Cycling and Cooking in Tuscany – Italy Guided Bike Tour

Day one, Saturday: Welcome to Podere boscarello
Meet at Chiusi train station (a major stop on all the Rome-Florence lines) at 15.00. Private van transfer to the villa in time for the welcome pool side aperitivo and bike fitting session. Let’s enjoy the welcome dinner at the villa drinking Chianti wine.

Day two, Sunday: Cortona & Vin Santo
Ride Total Distance km 48 / 29,8 miles
After breakfast ready to start: leave by bike from the villa and reach Trequanda after some few uphills, once here the ride continue with a long nice downhill and will be flat “the Val di Chiana” once a swampy lowland, except for the final climb to reach the old town on the hill Cortona: one’s of Italy’s oldest towns. The first set of city walls were built by the Etruscans in the 4th century BC. It became famous by Frances Mayes in her bestselling book “Under the Tuscan sun” now also a movie!!
Lunch at le loggette a great restaurant with terrace overlooking the main square: let’s taste the appetizer : prosciutto crudo toscano, finocchiona (salami with fennel), bresaola with lemon, panzanella (typical bread tuscan salad), rucola salad with parmisan and mushrooms. Transfer back to the villa for the first cooking lesson: Mixed Crostini, handmade ravioli with spinach and ricotta sheep milk, dessert will be tiramisu.

Day three, Monday: Montalcino, Brunello and Pici
Ride Total Distance km 45 / 27,9 miles
Our ride start from the villa: first stop is Monte Oliveto Magiore Abbey. Then ride downhill to Buonconvento and reach Montalcino. The hill town is very famous for Brunello wine made with the Sangiovese Grosso grape and aged a minimum of four years
Lunch & wine tasting at winery Poggione: you will savor brunello wine in the cellar. After lunch if we have time a short visit to Romanesque abbey of Sant’Antimo that dates back to the time of Charlemagne. Here the monks still perform the mass in Gregorian chant.
Back to the villa for pici – the handrolled pasta of this region- lesson. Let’s learn the classic aglione sauce; tomato and spring garlic. Followed by Stinco di Chianina beaf, seasonal vegetables: rifatti spinach or Zucchini fried and crostata.

Day four, Tuesday: Pienza and Pecorino Cheese
Ride Total Distance km 45 / 27,9 miles
Today another terrific bike ride: start from villa reach San Giovanni d’Asso, famous for its valuable white truffles. Next stop is San Quirico d’Orcia where there is a superb example of the Italian garden: the Horti Leonini, worth the visit! Another 10 km and arrive in Pienza: it is a pristine Renaissance jewel created 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 is the pecorino the delicious pungent cheese made using only sheep milk. After your free time in town let’s go to the farm Verdi pascoli and see how pecorino cheese is made and have cheese and olive oil tasting
Return by van to villa to freshen up, tonight dinner at restaurant la Mencia in Asciano: chickpeas sauce, grilled capocollo and chocolate cake with gelato

Day five, Wednesday: Spas & Montepulciano
Ride Total Distance km 50 /31 miles
Our ride today starts from the villa. First stage is the village of Montepulciano known as the Pearl of the Sixteenth Century, do not miss the visit at underground wine cellar “cantine del redi”, have a short taste “nobile” wine. Back in the saddle and next stop in the village of Monticchiello, the quintessential Tuscan hill town. Bold cypress trees line our route to the Orcia valley where you bike through the fields that inspired Renaissance painters. The final destination 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. You can take off your shoes and dip your toes in the rivulets that come warm from the earth. Back by van for your last cooking session: today challenging Ravioli! For appetizer carpaccio with mushrooms and crostini caldi with sausage and cheese. Then ravioli with tomato sauce and basil, dessert Panna Cotta with chocolate dressing

Day six, Thursday: Siena, Le Crete & piece of Chianti Classico
Ride Total Distance km 55 /34,2 miles
After breakfast departure by bike from the villa. Pass through Asciano and Le crete area, with strange rock formations and lone farmhouse flanked by twin cypress tree. A short excursion in Chianti: from Taverne we took a little road which bring us at Castelnuovo Berardenga, stop for a cappuccino in the central square and open market. Let’s pedal through vineyards and forest and arrive in Siena. Go soon to visit the shell shape square where the Palio horserace is run and enjoy a free lunch on your own. Back to the villa, time for jump in the pool and rest. Our farewell dinner will be il conte Matto, tagliatelle fatte a mano with porcini mushroom and cinghiale dolce forte, an old recipe wild boar cooked with chocolate.

Day seven friday: Departures after breakfast. Transfer to Chiusi train station is provided and included