Summer in Tuscany means bright colour, brilliant light and long warm days. Towns come alive, people are out and about, cicadas and frogs perform nightly choruses and the bright colours of gelato, wildflowers and endless sunsets set the tone for the adventure of a lifetime. With a fantastic group of cyclists and their non riding partners joining us on our recent Tour of Tuscany, Summer was embraced in all its glory; from 8 days of challenging riding across Chianti, the Val d’Orcia and San Gimignano, to hikes, walking tours, visits to beautiful hill top towns and amazing degustation experiences of food and wine, guests enjoyed a true summer adventure on this Italian cycling tour, both on and off the bike.
The postcard vistas start very early, with magical glimpses of vineyards and castles at almost every turn.
A sumptuous breakfast is always on hand but we were lucky enough one day to enjoy a plate of summer plums, picked from the tree that morning.
Another challenging, but beautiful climb took us past vineyards, cypress trees and ancient cellars. As tough as it was, it set us up for a sensational free flowing descent.
A hike in the country side for our non riding partners immersed us in the brilliant colour and fragrance of Tuscany’s summer wildflowers.
With the under 23 Giro d’Italia closing a few roads in Chianti on our day 3 ride, we took to part of the L’Eroica permanent route and got a taste of the iconic Strade Bianche, as we made our way back to our villa.
A day trip to Siena took in the famous Piazza del Campo, home to the Palio di Siena, the historic horse race that takes place every Summer, and also a behind the scenes visit to one of the Contrade Museums to see how this slice of medieval history continues to live on in the spirits of the Sienese all year, every year. It’s a race that defines the town.
It’s hard not to be in awe of the ancient buildings and towns dotted throughout Tuscany as we slowly roll through another medieval village in the Val d’Orcia, after our mid ride coffee stop.
The start of an absolutely superb Tuscan long lunch, with five courses and three wines, was a leisurely affair as we let the afternoon drift by.
Magic on a plate. Our appetiser tasting plate brought together the most incredible blend of Tuscan flavours, with the highlight being a thinly sliced goose prosciutto in orange sauce. Buonissimo!
Olive groves, quiet winding roads and a stone hamlet on a hill. This is a vista that you never tire of as we roll around the ancient Tuscan hills.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the iconic Tuscan steak cooked over charcoal. Home cooked and accompanied by a sensational Rosso di Montalcino wine. It doesn’t get any better.
The Strade Bianche were a hit as we discovered another superb section, whetting the appetite of a couple of riders for their next possible adventure, L’Eroica.
Early morning tranquility.
Post ride celebrations after our final hill and ride into San Gimignano.
A glass of the local white, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and some beautiful local cheeses, was just enough to take the edge off our appetites at our celebratory aperitivo on our last night.
A fun and happy group celebrated 8 fantastic days of riding, food and wine in the streets of San Gimignano, with banter, laughs and a little singing. Salute to all who joined us in making this a cycling tour of Tuscany to remember.
If you’d like to join one of our Tours of Tuscany in 2020, click here for more details.