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I felt like I was on holiday with friends
I recently joined Damian and Nancy on their tour of the wonderful Tuscany. Having never done anything like this before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, both from a cycling and après cycling perspective. I have to say, both surpassed my expectations and more! The cycling was challenging but nevertheless a great experience. Tuscany is truly magnificent, and Damian took us on an adventure, visiting the most wonderful towns and villages of Chianti and Val d’Orcia. Ascending the long climbs, we were rewarded with amazing views of such a beautiful part of the world.
The evenings were a match for the daytime cycling. We were exposed to incredible food and wine, starting with aperitivo, as you do! Nancy and Damian were magnificent hosts, encouraging their guests to feel relaxed in each other’s company. Meeting new people and gaining new friends was part of the experience. As a single traveller I felt like I was on holiday with friends, thanks to our wonderful hosts. This isn’t your typical tour, it’s a very personal experience, and one that I loved.
Until the next time…
What an amazing adventure and experience! Thankyou!
The “Tour of Tuscany” has 555Klms+ of cycling and over 10000m2 of elevation. A big task, I thought for an intermediate rider such as myself. However not so big I found. With plenty of spin at the Gym in the months leading up to the ride, the professional support on hand during the ride and the ever-changing scenery and well thought out program. Carb up with the finest food and local wines imaginable at night and burn it off each day. It was pleasantly challenging, very satisfying, very achievable and an extremely fun experience.
If you (and your partner as a rider or a non riding, cultural explorer) like a cycling challenge and at the same time want to soak up a first rate, quality Tuscan cultural experience, Damian, Nancy, and the team at A’qto are the people to do it with. I highly recommend them and couldnt fault this experience. Rare as it for me after lots of active and adventurous holidays. I wanted to jump the first plane back upon touch down home in Brisbane.
This was the trip of a lifetime
“Our A’qto Tuscany experience was superb.
Pursuing our passions of cycling, hiking, food, wine and all things Italian both separately and shared together made for a rich and memorable tour. The details set it apart – Damian’s meticulous, safe, fun, challenging and spectacular cycling routes; Nancy’s passion for culture, humour and sense of adventure; and their joint, uncompromising approach to quality (particularly food and wine!) – no stone was left unturned.
This was a trip of a lifetime, and hopefully the first of many with A’qto!”
Penny & Anthony
A great experience
The Tuscany Tour with A’qto Cycling was great experience.
Damian and Nancy do their best to ensure all reasonable requests are catered for.
The Tuscan BBQ was a highlight and extremely delicious. The meals and accommodation on the tour were of a very high standard.
Rider support on the road was well catered for if your rider mojo wasn’t with you for the day.
highly recommend the Tour of Tuscany
A thoroughly enjoyable trip both for the cyclist and non-cyclist. A great small group adventure with like minded participants and very supportive hosts. Nancy and Damian have done a great job in crafting this experience and we can highly recommend the Tour of Tuscany. Based on this experience I have no doubt their other tours are equally brilliant.
what more could you ask for
In 2019 I signed up with A’QTO to do the Puglia Tour, and had a blast. I immediately started planning to do the A’QTO Tuscany Tour in 2020, but the Pandemic put everything on hold, so anyway after a 2 year delay, the Tuscany Tour was my challenge.
I travelled solo in Puglia, which was awesome, but in Tuscany I wanted my husband (non-rider) to experience everything that was on offer. I knew he was in for a huge experience and he would be kept busy and entertained while I was off riding.
In Puglia I hired a bike, but this time I travelled with my Stelbel Rodano, purchased from Italy (through Damian) during the Pandemic, have to say it travelled well, and was put together perfectly by the A’QTO team upon arrival in Tuscany.
Unfortunately due to the Pandemic and all the rain Sydney has had in the past several months training was difficult, indoor training is great, but you don’t get the hill climbing, so I was particularly nervous. Tuscany is certainly more challenging than Puglia, but Damian has done his research well. His choice of gorgeous country roads with the best views, including tough but doable climbs with a few testing pinches thrown in for good measure, what more could you ask for. To get from one gorgeous country road to another we had occasion to travel on busier connector roads, but we felt safe. Each day each rider found their strength and confidence increasing, but if ever it got too hard there was always the backup van plan. Better still there was always a support rider to give hints and guidance to improve your riding experience.
