Federal Center in Coverciano. Gardens were full of blooming cherry-trees, hawtorns and mimosas: what a profusion of beauty! I rode through via del Gignoro till via del Mezzetta, then took a shortcut though the park of San Salvi - yeah, we can afford a bit of dity road! -, crossed the railway and came back home by via Aretina.
It's 10 km - more or less. Almost flat till Ponte a Mensola, then steep for 1,5 km. 
I liked it!

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