A Tuscany Cycling Holiday: When Everything Aligns

When all of the tour elements align, such as guests being open to new experiences, riders being prepared for the tour and the weather being just about perfect…. everything seems to fit together and flow effortlessly.

This is what happened on our recent Tuscany cycling holiday which takes in the very best of three distinctly different areas of Tuscany, being Chianti, the Val d’Orcia and San Gimignano.

Grazie to a group of riders and non-riders who prepared well, embraced the flow of Tuscany and rolled with our program each day, bringing curiosity and energy that all helps to make a tour experience as good as this one.

We take in a great deal of country as we meander between the ancient villages, up to historic castles, roll into the medieval heart of Siena, and into as many of the beautiful hilltop towns as we can.

The Chianti region is famous for being the home of L’Eroica and the Strade Bianche, and it was great that everyone was up for the challenge of taking in a few of the gravel sections that are used by each of these events, because the terrain truly is spectacular.

The riding in Tuscany is challenging, but not tough. The average gradient of each of the climbs varies from 4-6%.  This is less than our Tour of Piemonte, where the climbs are a little shorter, but steeper at 6.5 – 7.5% average. However it’s more than our Best of Sicily bike tour where the average gradient is 3.5 – 4.5% (except Mt Etna). So for many riders, the climbing on our Tuscany tour provides a real sweet spot, making for many beautiful days on the bike.

Climbing is a funny thing; different gradients favour different styles and all of us have different power to weight ratios. On our recent cycling tour in Tuscany, everyone took on all of the climbs that came their way, with very little distance between each rider, as they set their own tempo. It was the sense of satisfaction we all had as we pushed up the 16% ‘pinches’ or past the signs indicating that we had just passed a 25% section, that created a great feeling of achievement individually, and as a group.

Tuscany’s like a diamond with many facets. Each facet is very different, but all of them are stunning and full of beauty in their own particular way.

Each day there were comments of, “this is my new favourite road”, or “my neck hurts from looking at everything” and “I didn’t realise just how beautiful Tuscany is”.

We have been riding here for over ten years and are still in awe of the stone hamlets, castles and cypress trees of Chianti and the stunning open and rolling hills of Val d’Orica. It’s a landscape that you need to feel, and the best way to do this is by bike.

Our non-riding partners also experienced an immersive experience of Tuscany’s many facets and beauty. From sightseeing and city tours to hikes in nature, and to learning about the quality and philosophy of food with a range of producers and a local chef’s inspiring cooking class, this was a program that brought out the best of Tuscany with a group who were so open to learning. 

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The flavours of Tuscany were also easily woven into each day; wood roasted coffee, panini from the local butcher’s truck at the road side with the most wonderful view, and the changing taste sensations at dinner each evening with in-season local produce, that made each day, perfect.

If you’d like to mix an immersive Tuscany experience with an amazing bike holiday, click the link here for more details. Or if you have a specific question you’d like to ask, click here.

Ciao.

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