Cycling in Italy, a Pleasure
When cycling in Belgium, the experience can differ quite a bit depending on the region. In Wallonia, almost all cyclists greet each other. In Flanders, I have adjusted both my expectation and practice. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and all that…
Cycling in Italy, whether in Tuscany or Puglia, is different in that cyclists and pedestrians exchange greetings, as well. Construction workers and farmers offer words of encouragement to passing cyclists. In some countries, there is much talk about ‘cycling culture’ despite scant evidence of its existence. Italians don’t talk about it; it just is. Like the way a real culture is.
On my first day out on a rented bike in Sicily, getting acclimated to the heat, I experienced something for the first time. A native on a Cervelo sped past me. As he overtook me, he turned his head around to say, ‘Salve!’ Nobody has ever said hello to me whilst overtaking, and there have been many that have shown me their rears.
It’s great to cycle in Italy.