Last week was 2 years ago we went with a group riding buddies to Italy to tour de gravel roads (Strade Bianche) of Tuscany in Italy.
I worked with my friend Beppe founder of Tourissimo on a custom trip for a week of riding in April. Goals for the trip were: First all, riding the Strade Bianche, riding with friends, enjoy the surroundings with time to stop for photos and espresso along the way, hot baths, wine tasting and enjoying good food. It should also allow for riders to choose their distance that would be comfortable with riding for a day.
On April 13th we arrived with a group of 17 riders/partners mostly from the Boston area in Greve Tuscany. We stayed at a cozy hotel in de middle of town, with lots of activities on the town square. We stayed here for 2 nights. We did various rides in the surrounding area, not to much gravel yet. But we did stop at a vineyard for lunch and some wine tasting.
The first 2 days the weather was a little iffy with occasional showers, but overal fair weather. The rest of the week the weather was beautiful.
On the third day we worked our way to Sienna along stretches of gravel road which are part of the famous Eroica ride and through a beautiful area of large green clay hills (Crete Senesi) and had lunch in a small pitoresque restaurant with a cellar that dated all the way back to the Roman empire.
We finished up in Sienna and visited the famous square where the famous local horse race (Palio di Sienna) is held.
On the fourth day we rode from Sienna to Montalcino. Another beautiful town on the top of a hill. After we had lunch enjoying a beautiful of the surroundings below us, it was only a short trip to our hotel. We finished this shorter day of riding in a spa in the town of Bagno Vignoni to pamper our tired bodies.
The most beautiful lunch spot of the week was in the Brunello area. Where we visited a vinyard with a bike museam that doubled as a tasting / lunch room. With jerseys on the walls of famous Italian cyclists and bikes hanging off the ceiling. It was the perfect setting for this trip.
The next day we rode in the Paganico area. The accomodations were modest here but the food was great and we had another wine tasting. On the route from the hotel we rode past, and off course stopped at, the Petriolo’s natural spa along the side of the road. That was a unique experience.
The last day we rode through the Maremma area to the coastal town of Talamone. Were the most beautiful hotel awaited us. It was very pitoresque and overlooked the mediterranean sea. Here it was unfortunately time to pack our bags and say goodbye to our guides: Domanica, Massimo and Beppe.
Oh they did bring us back to Florence where we did some siteseeing before making our way back to the airport to fly back Boston.
Looking back at the veloviewer statistics, I rode 348 miles with 30k+ feet of climbing.