5/5 (3)
6 nights | 30 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 2900
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours
5/5 (3)

6 nights | 30 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 2900

Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Cycling and Cooking in Tuscany

    6 night guided bike tour in Italy

    Welcome to the trip that combines fantastic bicycle routes and cooking lessons, all in Italy’s famous region of Tuscany. After you have worked up an appetite biking through the rolling landscape of Tuscany, you will cook and eat the best food!

    La Cucina Toscana is simplicity in its purest form. Tuscan cooks have the freshest seasonal products at their disposal, including olive oil, wine and cheese, and do very little to alter their natural state. Most days will include a hands-on cooking class or a tasting at a local food artisan. You will also dine out at a simple osteria, family trattorias, and elegant restaurants.

    Cyclists will explore gorgeous loop rides in beautiful Val d’orcia, passing such highlights as Pienza, Montalcino and San Quirico. The routes cross Val di Chiana, through Cortona to Crete Senesi and on to Siena.

    Return home inspired, not only with new recipes to try, but also with the enthusiasm to cultivate the lessons you learn into your lifestyle!

    Highlights

    • La Cucina Toscana
    • Olive oil, cheese, and wine tasting
    • Val d'orcia
    • Cortona
    • Siena
    • Etruscan architecture
    • Monticchiello, the quintessential Tuscan hill town

    Learn More

    Learn more about our guided trips or see more bike tours in Italy.

  • Traveler photos

    • Photo 1 (photo by JamieinLA)
    • Stopping for coffee (photo by JamieinLA)
    • Photo 3 (photo by JamieinLA)
    • Our Villa (photo by JamieinLA)
  • Daily program

    *Itinerary is subject to change in the 2023 season.

    Day 1: Welcome to the Villa
    Meet at the Chiusi train station (a major stop on all the Rome-Florence lines) at 1:00pm. Private van transfer to the country house Palazzi del Papa, just a short drive from Pienza. Check into your room and start the bike-fitting session and meet your guides. After all guest are set with bikes and equipment we'll have a short test bike ride in the valley.

    Then get ready for your first cooking session with Paola – a perfect way to build the team. You'll enjoy this hands-on lesson: preparing fresh pasta as primo piatto, appetizer, tiramisu; after a rest with a prosecco sparkling wine as aperitif, we'll share the table with all guest and savor the welcome dinner.

    Day 2: Cortona (28 miles/45 km)
    After a welcome breakfast, we'll have a short transfer by van to just outside Montepulciano village to begin the first ride with a nice gentle downhill through the vino nobile vineyards. After this will be flat terrain--the Val di Chiana, once a swampy lowland--except for the final climb to reach the old town on the hill Cortona, one of Italy's oldest towns.

    The first set of city walls were built by the Etruscans in the 4th century BC. Cortona became famous by Frances Mayes's bestselling book (also a movie), "Under the Tuscan Sun." Stroll the winding – narrow and steep! – medieval streets for a while.

    Transfer back to the country house by van in the afternoon (or stronger cyclists have an option to ride back)! Dinner in Monticchiello at Ristorante da Daria.

    Day 3: Pienza, Montepulciano & Cinta Senese (29 miles/46 km)
    Our ride today starts from the villa. The first stage is Pienza, a pristine Renaissance jewel, founded in 1458. Pope Pius II chose the famous Florentine architect Rossellino to transform his home village of Corsignano into one of the few examples left of 15th century architecture. The main product in this area is the pecorino cheese, a delicious, pungent cheese made using only sheep milk.

    You'll continue to next village Montepulciano, known as the Pearl of the 16th Century. After lunch at Fattoria Madonna della Querce a small farm specialized in Cinta Senese pig, you'll learn about the traditional black pig, what they eat and live and how is fine the meat you will enjoy this special meal ending with vin santo & cantucci.