My husband enjoyed all his experiences with Nancy and Mary, cooking with a real Nona, visiting Sienna shopping, time out to do his man things (whatever they are), but his favourite experience was going truffle hunting, and watching the dogs dig up the tasty treasures.
The accommodations were exceptional, great people to help make your stay special. Tuscans are very welcoming people and are proud of what they produce, be it a service or the most delicious produce and/or meals.
We had a great group of people, and plan to remain in contact, as we are all connected by our Tuscan journey and unique experiences, like Mary winning a prized Cinghiale head at a very special Hunters dinner….. PRICELESS.
QUALITY IS OUTSTANDING
Quality is outstanding, the gear, the accommodation, the riding, the scenery and towns, the non riding program and of course the food and wine. Did I mention the food and wine well it deserves two mentions. This is a trip of a lifetime and an experience to be savoured. We did the Tuscany trip. What’s also fantastic is that if your better half doesn’t ride they also get an awesome experience. Nancy and Damian are superb hosts. Quality, quality, quality! I’ll be doing another trip.
TRULY GREAT EXPERIENCE
We signed up to do the Tuscany tour for a friend’s 50th birthday. Karen was not a rider so the non-riding element of the tour was quite important to us.
In the months leading up to the tour Damian and Nancy were in regular contact. Damian with training advice and ensuring he had all the information necessary to equip me with the right gear (which was of a very good quality) and Nancy to discuss the types of activities and experiences Karen wished to do as a non-rider.
The trip itself was excellent and it was a truly great experience.
The cycling routes were well thought out, the cycling support was great, the scenery breathtaking, the accommodation hosts so welcoming, and the food magnificent. Karen enjoyed the non-riding side of the tour so much she’s eyeing off our next tour!
Damian and Nancy clearly put a lot of time and thought into their tours and it certainly shows in the quality of the product. We would thoroughly recommend A’qto Cycling to anyone wanting to do a European cycling trip.
Sean & Karen
EVERYTHING WAS SO MUCH FUN.
I had been looking forward to this tour for almost a year. Even though my expectations were very high, they were surpassed by the superb rides, the delicious food & wine, the unique accomodation (always at the top of a hill, so you can have the best views says Damian) and most importantly the attention to detail that Nancy and Damian bring to these tours. Everything was so much fun.
We had such a great group of riders, not all of the same ability, yet all of the same mindset – enjoy the ride, take in the spectacular scenery and push up every challenging climb and embellish your ride around the dinner table at night. It was the best riding experience of my life and I’ll be back for more with the A’qto Puglia already booked for 2020.
I highly recommend A’qto cycling tours if you are planning a cycle tour in Europe. You won’t be disappointed.
ALL UP, A FANTASTIC HOLIDAY THAT ONLY ANOTHER A’QTO TOUR COULD RIVAL.
I had wanted to do some cycling in Europe for a long time and always thought it would be self-organised and in France. I am so grateful that I found A’qto when my 50th was looming and I was looking for a memorable way to celebrate.
The combination of riding, food and wine was irresistible – it was very easy convincing my brother and mates to join me. So off to Tuscany we went. And what an experience Damian and Nancy provided.
It was the best riding of my life, all the better because it was shared with a great group of people. And the same was true for all of the experiences off the bike that Nancy and Damian organised. All up, a fantastic holiday that only another A’qto tour could rival. Piemonte in 2021 perhaps .
WE ARE ALREADY CHOOSING THE DATES FOR OUR NEXT A’QTO TOUR.
Rod is a keen Cyclist – I’m not.
He has talked about doing a cycling tour of Italy (I wasn’t that keen as – what was I going to do?) He had liked an A’qto cycling Facebook post, I saw this and downloaded the itinerary (as I have always wanted to go to Italy).
I was impressed!!
I placed it on his computer at work with a sticky note saying “Choose tour and date and I will book”.
We incorporated the bike ride with an extended holiday in Italy and to say the Tuscany part with A’qto Cycling was the best part was an understatement.
