My love affair with Italy is long-standing and so very strong – it’s like every trip back there keeps drawing me even more.
As you already know, after our first time driving from Milan to the Amalfi coast in a rickshaw, I’ve long since been a fan of slow travel in Italy.
The thing about in a rickshaw is that you can only ever drive so fast and so you get to see so much more of Italy and actually visit and explore absolutely beautiful places you’d never even thought of visiting.
Needless to say, when we arrived back in Milan to do this all over again – except this time, in the Northern region of Lombardy in Italy, I was soooooooo very excited.
We get our rickshaws with The GIRA – shirt for The Great Italian Rickshaw Adventure (you can see more about them on their website www.TheGIRA.it) and it’s so amazing because they basically take out all the hassle out of organising the journey for you.
Your itinerary is still yours to plans and own but they’ll sort out things like your insurance, your accommodation (if you want – we tend to do this as they book us into fantastic Italian farmhouses, which you already know I have a penchant for) and even a quick class to show you how to ride the rickshaws (it’s super easy).
We arrived into Milan in the middle of the night and so we pretty much went to sleep straight away!
We stayed at a hotel near the train station which was pretty convenient for the next day as we would have to catch a train to pick up our rickshaws.
(*Would also have been convenient for getting in from the airport but we took a taxi instead).
After a quick train ride, and over breakfast we met some of the other folk who would be going on the rickshaw rides with us (such a great bunch – seriously, it’s one of the not-so-many times when I’ve left a trip really missing our newfound team).
We re-acquainted ourselves with our rickshaws again and soon were off in search of the sights and sounds of Lombardy!
It felt so familiar being back in the rickshaw and you just couldn’t help but be so excited to be back on the road again!
Our very first stop on our rickshaw ride was the pretty little town of Vigevano!
Italian towns are just amazing – I think they’re just so beautiful without even trying. In any other country, a place like Vigevano would be something that everyone would know about but because Italy has so many beautiful cities and towns, it’s one not many of us back in the UK know about.
Suffice to say, I was very glad we got to visit!
We parked our rickshaws in Piazza Ducale, the town square and headed off in search of the sights of the town… or at least as much as we could fit in before lunch!
My absolute favourite sight here though has to be the cathedral here – that place is just so impressive.
From the outside, it looks like any other regular cathedral but once you step in, you’ll see that it’s so much more than that!
After spending a fair amount of time marvelling at it, we headed out to see more of the town, before quickly giving into the increasingly louder rumbling in our tummies and heading to a restaurant in Piazza Ducale for lunch.
For lunch, we started off with a bit of ham, before moving onto the risotto and a crumbly, flaky cream and summer berries dessert (whose name I have no clue – I don’t think I even remembered to ask at the time; it did taste really good though).
Lunch almost went by in a blur as I tried to figure out what our plans were for the day while simultaneously wolfing down the delicious food! Almost a waste really as I really like to slow down when it comes to food and take it all in. (You know how much I love my food!)
After lunch, we hit the open roads again – though I have to admit, I was so glad I brought a jacket as it was slightly chilly, which I expected given the time of the year though this chill didn’t last for long on this trip.
We made a quick pit stop in Pavia to stretch our feet (totally unnecessary but hey – why not?) and check out the town (also an excuse to get an espresso).
We then carried on through Lombardy’s beautiful countryside till we arrived at the Travaglino wine estate in Calvignano where we would not only get to go on a try some wines and have dinner but would also be spending the night (in a different building from the winery, obviously otherwise I make no promises as to what could have happened to the wines there 😀 ).
We started off with a tour through the winery, which has been here for generations and is something of a heritage brand here…
…before making our way over to the tasting rooms where the real action lay!
The rest of the evening was spent indulging in many a glass of delicious reds, whites and sparkling wines! Just the way every Italian evening should be spent. 😉
After a couple of hours here, we headed over to our home for the night and made ourselves at home with another bottle of wine.
I would love to say that I fell asleep straight away but in my excitement, I had to share what we’d been doing all day and decided to edit this video below from our day here. (Went to bed late that night but it was totally worth it! 😉 )
Even with the grey weather, it was amazing to be back in Italy and back in our familiar and rather fun rickshaw!