    Back in the saddle, the last stop is the village of Monticchiello, the quintessential Tuscan hill town. Bold cypress trees line our route to the Orcia valley where we bike through the fields that inspired Renaissance painters. Tonight you'll have dinner at La Chiusa di Montefollonico.

    Day 4: Montalcino and Brunello (30 miles/48 km)
    Our ride starts from the villa: first stop after 10 km easy ride is the ancient Roman spa of Bagno Vignoni. Legend has it that Saint Catherine and Pope Pius II both bathed in the thermal waters here. The water has a constant temperature of 51 degrees Celsius (124 degrees Fahrenheit). At the heart of the village is the "Square of sources," a rectangular tank of 16th-century origin, which contains the original source of water that comes from the underground aquifer of volcanic origins.

    Now the climb to Castiglione d’Orcia is the challenge part of the day. Once at the top, enjoy a long downhill till Romanesque abbey of Sant’Antimo that dates back to the time of Charlemagne. The final effort is 9 km gentle ascent to Montalcino – the hill town famous for Brunello wine made with the Sangiovese Grosso grape and aged a minimum of four years. After the visit we'll reach the Corte Pavone winery: you will taste this biodynamic and organic Brunello wine, learn about the aging process, and enjoy the lunch at the cellar. Return to the villa for the second cooking lesson.

    Day 5: Radicofani and Pici (34 miles/55 km)
    Today another terrific bike ride. Start from the villa and reach Radicofani, a medieval and enchanting village with one of the most impressive fortresses in Tuscany. Radicofani is included in the Park of val d’Orcia – a Unesco site and Via Francigena (which was the main route followed by pilgrims in antiquity who went to Rome), but still is off the beaten path. This will be the quietest day.

    From Radicofani now we will ride another secluded road called le Conie and reach Bagni San Filippo. Enjoy the downhill back to the valley. The valley rises along Francigena road near the old Spedaletto Castle, shelter for wayfarers who, in the Middle Ages, wanted to get to Rome from all over Europe. The castle was readapted in a granary, a real fortified farm. On the way back let’s stop at the cheese farm to taste the delicious Pecorino di Pienza, 100% sheep milk with variety of aging.

    We'll head back to the country house by bike. This afternoon let's learn the classic pasta of the area: pici all’ aglione sauce and pici al ragu di chianina. Pici is a fresh spaghetti, handmade one by one.

    Day 6: Siena (38 miles/60 km)
    After breakfast ride toward San Quirico, an Etruscan origin village with a superb Italian garden: the Horti Leonini. Pass through Asciano and Le Crete with strange rock formations and lone a farmhouse flanked by twin cypress trees.

    Let's pedal through vineyards and forest and arrive in Siena, a medieval city with beautifully preserved Gothic architecture. The entire city of Siena was built around the Piazza del Campo. Visit the shell shape square where the Palio horse race is run and enjoy lunch on your own. Back to the villa, you'll have time for a jump in the pool and a rest. Here we'll have time to shop while exploring the many hidden medieval walkways. Go soon to visit the shell shape square where the Palio horserace is run and enjoy a free lunch on your own.

    We'll have our farewell dinner at a restaurant at la bandita townhouse.

    Day 7: Individual departure
    After a farewell breakfast all together, we will transfer you to the Chiusi train station around 10-11:00am. (On request we will arrange transfer at different time.)

    Surface and terrain

    The daily cycling itinerary is designed to be a vacation, not a race! The pace is relaxed to enable you to enjoy the scenery. The terrain will be gently rolling with some hills. Each day will cover an average of 25-35 miles (40-56 km) a day. If you are an advanced cyclist who wants to do more mileage, that can be accommodated. Backup transportation and support is always available.

    It is possible to have non-riding participants, as there will be optional activities to do instead of cycling. Shorter options are always available, enabling riders of all abilities will have a selection of distances to choose from each day.


    Hotels

    Podere Palazzi, val d’Orcia
    The farmhouse was built in the 1930s by the Marquis Origo replacing an old inn where the Eminences used to rest when they were going through the nearby Francigena road. The villa has 9 rooms.


