In 2014, we were planning our annual trip to Italy to visit our kit suppliers, as we had done for many years prior as a cycling clothing brand, when Damian decided he would put his name into the ballot to ride L’Eroica. Shortly following his entry submission, he was accepted into the ride and off we went to Italy in mid September. Damian’s experience of riding L’Eroica that first time was summed up in a blog article he wrote with one simple line…. ‘it is the best day you’ll experience on a bike’.
Following L’Eroica, we were enjoying an aperitivo in the beautiful town of Lucca, when enquiries from hopeful clients filtered in fast. We were overwhelmed by those asking if we would consider offering tours to L’Eroica and Tuscany….and that was where it all began.
Back in Gaiole, the home of L’Eroica, we found ourselves scouting out possible accommodation options for a group tour the following year.
Call it what you will – luck, fate, a gift from above – but while meeting the hosts of a beautiful Tuscan villa, situated just 400m from the start line of L’Eroica, we knew that we’d found ‘our calling’ running tours in Italy, and in particular Tuscany.
Tuscany has always held a very special place in our hearts. As much as we travel all over Italy and love the many beautiful places and experiences we are fortunate to enjoy, Chianti in Tuscany has become our Italian home.
A favourite book of ours, ‘A Thousand Days in Tuscany,’ so succinctly summarises our sentiments and the the allure of the region:
‘We’ve come here to make a life scrubbed clean of clutter, a life that follows the rhythms and rituals of this rural culture. A life, as they say here, that’s made ‘a misura d’uomo’, to the measure of man. We’re hoping this is a place that still remembers real life, the hard parts and the joyful ones. Dolce e salata, sweet and salty. It may be that everywhere in the world there is the possibility to live with this balance, but it’s here we’ve come to look for it…. because we think it might be here where we can learn which way progress runs.”
For so many of us, life is busy and fast, and often catches up with us, calling us to take a break. It is this break, this pause, that we aim to help our guests make the most of in Italy.
Our goal is to create truly immersive experiences that take you behind the tourist curtain and more into the depths of the Italian regional culture; often by way of the ride routes selected, our support crew on the road, the coffee and lunch stops, the regional food and wine shared, our traditional accommodation choices, our incredibly hospitable villa hosts, and also by sharing the table with local friends.
We each bring different things, and together our Italian adventure continues to unfold and deepen.