Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURThis post is a little late but I guarantee it’s worth the wait!

Late last September Colin and I returned to Italy to ride bikes again. This time we booked a self-guided tour through BikeTours.com with a local company in Umbria (Ecologico Tours). Our tour was 6 nights, each in a different hotel and our luggage was transferred for us each day while we rode. We rented gorgeous Wilier Triestina carbon fibre road bikes (I thought about bringing mine home with me) and navigated using a free iPhone app (Maps.me) that worked in airplane mode. The tour company gave us the routes and recommendations along the way and we were off and pedaling. Big love to Paulo from Ecologico Tours for setting us up with the bikes the first night, talking routes with us and generally being awesome and candid.

Each day we rode between 80-100kms and unfortunately I had to do it with a nasty sinus infection while taking some pretty strong antibiotics. I guess I didn’t “have” to do it but we’d been planning this trip for 3 years and I can be pretty stubborn. And it was a such gorgeous trip, despite the pain and discomfort.

I highly recommend going in shoulder season – barely any other tourists and everywhere was so sleepy and quiet. Seeing a country by bike is so wonderful – it slows you down to smell and hear and see a lot more than you would by car or train. And it makes the already amazing food mind-blowing because you’ve really earned it!

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Our first night in Assisi.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURJarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURWe walked through the gates into the old city the first evening and poked around. 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Our first day on the road from Assisi to Torgiano. The routes were spectacular – side roads winding through valley bottoms and up steep hills to medieval mountain-top towns. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURUp to Montefalco – first big climb of the day. “City of Wine, City of Oil”Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURView from the top Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURThis lunch was spectacular. Not only because we fell in love with the town but we managed to enjoy some local specialties. There was a festival of Black Celery happening so my dish was a lasagna made with “black” celery instead of noodles. Colin’s was wild boar ravioli and we finished with espressos and torte. Then we rode the rest of the day working it all off  😉

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More amazing ravioli and rocket salad with chicken and Parmesan. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURDay two Torgiano to Lago Trasimeno. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURJarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURI love that there is potable water available everywhere from ancient water fountains.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

Not actually smiling but grimacing.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURTook a wander around Trasimeno and ate more wild boar pasta – swoon.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

I was feeling so rough we took advantage of a built-in optional rest day and hung out in Passignano Sul Trasimeno for a day. 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This was, I think, my favourite day and one of the longest. We started with a beautiful, cool morning climb into the mountains away from the lake, descending into a valley and out again. Fast descents past forests and grazing sheep, through tiny towns and friendly locals always wanting to know where we were coming from and where we were headed. Then shaking their heads when we told them like we were insane! Haha! 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I made a slightly panicky call our tour company to let them know we left our passports at the hotel that morning. Oops. Luckily the tour owner, Petra, was able to collect them with our luggage and bring them to our next hotel. This explains the crazed look on my face. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURJust before lunch we climbed up to the town of Cortona, just over the border into Tuscany.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

Yes. I am wearing a fanny pack. In my defense it’s Arc’teryx so it doesn’t really count. It was actually the best thing ever – I filled it with a new Fuji XT-10 camera and a couple of tiny lenses and it was so light and easy to use! So much better than taking my giant Nikon and various lenses.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURLunch; homemade spinach and truffle gnocchi and giant noodles in a simple tomato sauce. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

My gorgeous bike. Also, the gorgeous leather handbag I fell in love with and had to buy. I came out of the store after spotting it and told Colin about it. And bless him, his response was, Get it – we’ll figure it out! Ha! So we carefully folded it, wrapped it in a bag around my handlebars, taped the hell out of it and I rode another 50kms to our next hotel. Totally worth it. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURClimbing up and away from Cortona then a killer, long descent for over 20kms.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

Our place in Umbertide – an old restored farmhouse.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURJarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURJarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

Wild boar, ravioli with black truffle, and super tender local steak.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

Day five we rode from Umbertide to the medieval hill town of Gubbio and stopped in this little town for a lunch snack and break. I don’t remember the name of the place but we saw it as we rode towards it, peeled off the main road and climbed the crazy-steep cobblestones up to the town centre. It was so fun to explore and marvel at everything. And it was so quiet and sleepy everywhere we went – I loved it! Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURAs we made our way through the mountains to Gubbio we followed an old Roman road with incredibly old Roman bridges. The history is hard to imagine.  Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR The town of Gubbio.Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURPasta with local mushrooms, wild boar and polenta, & pizza. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURDay six Gubbio back to Assisi – more rolling hills, sweaty climbs and fun descents. Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURWe had a tough time finding a good spot for lunch this day and ended up 5 kms out of our way in this town square because we refused to eat fast food. Hilariously the only place open was a little bar but the woman working there made us a kickass salad and three of the best tasting hot dogs I’ve ever had 🙂 Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOUR

To be completely honest this was taken moments before bursting into tears. The dizziness and exhaustion from the infection and antibiotics was taking its toll and I was reaching my breaking point. I’m so glad we did the trip but it was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve EVER done. It’s good to push yourself though right? Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURFinally back at our hotel in Assisi with an Aperol Spritz and non-lycra clothing! Jarusha Brown Photography, Vancouver lifestyle photographer, Vancouver portrait photographer, Vancouver travel photographer, squamish lifestyle photographer, Squamish photographer, SQUAMISH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER, BEST UMBRIAN CYCLING TOURStay tuned for the second part of the trip; eating our way around Rome, Colin’s bike race and the Amalfi Coast! xo