Tuscany is the cradle of the Renaissance and of the Italian language. Just two of many reasons to be excited to discover the region that best represents the balance of strikingly different northern and southern Italy.
This cycling tour features some of the must-to-see places of Tuscany, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Pienza, Siena and Orcia Valley. Other highlights include the towns of Montalcino, Radda and Gaiole in Chianti and other lesser-known villages such as Lucignano and Serre di Rapolano. You will discover local wines, olive oil, and cheese through tastings and visits, and learn about local recipes during our meals and a hands-on cooking class.
Top your journey with the Eroica to experience the values of a past cycling on an exhilarating ride with vintage bikes and gears, in addition to feed zones featuring local foods and wines. L’Eroica started to protect the last “strade bianche” (it literally means ‘white roads’ and indicates the gravel roads in the area) that you will enjoy in the heart of Tuscany on your bike with more than 5000 riders.
Tuscany has had three major periods in its history, starting with the Etruscan civilization from the 8th BC, principally in the towns of Volterra, Cortona, Chiusi and Arezzo. Then the Romans took over and, in Tuscany, founded Siena, Lucca, Florence and Pisa that continued to grow in importance and size even after the demise of the Empire in 476 AC.
In the Middle Ages, particularly during the Renaissance, Tuscany and especially Florence reached the peak of their importance with the Medici, a powerful family of merchants and bankers that for three centuries ruled central Italy and attracted great artists through their patronage.
After the unification of Italy in 1861, Tuscany was included in the new Kingdom. In 1865, Florence became the capital of the new country until 1870 when Rome was finally conquered and incorporated into what was still a monarchy at that time. Only after World War II did Italians vote for a Republic, at which point the sitting king was exiled.
One of the best ways to discover the real Tuscany (and not only) is through a visit or a stay in an agriturismo, a family-run “farm stay” combining agriculture and tourism. Typically, agriturismi feature room and board in a farmhouse, which has been partially or totally transformed to provide accommodation and, in some cases, also meals.
Through meeting the people behind your food, tasting local recipes with their makers, and sampling the culture and traditions, you will richly discover this magic corner of Italy.
What are you waiting for? Ti aspettiamo! (We are waiting for you!) A presto! (See you soon!)
CYCLING TOUR IN TUSCANY AND EROICA
Minimum of 6 participants, maximum of 16, with a maximum guide-to-guest ratio of 1 to 8
DATES (7 days)
October 1-7, 2019 | September 29-October 5, 2020
For more info, dates and availability please contact us.
Per person in double occupancy: from $3,790 to $4,190
(this tour will feature elegant 4-star hotels and tour price will vary depending on group size)
Single Supplement: $690
In addition, we pledge to donate more than 1% of your trip price to food literacy and environmental non profit organizations
- Exposure to local culture and history with native, bilingual, experienced Tour Leaders
- Tastings of regional Slow Food Presidia and visits to local wine, cheese, and olive oil makers
- Experience the authentic Tuscan cuisine featuring fresh and seasonal ingredients
- Enjoy some of the best white wines of the region such as Vernaccia of San Gimignano and Vermentino and the red wines of Brunello, Chianti and Super Tuscans
- Elegant and traditional accommodation in hand-selected 4-star hotels
- Be part of the exciting event of L’Eroica and experience cycling as the pioneers of this sport used to do in the last century
- Strolls through must-see Tuscan towns such as Montalcino, Pienza and Siena, and the small villages of Lucignano, Gaiole and Radda in Chianti
- Exhilarating rides and opportunities to improve your cycling skills with your Tour Leaders
- Traditional, local recipes to bring home with you!
On this 6-night tour you will experience Tuscan cuisine through visits to small producers and local agriturismi, a family-run “farm stay” combining agriculture and tourism, usually sourcing their ingredients mostly locally. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy different activities such as walking, bicycling, shopping, relaxing, and meeting the inspiring local Italians, for an authentic full immersion in the local culture, history, art and traditions in this magic corner of Italy.
Top your journey with the Eroica to experience the values of a past cycling on an exhilarating ride with vintage bikes and gears, in addition to feed zones featuring local foods and wines.
If you prefer to arrive the day before please let us know and we will help you organize your pre night at the same hotel used on tour, and early transfer from Terontola-Cortona train station at additional price. This is recommended just to allow you more time to settle in and get ready for the tour.
Cycling Route Info on Day 1: Main Route: 17mi/1200ft of elevation gain | Extra loop adds: 14mi/1300ft
Cycling Route Info on Day 2: Main Route 28mi/2100ft | Extra loop adds: 12mi/900ft
Catch our 45-mins group transfer to our 4-star hotel for the next four nights. Check in and relax before meeting your guides for a light lunch and introduction to the tour.
