Tuscany Bike Tours offer a one day bike tour in the Tuscany Hills – or Colli Fiorentini around these parts – just south of Florence in the heart of the Chianti wine region. They offered me a chance to go out with them, take some video, try some wine and olive oil, get some great views, eat a nice lunch and, oh yes, do some cycling.
The single day bike tour starts at Castello di Poppiano, a charming 12th century medieval castle which is home to a Count and Countess. Once you arrive, you are taken on a tour of the Castle and its wine making facilities and up to the amazing views from the tower. There was so much to see, I had to do a separate video which you can see here:
We started our Tuscany bike tour with helmet fitting and a short safety talk. then Keith (the Irish one), Andy (the Scottish one) and Alessio (the Italian one) handed out bicycles ensuring everyone had the right seat height and was comfortable. I had “James Bond” – each bike is named – whilst one of the girls on the trip was delighted to see that she was, erm, riding Brad Pitt. The morning’s riding started gently and took us on a breathtaking cycle through the hills of Chianti passing vineyards, villas and olive groves.
The morning flew by and before long, it was time for a lunch break. We sat down to a full lunch at a quaint family owned restaurant nestled amongst the Florentine hills. There was a choice of pasta dishes, salad, dessert and coffee. Though I had opted for the fruit rather than the ice cream, I was ready for a nap but there was no chance as we moved on to the afternoon ride. More vineyards and lovely scenery plus a hill. Ah, the one downfall of cycling in beautiful Chianti: hills. And, more specifically, going up hills. But it’s no problem as there was a man with a van waiting at the bottom! The more sporting-inclined can brave the ascent while anyone who doesn’t fancy it can put their bike on a trailer and drive up. Very civilised.
But, what goes up… So, after a well deserved (for some!) rest at the top of the climb, there is a more downhill flavour to the second part of the afternoon which was welcome. This ride includes what is, in my opinion, one of the best views from a road in Chianti; you can see it in the video.