Wandering into the old part of Figline Valdarno on a Sunday afternoon, we heard quite a commotion coming from the town square. We worked our way through the narrow alleys, a maze of tunnels between buildings from Medieval times. Laundry hanging from windows and flowers spilling over balconies, reminded us that this old village is vibrant and fresh with life.
Following boisterous noise, we discovered the square overflowing with children, bicycles, parents and grand parents. The race was about to begin. The youngest group of 8-year-olds lined up under a hot pink banner. Dressed in brilliant racing silks, they looked sophisticated, serious, and focused.
We found ourselves Snapping photos and counting laps, cheering them on as if we too were proud grandparents. When the older group made their second lap, we found our way to a cafe in the shade, ordered a drink and sat down to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
I painted the watercolor from memory two days later ~ my first sight of their colorful bicycle race day, embraced by the arms of the whole village.
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