Yesterday, I had my first group of clients requesting a hike. I added hiking as an alternative to cycling last summer when I was getting the business started. I had hiked in the Santa Brigida area quite a bit when we lived up there and got very familiar with a wonderful set of trails there. Many of the trails center around a group of "Burraie", which were structures built into hillsides where a continuous water source flowed through. They were made to cool and keep butter for the people in the area in the early 1900's. I met Sam and his group at Pasticerria Liberta around 9. They had wanted to meet at 8, I was there, but they had not understood the traffic situation in Florence. Anyway, we had a nice cafe and pastry, then headed out to Santa Brigida.
They had two rental cars, as they were staying in a villa in the Lucca area. We basically hiked to 3 different burriae, hiking around 3 hours with around 1 hour of rest stops. Some of the trails are quite steep on the way up, but everyone hung in there and enjoyed our walk. We did a nice 6 mile or so loop, with I assume around 2000 vertical feet of climbing. After returning to the cars, we drove the short distance to the wonderful restaurant at the Castello del Trebbio, and had a relaxing, excellent lunch. One car returned me to very close to my apartment while the other car circumvented Firenze to return to Lucca. Thanks everyone for being excellent clients and participating in my first hike with clients. Ciao.
Here is the group after our first real climb in the
beautiful courtyard at Madonna del Sasso.
The group at the first of three "Burraie" we visited.