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Enrico Toti statue (from behind), Villa Borghese

Italy’s One-Legged Cyclist Turned World War I Hero

Enrico Toti may have the most fascinating World War I story I’ve ever read:

Enrico lost his left leg while working for Italian railways, at the age of 24. After his injury he became a cyclist. In 1911, riding on a bicycle with one leg, he cycled to Paris, and then through Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, up to Finland and Lapland. From there, via Russia and Poland, he returned to Italy in June 1912. In January 1913 Toti started cycling again, this time in Egypt; from Alexandria, he reached the border with Sudan where the English authorities, considering the trail too dangerous, ordered him to end the journey, and sent him to Cairo where he came back to Italy. When war broke out between Italy and the Austrian Empire, Toti tried to volunteer for the Italian army but was not accepted due to his injury. Undaunted, he reached the frontline with his bicycle and managed to serve as an unpaid, unregistered, fully non-regulation “civilian volunteer” attached to several units.

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Falling For Italy: Three Fun Activities to Put on Your Italy Travel Itinerary

Italy is a wondrous place to be in the fall: leaves are changing, fall fashion is beckoning from store windows and on the perfectly trim bodies of Italian males and females, and truffles are appearing on menus throughout the country.

This month for the Italy Blogging Roundtable, my colleagues and I decided we would write about “fall.” Not autumn, but fall. So that left me a little bit of room for interpretation. But I decided to write about “fall” in a different way by highlighting a few interesting activities that take you away from the art and the shopping and the endless indulging of food and wine–all fabulous things–but not the end-all-and-be-all of what Italy has to offer for active travelers.

The following three activities are focused on “fall” but are not strictly reserved for autumn.

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