It is quite well known that Tuscany features incredible landscapes in a rich palette of warm colours. Whether it’s the golden fields of Summer, the region’s lush green foliage or the bright blue, clear skies across all seasons, Tuscany’s light, darkness and colour are a joy to experience. Here we share with you 5 moments experienced under Tuscan skies on our Tour of Tuscany and L’Eroica Cycling Tours, that are just magic.
Sunrise over the rolling hills
Sunrise over the gentle rolling hills around our little village of Gaiole in Chianti. The sky nearly always lights up in beautiful soft pink tones and on the occasional morning, fog rolls into the valley and offers up a dream like scene. Morning walks are calm and tranquil, and with views over the picturesque town and across to the vineyards on the hills, the glow of morning light brings with it the feeling of yet another day in paradise.
Lush green foliage
The locals say that bella Toscana is still 70% forest and as you ride around the Chianti area and other parts of the region, you see just how deep and variable the lush green foliages can be. While oak trees, maples, poplars and juniper are found in abundance across the region, the magic lies in the iconic vistas of the tall, strong and charming cypress trees that line historic estates, planted with endless rows of vines and olive trees. These distinct trees and foliages, mixed with little stone hamlets, help make Tuscany a region that is as calm and tranquil, as it is beautiful.
Aperitivo at Sunset
One of our favourite experiences on tour after a day on the bike and the indulgence of our long lunch, is watching the sun set over the rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia. Laden with wheat swaying in the light breeze, and with dams and farmhouses all in view, our aperitivo at sunset is just magic. This is a change of pace mid tour, where we stay in and fully immerse into our tranquil surroundings. Conversation flows and reflective moments are treasured as the changing colours of the sky unfold before us and we savour a little Rosso di Montalcino and a few local tastes, out in the beautiful, warm air.
Riding under a bright blue sky
For us, riding in Tuscany is just brilliant. The weather is not always perfect but gee it goes close, and when you roll around the hills, under what appears to be a constant and impossibly bright blue sky, there’s nowhere in the world you’d rather be. The contrast of the intensity of the blue, against the warm golds and softness of the greens, is just magic.
Cooking on charcoal under clear night Skies,
The day we transfer from the green forests of Chianti to the mostly bare rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia, is the day we also have our Italian B-B-Q under the clear, star laden Tuscany sky.
The fire is lit in the afternoon to ensure there is a good bed of coals. A usual Tuscan BBQ consists of costolette di maiale (pork ribs), sausages and the Bistecca Fiorentina. The costolette takes the longest to cook, so they go on first, followed by the sausages and lastly, the bistecca. By the time the bistecca is ready, sunset has come and dusk has gone, and we are left to enjoy our secondi in the soft twilight, with Montalcino sparking off in the distance. This is one of our favourite food experiences across all of our tours as it gives us an opportunity to cook with our hosts and share some of the secrets to the Italian way of life.
Stargazing on cool nights in Autumn
Warm days and clear, cool nights typify Autumn in Tuscany. Layers are required to comfortably navigate the day’s changing temperatures. Starting out cool in the morning, a gilet is definitely in order, however soon you will be down to just your jersey through the middle of the day and then as dusk approaches, so does the cool slowly seep back with the darkness. While everyone knows about Tuscany’s landscapes and colour, very few people know how incredible stargazing is here. This is because it is one of few areas in Italy, if not the world, with very little light pollution due to low infrastructure and population density. While a pitch black sky is amazing for stargazing, and possibly writers and artists looking for inspiration, for us these cool, dark nights are perfect for finishing with a little digestive to keep you warm, before the short stroll back to our villa….stargazing.