The white roads of Tuscany are a rite of passage for many Italian cyclists. Our journey begins in the Province of Siena, at the geographic heart of the Italian peninsula. First spins take us to the quintessential hilltop town of Serre di Rapolano and charming village of Lucignano, a stunning example of medieval town planning.
Later, we ride the Chiana Valley for an unforgettable wine tasting. Other highlights include a visit at the farm of a local breeder of the Chianina cow to learn about this former Slow Food presidium.
Cycling Route Info on Day 3: Main Route 33mi/3150ft | Extra loop adds: 16mi/1080ft
Cycling Route Info on Day 4: Main Route 54mi/4180ft | Extra loop adds: 12mi/1000ft
In the next two days we’ll visit more of the Province of Siena, with rides through the Val d’Orcia, offering extra loops on some L’Eroica gravel roads (for a preview), and the world-famous Crete Senesi, which looks like nowhere else on Earth.
Of course, no exploration of southern Tuscany could be complete without visits to the fabled towns of Pienza, and Montalcino. In Pienza, we hear from a local cheese maker how ancient production methods are preserved to this day, and see if we can taste the difference.
A hands-on cooking class and dinner will be featured and you will be invited to join us for a team effort off the bike to celebrate at the table the Tuscan food and wines!
Cycling Route Info on Day 5: Main Route 37mi/2900ft | Extra loop adds: 8mi/900ft
Cycling Route Info on Day 6: Eroica routes range between 29-129mi and elev. gain 2300-12000ft | Not riding Eroica? Ride in Chianti 32mi/2880ft
Our final two days will be spent in another 4-star hotel and include an invigorating climb up to Radda in Chianti enclosed in its formidable walls, and visit to Gaiole just to its east, starting point of L’Eroica. Today you will not only pick up your bib number, but you will also start to experience the Eroica atmosphere with the local vintage clothing market, the food and wine exhibitors, surrounded by cyclists from all over the world.
Those who will be riding “the hero’s journey” on the last day can try out the vintage bikes on some gravel in advance. Collectively, we will commemorate the tour over an utterly Tuscan final dinner, replete with local flavors and wines, and celebrate our hero riders. Benvenuti in Toscana!
After breakfast at 8:30am catch our 45-mins group transfer to Montevarchi train station, or feel free to extend your stay in the area.
- 6 nights accommodation in 4-star hotels
- 5 dinners and 3 lunches
- 1 olive oil tasting in agriturismo and 1 visit and tasting to a cheese maker
- Visit at Abbey of Mount Oliveto
- Exhilarating rides in Crete Senesi, Chianti area and in Orcia, Arbia and Chiana valleys
- 1 wine tasting and visit to local winery
- Explore the UNESCO sites of Siena, Pienza and Orcia Valley; discover the historic towns of Montalcino, Gaiole, Radda and Castelnuovo Berardenga
- 2 bilingual professional Tour Leaders
- 1 comfortable 9-seat van available for transportation and assistance during bike rides including water, fresh fruits and snacks
- Specialized Sirrus aluminum hybrid or carbon Bianchi Intenso road bike + Garmin Touring Edge or 820 unit (if you have one, bring yours and we’ll upload the routes onto your unit)
- Guaranteed entry for the Eroica (medical certification is required)
- 2-day vintage bike rental and 1 vintage wool cycling jersey
- One group transfer from Terontola train station at the beginning of tour
- One group transfer to Montevarchi train station at the end of the tour
- Local taxes & gratuities for luggage porters and restaurants servers during tour
- 3 lunches and 1 dinner on your own
- Alcoholic beverages (including wine and spirits)
- Round-trip airfare and expenses to/from the tour
- Trip cancellation, baggage loss or travel delay insurance (this optional coverage is highly recommended and is not provided by Food.Stories.Travel.)
- Gratuities for your Tour Leaders
- Personal expenses, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, laundry, emails, snacks, gifts
Cristiano Bonino has organized and led tours for North Americans all over Italy for more than thirteen years. Currently, he resides in the Boston area with his American wife. Cristiano likes to say that he has been “hybridizing” over the past years in the U.S. He mixes the best of the both American and Italian cultures, which he loves, but never forgets his native roots in Turin, in Piedmont.
Davide Marchegiano has designed and led tours all over Italy and Europe for the last sixteen years; he loves to teach Italian using games and songs, as well as to bring guests to meet his many friends across his country. Davide was born in Ivrea, in Piedmont and he loves hiking and everything with pedals and wheels: he’s been riding and racing bikes for 30 years.
Your itinerary has been meticulously hand-designed by Food.Stories.Travel. and his team. This journey is based on their favorite flavors and unforgettable past experiences. Every establishment you will visit has been personally vetted, tested and enjoyed by Cristiano himself and his team of experienced Tour Leaders.
In some cases we’ll take you to places you could not find by yourself or in a guidebook.