In 1985 I spent 6 mos. in Italy, working for a bicycle racing and touring company. I did get to race too. I was in really good shape then. I was riding about 250 miles per week including doing some small mountains. We did train up one mountain pass of 1600 meters that took seven and a half hours round trip. We were headquartered at the foothills of the Dolomites in Treviso Province about 50 km. from Venice. We were in a small village of about 600 people. All were more than friendly; they embraced me as part of their community. I would love to go back when I get the chance. Soon.