Damien had chosen rides that were challenging but rewarding and achievable with great back up support. Nancy had tours and days that catered for all the non riding partners in the group and we were totally immersed in what Tuscany had to offer. Their attention to detail and thought in choosing Local menus, wines and accommodation locations (even massages) is what made it so memorable for us
We are already choosing dates for our next A’qto tour.
Meg & Rod
ALL ABOUT THE RIDE…AND SO MUCH MORE
WOW what a ride! I have just experienced the most amazing time on Aqto’s Tour of Tuscany. As far as experiences and holidays go, it was right up there with the best ever! It is often said that the ‘devil is in the detail’ and Damian and Nancy were wonderful, caring hosts, who really did take care of every detail to create the complete experience, that took this trip from great, to truely memorable. From the stunning scenery, to the long lazy lunches, luxurious and authentic Italian accommodation in beautiful Tuscan villas to aperitivo hour followed by fantastic food. Add to that the incredible cycling journey through the heart of Tuscany and the only word that I can think of is wow!
I’m a keen, social cyclist and prior to the trip, I had all the normal worries of not being able to keep up, or manage the kilometres each day and…..get up those Tuscan hills! But with Damians’s training program and encouragement, I turned up with my much better cycling husband Bob, nervous but ready to give it a go! What can I say, yes it was sometimes challenging but with a 32 compact on my bike I found my pace, even learning to love those 15% pinches because the coffee, or the beer and the view at the top was always worth it. Once I stopped looking at the gradient, I was totally fine, I felt a sense of achievement every day and got stronger as the week went on. If this is you, don’t think, just do, because you can!
After 8 days, riding nearly 600kms and climbing over 10,000 meters, our tour of Tuscany adventure finished in the beautiful walled city of San Gimignano! I am still saying WOW! Can’t wait to do it all again one day!
THE BEST HOLIDAY I HAVE EVER HAD
The A’qto Tour of Tuscany is the best holiday I have ever had. Prior to the trip I was really anxious about my cycling ability and whether I could keep up and do the distances and climbing day after day. Turns out that everyone had the same worry; but we all made it just fine and got stronger every day! Turns out you can do a lot more than you think you can. It was challenging, but I feel really proud of myself and the rest of our lovely and supportive group of cyclists. I have nothing but admiration for Damian and Nancy, they are amazing; the tour is incredibly well organized but it never felt over organized. Food and accommodation were stunning – and you can eat as much as you like ‘cos you will burn it off the next day!’
THOUGHTFULLY PLANNED & SEAMLESSLY EXECUTED
The ride routes took us through iconic Tuscan landscapes, towns and villages, and when you thought the scenery cold not get better, around the next corner it did. The free-flowing, sweeping descents were an exhilarating reward for the climbing beforehand.
The atmosphere throughout the tour was warm, friendly and inclusive and there was a good balance between riding/activities and free time. The accommodation was exceptional, with locations appropriately chosen to make the most of the beautiful Tuscan landscapes and the hosts were warm and friendly, making you feel as though you were part of their family.
A’QTO IS THE COMPANY TO GO WITH
If anybody is even remotely considering undertaking an overseas cycling experience, A’qto is the company to go with. Damian and Nancy are not only quality people but their knowledge of Tuscany and the beautiful riding, eating and drinking associated their tour is first class. Our recent trip presented me with everything I had wished for and much, much more.
Damo, Nancy, Sergio and their Villa hosts enabled us to cram pack the Tuscan experience into 9 brilliant days and not for one minute did I not love it all. Thank you so much Damo, Curly and Sergio, and hope to see you all again very soon.
AN INSPIRING, AMAZING TRIP
We would sincerely like to thank you both for an inspiring, amazing, enlightening and wonderful trip around beautiful Tuscany.
We were so impressed with the diversity and attention to detail you achieved in putting this together for us. Every moment was special. Every moment was exciting and rewarding.
EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS
My Tuscany cycling tour in September 2018 with Damian and Nancy exceeded all expectations, a wonderful combination of scenery and gourmet delights along with wonderful accommodation in Tuscan villas. This tour was the most rewarding active holiday experience and I recommend A’qto Cycling Italian cycling tours without hesitation.