What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giro di PEZ: Vive Il Sogno

The Italians have a phrase that best sums up a week like this…”Vive il sogno”…Live the dream. Week two the Giro d’Italia is about to begin… and we’re jumping back into the fray to sample the food, the history, the scenery… and the best bike racing in the world.

My pre-Giro home for the next couple of days in the city of Reggio nell’Emilia. I need to camp out for a while to shake out the jet lag and get my bearings again. The journey from San Francisco to here took a whopping 21 hours…planes, trains and plenty of walking finally landed me smack-dab in the middle of the Giro.

We’ll catch-up to the race again at l’arrivo on Sunday at the Ferrari test track in Firorano Modenese, then the partenza here in Reggio Emilia on Monday.

The pace of life is much … s l o w e r… here. No one seems to be in a hurry. I’m accustomed to the hustle and hassle of the SF bay area… it’s a bit of a culture shock, and it takes a while to get acclimated to this way of living.

The perfect way to start an Italian day…caffe Americano and an apple torte. The price? Just 1.90 Euros – about US$2.56. It beats the hell out of Starbucks. I could get used to this.

Italy is a nation dominated by the “The 3 Cs”…calcio, ciclismo and cattolica…soccer, cycling and the Catholic church. But not necessarily in that order.

A morning ritual…check out the latest Giro news in the paper-of-record, La Gazetta dello Sport.

Contrary to what you might think, Reggio Emilia had not gone Giro-crazy. Not yet, anyway. We’re still a couple of days away from the stage start, and life goes on as usual.

Come Monday, the fans, the media, the teams and all the hangers-on will hit town, and Reggio Emilia will be buzzin’ with bikes.

The neutralized start will cruise down the narrow streets of the city center before heading out on the road to Lido di Camaiore.

But for now, this is what passes for a traffic jam in Reggio Emilia.

Oh, did I mention that life is lived at a slower pace here? Not long after morning caffe, it’s time for lunch. Prosciutto and succo di arancia… and La Gazzetta, of course.

The city is dripping with history. Reggio Emilia was founded in about 200 BC, and Christianity came in the First Century. Since then, it’s been socialist, Fascist and finally democratic.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the red-white-and-green flag of the Italian republic…the “Tricolore”…was first flown in Reggio Emilia.

True, we’re here for the bike racing, but to many, Italy will always stand out for two things…

…the food…

…and the beautiful women.

We promise to bring you the best from the Giro all week.

Now, where was I… oh yeah, Vivendo il sogno.

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