Our Tour of Tuscany – Autumn edition has just wrapped up and it was yet another beautiful experience in a truly special land.
It really is a joy to ride in the hills of Tuscany, especially the Chianti and Val d’Orcia regions. Each season is different and beautiful in their own way; we start with June and the warmth of late Spring/early Summer, and a countryside that is green and filled with wild flowers. July has the heat of summer holidays and golden fields of wheat harvest, which then brings us to September, a season where truffles & porcini mushrooms are in abundance, and the landscape displays varying shades of brown tilled earth, together with tinges of green from fresh Autumn showers.
The riding during our Tuscany cycling tours is absolute bliss, with continually undulating terrain, and every day a few medium climbs punctuating the day, and also a few “little chilli peppers” thrown in, to test the resolve and legs. But what goes up, must come down…..and the descending after each climb is beautiful and free flowing, and with open corners making the hard work and effort a distant memory….well, until aperitivo time when the stories of the day unfold, and the experiences retold.
However, this was a tour that was not just about the hills, it was about where the road took us. We rolled through beautiful little hamlets, saw Siena from multiple directions before riding into its historic Campo, rode past many of the literal postcard locations of stone villas with long and twisting cypress lined driveways, the location of the Gladiator film and the most photographed scenes of the Val d’Orcia, and finally up to the 14 medieval towers of San Gimignano.
We talk a lot about the landscape. For us, it’s a huge part of the story of each region and Tuscany has been a special place and landscape for centuries. We start off our cycling tour of Tuscany in the green hills of Chianti north of Siena, meander through the more arid Crete Senesi and the Val d’Orcia south of Siena, and then across the Colli Senesi wine region, into San Gimignano. On our rides, we enjoyed quick glimpses of sunlit hills as we descended, and longer views of hilltop towns as we marched our way up. All of these special moments in time, and reflections of the idyllic landscapes around us, will be forever etched in our memories.
No day is complete without a memorable experience at the table. There were so many new flavours and local specialties to sample; from delicious mid ride pinse, to pici pasta with ragu, pecorino from Pienza, liquorice gelato and chocolate mousse, gnocchetti with truffles, our own Tuscan grigliata, crostini neri, pappardelle con cinta senese…… and then there was the vino!
Each tour is different, but it’s always the people that make it great.
You know that when someone says “my stomach is hurting because of laughing so much” that the group is relaxed and content. Every day, both on the bike and off, there was great conversation, lots of friendly banter and jokes, and new friendships formed…..these 9 days literally flew by.
Saluti to a very special group of riders and non-riding partners who joined us in Tuscany this September, and who embraced the beautiful experience of the changing of the seasons and all that it brings, with joy and ease.
We have a June & September edition of our Tour of Tuscany, and if you would like more details about either of these tours, click here or if you have a specific question, click here to send us an email.