2010 ITALY – FRANCE BIKE RIDE
DAY 1 – 2
Riding into Rome along Appian Way, an ancient road constructed 312 BC to allow the Roman Army quick and easy movement in and out of Rome. Still intact today, Appian Road is one of the oldest roads in existence anywhere in the world!
The Roman Colosseum, constructed 2000 years ago and still standing! During the opening ceremonies, Emperor Trajan gave the residents of Rome a memorable 122 days of continous competition, where 11,000 human gladiators and 10,000 wild beasts were killed for public entertainment. Rome spent what would be $2.5 millioin today to prepare and train gladiators!
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in Europe and took 120 years to complete.
Even though the Vatican is located in Rome, it is recognized as its own independent country; complete with its own currency and postal system. The Vatican is the smallest independent sovereign State in the world!
Uniform of the Vatican elite police, which was supposedly designed by Michelangeleo. Michelangelo not only painted the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican but also played a major role in completing St. Peter’s Basillica.
Riding through the heart of Tuscany
The Siena bell tower is the second highest in Italy, stretching 320 feet high!
The “duomo” (cathedral) in the ancient city of Siena was destined to be the largest cathedral in the world, but the Black Plague of 1348 killed over 65,000 people and construction was stopped. Siena never regained its position again as a leading city in culture and trade..
Some 400 years before the modern bicycle was even invented in 1897, this is a model of the Leonardo Davinci bicycle. Even though Da Vinci never took the time to build his bicycle, the original sketch was done in brown crayon was discovered in his Florence library as recently as the 1960’s.
There are no cars in Venice, everyone gets around by small boat. Tourists enjoy sightseeing on gondolas, which must be painted black except those used by a government officials.
Venice is made up of 117 islands, which form 177 canals. There are 455 foot bridges connecting all the islands.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is a four story glass domed shopping center constructed in 1870.
The Milan Cathedral contains hundreds of statues on its rooftop and is Europe’s fourth largest cathedral.
The beaches of Normandy, France, site of the largest movement of troops ever (200,000 troops) in preparation to eventually conquer the Germans and end World War II.
Nearly 10,000 American soldiers lost their lives attempting to land on the beaches of Normandy. Today, the American Cemetary honors their heoric efforts.
Historic Honfleur Harbor, site where French explorers such as Champlain and Cabot departed from and eventually claimed Canadian region for France.
Crossing the Seine River in northern France.
Arc de Triomph to honor all those who fought for France.
Arrival into Paris