Autumn biking, AbruzzoI often find myself missing home when the autumn months roll around. As much as I love Rome, there is no transition between the seasons in the Eternal City, no colorful fall foliage.

This is why I enjoy visiting nearby Abruzzo during these months, to enjoy the sights, smells and climate of the autumns I miss.

Although the foliage isn’t as vibrant as the New England falls I grew up with, it is very beautiful in the mountains and never fails to put me in a good mood.

Autumn biking, AbruzzoIt’s also a great time to get out and enjoy those colors on my mountain bike.

I’d been having a hard time managing a weekend out in Abruzzo this fall. Every weekend has been either a tennis tournament for my older son or a track meet for my younger.

Autumn biking, AbruzzoAfraid I’d lose the colors all together, I decided to accept I’d be seeing them with only 50% of the family. My younger son and I set out for a long, holiday weekend in Abruzzo.

Unfortunately, my son and I had the misfortune to wake up Sunday morning, 30 October with the whole house shaking. We quickly learned it was the 6.5 magnitude earthquake with the epicenter in beautiful Norcia, in nearby Umbria. For the rest of the day, there were aftershocks.

Autumn biking, AbruzzoSadly, this is a region of Italy that knows earthquakes far too well. Umbria, the Marche and Abruzzo and their beautiful, medieval mountain towns along Italy’s Apennine spine have experienced more than their fair share of earthquakes, particularly in the past two months.

I think we join everyone in hoping the current wave of tremors will stop and that these tiny mountain communities will no longer have to live with a constant sense of anxiety.

Autumn biking, AbruzzoMy son and I spent a beautiful day biking around the town’s Arano trail, then taking the bike path from our town of Ovindoli to neighboring towns along the Altopiano delle rocche – the high plain.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, blue skies and bright sunshine, but ooh, that wind! It was fine when we were protected on the mountain loop trail, but biking against the wind from one town to another wore us both out.

Autumn biking, AbruzzoWe were happy to take a little time out for lunch at a restaurant along the route: pasta with wild boar sauce for my son and pasta with wild mushrooms for me. Now that’s the perfect way to recharge.

As always, we spent a beautiful weekend recharging in this slice of mountain paradise. Mountain biking and fall foliage certainly make a perfect combination.

Soon enough, we’ll be back to admire these same landscapes covered in white, but this is a truly special time in Abruzzo. If you have the chance, don’t miss out on these autumn colors.

Autumn biking, Ovindoli, AbruzzoAutumn biking, Abruzzo