    How to get there

    Tour start and end
    Nearest airport: Florence, Italy (FLR); Rome, Italy
    Nearest train station: Chiusi-Chianciano

    The tour company will transfer you to and from the Chiusi train station. On Day 1 the tour company will meet you at 14:00. On Day 7, you will go to the train station after breakfast. This service is included in the cost of the tour package.

    Tips on getting to and from your tour

  • Dates

    Apr 22, May 20, Jun 17, Sep 09, Oct 14, Oct 28, 2022 and May 12, Jun 09, Sep 15, Oct 13, Oct 27, 2023

    Prices

    Tour package

    Per person, double occupancy € 2900
    Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 490

    Bike Rentals

    Hybrid touring bike € 180
    Road bike € 210
    Electrically assisted bike € 210
    Gravel bike € 210

    Included services

    • 6 nights in private villa
    • Breakfast each morning; 6 dinners and 2 lunches
    • All maps, trip notes, and detailed route directions
    • All shuttles and technical assistance
    • Support van
    • Services of an experienced guide
    • 2 cooking classes
    • 2 wine tastings
    • Branded water bottle
    • Transfer on Day 1 from Chiusi train station
    • Transfer on Day 7 to the Chiusi train station
    • Sales taxes

    Local hotel taxes are not included and are to be paid directly to each hotel (approximately €1-5 per person/night).


    Bike rentals

    Bikes available for rent (in advance at the time of booking) on this tour are:

    • Hybrid touring bike, 27 or 30 speed, equipped with:
      • Aluminum frame
      • Carbon forks
      • Shimano Deore components 27/30 speed
      • Gel saddle
      • Upright handle bar
      • 28 road wheels
    • Road bike, 20 speed, equipped with:
      • Carbon fiber or Scandium frame
      • Carbon forks
      • Shimano Ultegra compact gear 20 speed
      • Drop handle bar
      • 28 race wheels
    • Electrically assisted bike with 250w Sunstar motor

    Equipment included with bike rental:

    • Handlebar bag or map holder
    • Water bottle
    • Repair kit (mini pump, inner tube, tire levers)
    • Computer mileage counter
    • Lock (one lock with key per 2 bikes)

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals. You can also bring your own pedals and shoes, along with the necessary equipment for installing the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmets are required on this tour. Helmets are included in the tour package; however, we recommend you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons.


    Tour Company

  • Route Map

    Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

    • JamieinLA June 13, 2019

      Ride, eat and cook through Tuscany

      The ride through Tuscany was breathtaking. Guiliana, Marco and their family planned a wonderful week. Even with the rain (we only ride 3 of the 5 days), they made the trip memorable. And our cooking experience was wonderful. I’m glad I booked an ebike. The hills are steep.

      What was the date of your tour?
      May 24, 2019
      How many tours have you completed?
      2
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Photo 1 (photo by JamieinLA)
      • Stopping for coffee (photo by JamieinLA)
      • Photo 3 (photo by JamieinLA)
      • Our Villa (photo by JamieinLA)
      • 3/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • mkleyn October 3, 2017

      Better than I expected!

      Our guide,GiGI, was fabulous. He knew everyone's style and accommodated each of us. Loved the cooking in a homey kitchen. The restaurants we were taken to were in small local towns, and the food was fabulous!

      What was the date of your tour?
      Sept. 23-29
      How many tours have you completed?
      This was the first one.
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • erinmargo April 26, 2016

      Best vacation ever

      There were so many positives on this trip. We were fortunate to have a fun group of like minded people on our tour. The villa is spectacular, Pometti was a fabulous, down to earth host, the food awesome, wine so good I shipped a bunch home and every location we visited was special. Marco & Guiliana are such a great team and excellent tour leaders. I have told many people about this wonderful experience and recommended to many.

      How many tours have you completed?
      1
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Families with teens, Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)