The adventure starts in Lucca, a wonderful ancient town hemmed in four kilometers of cycling walls. To experience Tuscany, see all the major sights and travel through incredibly varied landscapes which give each stage a unique ambience and awaken new emotions every day: this is our objective. To this end, besides the art and history of Lucca, Florence, Siena, Pisa and the ancient little towns of Gaiole, Radda in Chianti, Montalcino, Pietrasanta, San Gimignano, to name but a few, our tours will take you on a voyage of discovery of the enchanting Tuscan countryside through gentle yet colorful hills here, wooded areas verging on the mountainous there, abrupt climbs and descents among clay hillsides poor in vegetation but rich in experience. An itinerary, then, to savor the essence of Tuscany and the diversity and rivalry between the different areas, expressed in their traditions and also their food and wine: and you will have a chance to taste the best of them, from Lucca hills to the Chianti, until Brunello di Montalcino.
After the briefing in our shop in the historic city center of Lucca, you set off for an enjoyable ride with two climbs, Mount Serra and Mount Pitoro, both used by many professional cyclists (Cipollini, Bartali, Basso, Ulrich, Riis, Sorensen etc.) for their winter training. The first reaches an altitude of 900 m, including almost a kilometer with an 18% gradient; the second climbs steadily up to 224 m where the delightful panorama takes in Lake Massaciuccoli and the sea. The mandatory stop of the day is, of course, Pisa and the souvenir photo with the bicycle under the Leaning Tower is a must.
Did you know that Collodi, Pinocchio's village, is near Lucca? You climb up for 400 m to Matraia, then from there, go downhill along an undulating panoramic road for about 12 km to Collodi, where a photo under the giant wooden statue of the puppet is obligatory. This is the start of the climb of about 700 m up the Trebbio, followed by a delightful ride down to Bagni di Lucca, famous for its spa muds and the perfect place for a snack at the Circolo dei Forestieri or one of the city centers bars.
The journey is mostly through countryside, first on the olive oil and wine routes in the DOC areas of Colline Lucchesi and Montecarlo, bringing us into contact with our first traditional Tuscan cuisine. The local roads take us through small towns, past rural churches, farms and wineries to Montecarlo, a medieval village at the top of a rolling green hill famous for its wines. Our escape in the countryside continues through the magical land where Leonardo da Vinci was born and developed his genius. Montalbano and Vinci, through gentle hills and classic Tuscan scenery, the venue for this year's cycling world championships in September. And then further south towards Montelupo Fiorentino to Signa, traversing the Parco Mediceo around Poggio alla Malva, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Arno and Pesa valley as far as Chianti as you rest between vines, olive groves and ancient ruins. We are very close to Florence; once arrived at our destination we abandon the bikes and pretend to be "normal" tourists for a while as we explore the countless courtyards, squares, palaces, museums, churches, markets and boutiques the city has to offer.
Today's excursion, the middle stage of the Florence Granfondo, takes you through an enchanting hilly landscape with two climbs of more than 800 m and a further two of about 400 m each. The Mugello area is famous for pastures and knife production. The small town of Scarperia is worth a visit.
The first tour of the Siena area crosses the south of Chianti. There are no great climbs, but a constant series of ups and downs which you can feel in your legs at the end of the day. You ride through the vineyards of Chianti Classico, the world’s most famous wine for excellent quality and the unmistakable black cockerel logo.
Along the route there are numerous small villages such as Castelnuovo Berardenga, Castello di Brolio, Gaiole, Radda and Castellina.
At Gaiole, a visit to the Eroica shop with its extraordinary collection of classical bikes is a must, while Radda in Chianti, enclosed in its medieval walls, is one of Chianti’s most beautiful villages, together with Castellina in Chianti. We recommend you visit the Chianti Classico Museum and Enoteca Porciatti wine bar and shop in Radda, perhaps for a snack with traditional products, then the Castellina ice-cream shop in the center of the village with the same name.
For a wine tasting, a visit to the Enoteca Fonterutoli wine bar and shop, 4 km after Castellina in Chianti, is mandatory.
The day’s excursion heads south towards the clay hills of Siena. You often seem to be riding through a moonscape, the vegetation is different, but there is no shortage of olive groves and vineyards. You cross the area famous for producing Brunello wine, then after a brief but steep climb, come to the village of Montalcino, steeped in history and full of wine bars and shops. Impossible to offer advice on where to go for a tasting as all the wine is good here. Just go into the wine bar that appeals to you most and ask what they recommend.
After Montalcino, you come to Buonconvento, another splendid village where, even if you don't want to actually stop, it is still worth entering inside the walls and visiting it by bike.
You then head north to the Castle of Monteriggioni, still with much of the 13th century structures. A photo and a visit to the walkways along the walls are mandatory. You continue to San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where it is worth lingering to visit the town center enclosed in its walls with its characteristic towers.
Here the typical wine is Vernaccia, one of the few whites in an area dominated by reds. In the city center, there are numerous wine bars and shops where you can enjoy a tasting, while the Dondoli ice-cream shop in Piazza della Cisterna has won the prize for the world's best ice-cream.
|LUCCA FIRENZE SIENA 12 DAYS 11 NIGTHS
|Accomodation in double room with breackfast
|Supplement high season 1/5 al 31/10
|Supplement single room
|Third person in triple room
|Wilier GTR Ultegra disc
|Wilier Cento1 hybrid
|Transfer from Pisa airport or railway station to Lucca
|Transfer from Florence airport/railway station to Lucca
|Transfer from Siena to Pisa airport/railway station
|Transfer from Siena to Florence airport/railway station
|NOTTE SUPPLEMENTARE PER PERSONA