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So, Pisa was lovely, and in the heat of our second afternoon, we decided to bike the fifteen miles to Lucca, a highly well-reputed town by many friends and reviews. A charming central old town, walled by ancient stone and designed in winding streets, provided a lovely dinner and stroll. In determining where to find a campsite though, we made a crucial, somewhat ill-advised decision.

We walked into a chocolate shop at 10PM.

And we consumed a lethal amount of the most divinely candied and dark chocolate coated clementines, orange peel, and lightly dusted truffles.

Sitting on a stoop in a stupor and high not unlike a hard drug addict’s, we realized we would never be able to sleep with so much caffeine and sugar in our blood. So being twenty three years old, we decided the only LOGICAL solution was to bike some more. A lot more. Like, the next sixty miles to Florence.

Riding on our high, we set out at eleven and arrived around four in the morning. I’ve never done a night ride and always wanted to- it was certainly new and exciting, a little anxiety producing, and alternately more and less safe than the same roads in day time. We crashed onto the lawns on the Arno in Florence’s western park, hidden away from those bed-sleeping citizens, and have slept in the same place the last two nights.

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We saw the David sculpture, Boticelli’s “the birth of Venus” and “spring”, and the Duomo. We ate fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for breakfast, gelato at all times of the day, and I even found a vegan place tucked into the wall of narrow street. Tomorrow we head east again to finish the mountains.

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Venice in three days. Pizza and pasta every day. Croatia before we know it. We’re young and we are taking advantage of it.

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