On this cycling tour of 7 days, we’ll explore impressive wide open landscapes on the “Road to Valour” made famous by the amazing Gino Bartali when he undertook courageous rides in order to save the lives of many jews throughout WW2.
The splendour of the country’s authentic beauty will welcome you as we visit some of the most charming villages Italy has to offer. During this bike trip we’ll cycle along quaint streets in the matchless areas of Lucchesia and Chianti where undulating woodland hills and vineyards and silver topped olive trees line the route.
We’ll taste delicious food and superb wines at our favourite eateries along the way. Our local and skilled bi-lingual team will show you secluded artistic gems not seen by many in this region. There’s so much to stimulate you and afterwards the post ride relaxation and entertainment will be plentiful.
You will be greeted by our team at Pisa International Airport and transported to your Lucca accommodation. This charming town was one of the destinations reached by Gino Bartali’s during the heroic rides he undertook to save many Jews during WW2 .
After a simple lunch we’ll prepare our bikes for an opening bike trip or “sgambatella” – an Italian colloquialism – to prepare our legs for the days ahead. Lucca’s scenic hills are a short ride from the centre.
We will salute the spectacular week to come with an aperitivo at one of the many excellent enotecas. On return to the hotel, it will be time to prepare for dining at a first-class restaurant in the historical centre.
Our experience on the “Road to Valour” will now commence! We’ll begin our cycling tour on tranquil roads via many kilometres of vineyards and groves of olive trees to San Miniato, our first port of call.
This initial stage of the route is fairly flat then on to tackle some easy slopes taking us to San Miniato, an ancient town between Pisa and Florence, where we’ll aplaud the appealing cathedral and famour Matilde Tower with its disproportional clock.
The area’s prime winery is where we will gather for lunch to taste some divine wines and scrumptious white truffles for which this town is the most famous in all Italy.
Returning to the hotel, we’ll rejuvenate from a post-cyle massage by one of our professional therapists. Then time for an aperitivo before a tasty dinner.
After our Italian morning meal, we’ll begin cycling along peaceful scenic roads through vineyards and beautiful olive groves.
We will pause at Ponte e Ema where a museum dedicated to Gino Bartali awaits us, an absolute must for enthusiastic cyclists.
Returning to our bikes, we will head across awe-inspiring rolling hills to have a delightful lunch in one of the area’s most popular enotecas. Travelling onwards there will be a number of progressive slopes as we near Grassina, an remote and authentic medieval village.
After a 5 star dinner at yet another of our favourite restaurants, we will wander through streets and squares from centuries ago.
We’ll begin the day pedalling some different and quieter roads through stunning countryside before starting a gentle 4km climb. We will cycle downwards via tiny quaint villages.
We’ll lunch in an exquisite country residence to sample local delights and cycle on through green farmlands to Arezzo, a famous Etruscan town.
At our hotel we’ll have an invigorating massage then relax and wander the area in the afternoon before gathering for dinner where the locals are at the most renowned eating establishment in Piazza Grande, the town’s prettiest square encased by beautiful old buildings.
A first-class breakfast will nourish us for an energizing ride that will take in some of Giro d’italia’s historic climbs. We’ll peak at the towering mountain route of the Scopetone, ride across its elevated tops, charge downhill to reach charming hamlets amongst wildflower meadows, and cross the Tuscany/Umbrian border.
On this route we will cycle through Città di Castello absorbing some art and local history. A stop will be in order to taste delectable wines and food delicacies. Heading then to Umbertide to view its renowned fortresss. Having reached our hotel, another professional massage will be enjoyed before visiting Terontola train station to see where documents were secretly traded by Gino Bartali to help the WW2 Jews.
We’ll then dine at a gourmet restaurant in Cortona’s historic centre.
Another superb Italian breakfast and then we’ll set off on our last bike trip of this unique cycling tour to discover the green heart of Italy – the charming Umbria region. We’ll cycle spectacular countryside stopping at the area’s most esteemed winery. We will continue our ride through small quaint villages that dot an unusual landscape.
The remaining 20 km will take us to the ancient town of Assisi, our last stop. In 2000 UNESCO added Assisi to its World Heritage List. We’ll see the town’s medieval treasures such as Giotto’s frescoes in the Basilica of San Francesco.
The Mayor of Assisi, our friend, will present to us the tunnels beneath the basilica, the hiding place of Jews in WW2.
After absorbing this amazing art and culture, we will salute together an incredible week by way of an unforgettable dinner.
After our last breakfast, our guides will say their farewells before delivering you to your leaving point for your onward journey.
Pick-up: Pisa International Airport or Train Station
Drop-off: Perugia Airport/Train Station or Pisa International Airport or Train Station
Three and Four star hotels