Tag Archives: cycling

Mangia Bevi Bici

11 Sep


As a family we love biking.  And we love food.  So when we saw that some local businesses were organising a day of cycling with gastronomic stops along the way we were immediately on board.  Mangia Bevi Bici is an event that has been going on for three years and is slowly gaining popularity by many people living in our small region.


The idea of the day is to do a 30km bike tour (or a shorter 18km version for the little ones) and make small stops in various towns and villages at local restaurants, community centres and gastronomic shops.

Along the way there are stops for antipasto, primo piatto, secondo piatto and dolce. The organisers mapped out a perfect tour along picturesque little streets and roads with just the right amount of cycling in between stops.  Usually at each stop there was a choice of several different dishes along with lots of wine and even grappa at the secondo piatto stop.  The tour included a surprise honey tasting stop as well as some gifts for the kids along the way (cycle hats and water bottles!).

Some of our favourite dishes of the day were the Pasta con Pesce di Lago (Pasta with Lake Fish), Gnocchi alla Zucca (Pumpkin Gnocchi), Lavarello alla Griglia con Arancio (Grilled Lake Fish with Orange) and of course the impressive cheese and salami plate at one of our favourite local farm.IMG_6516

I’ll be honest though, eating all that food and then having to hop on a bike was at times challenging.  I made the suggestion to the organisers that they might want to think about installing a nap-tent halfway through the tour next time.


Even if the sky above was chasing us in between primo and secondo piatto we managed to avoid the storms for most of the day.

Even despite a few steep hills, some fallen off bike-chains and the odd flat tire it was a really wonderful way to spend a beginning-of-fall Sunday.   We’ve already started the countdown for next year.

(all photos were taken with iPhone)



11 Oct

Last week-end the weather was beautiful, the kids were keen and our bike wheels were full of air so we decided to do a beautiful bike ride along the Canals of Navigli.  The Navigli Canals run from the north all the way down into the city of Milan.

We started our ride in the small town of Nosate which is about a 30 minute drive from our house. We loaded all five bikes in and on our cars and off we went.

We started off on our bike ride mid-morning and cycled a few hours before stopping for a picnic on the lawns of the Villa Gaia in the town of Robecco Sul Naviglio.

The car-free cycle paths are beautifully maintained and wind along the canals through lush forested areas.  We were lucky with perfect warm weather and blue skies (without any mosquitoes!).

Every so often you have to cycle through an old town many of which have quaint little restaurants and bars in which you can stop to eat or have a drink.

Along the canals you come across many of these old abandoned Renaissance villas.  Who on earth abandons a mansion such as this?

It’s possible to ride along the canals from Lago Maggiore (Sesto Calende) all the way into Milan.  This time we managed a little more than 40 km but we hope to do the entire ride into Milan next year.

I really do live in a beautiful place.


17 Jul

The other day we all piled into the car and headed north to visit family in Belgium for a few weeks.  We started our day in 37 degree heat and air conditioning and ended our 12 hour voyage in 14 degrees and heating.

We are now in the land of chocolate, waffles, beer, french fries, mussels and so much more.  The kids are over the moon to be with their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

After a few days of visiting various family members we headed to the sea.  We arrived in the pouring rain to a beautiful seaside apartment (thanks dear Julie!).  This morning we woke up to cloudy skies but dry weather and decided to do a long cycle ride to Holland and back.  The goal for the kids to get through the 50 km bike ride was the promise of the best pancakes in Belgium at the end.  We all got through it and they were indeed delicious.

During our cycle trip we came across an entire town in Holland that was transformed into an outdoor rommelmarkt (flea market).  We stopped and browsed through it and ended up buying these vintage umbrellas.  The kids were excited until hearing from the enthusiastic seller that he found them in an old box from the 50’s in a dead woman’s house.  They are in great shape and were a bargain at 5euro for all three.

I also came across this old book about making old scary looking dolls!  For 1 euro I was tempted to buy it.

Pensive cyclist dreaming of pancakes.


Japan with kids #8

11 Apr

On bike ride around Kyoto.  Many temples/shrines were visited, many kilometres were cycled.  And there was only one small accident involving Chloe (surprise) and a pile of garbage bags.At the entrance to Fushimi Inari Shrine.  The colours were so vibrant.Four kilometer walk up the mountain under thousands of red gates (at Fushimi Inari).  On the way back down the path.Cherry blossom bee.Very old door at Nijo Castle.A visit to the world famous Zen Garden of Ryonji.
Luckily for once I was actually looking in front of me while biking.  This could have had a painful ending.

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