Welcome to Malva!
Welcome to Italy! Your Tuscan adventure will begin at the Montevarchi train station, where our guide will meet you at 12 pm and provide a shuttle to our first hotel. A light lunch will be waiting for you after you get settled in. In the afternoon after our bike fitting and safety talk, we’ll warm up with a ride to Loro Ciuffenna and visit one of the oldest operational water mills in Tuscany. The extra loopers will pedal to le Balze di Piantravigne.
Loop to Reggello
After breakfast we’ll pedal through the dramatic sun-drenched Pratomagno range where micro-climates flourish. We’ll stop and visit Castello dei Bonsi for an olive oil tour and tasting before lunch on your own in Reggello. The extra loopers will pedal to le Balze di Piantravigne, a unique landscape formed by rivers flowing from the Apennines, and the Parco Carabè for an artisan gelato. The normal loopers will have a delightful, easy ride on “Via dei Sette Ponti,” an old Roman road connecting Firenze and Arezzo. Tonight before dinner, we’ll have an Italian lesson.
Malva to Arezzo
Today will be a feast for all the sense as we make our way to the Renaissance gem of Arezzo. Ride to the Ponte Buriano, made famous by Leonardo da Vinci‘s background on the Mona Lisa. In the afternoon we’ll have a guided walking tour of the town of Arezzo, the backdrop for the Oscar-winning film “La Vita e’ Bella” (Life is Beautiful). Tonight will be a free night to explore the restaurants and cafes of lively Arezzo on your own.
Arezzo to Cortona
Cycle the flatlands of La Val di Chiana through Italy’s famous sunflower fields and beautiful wheat fields. Our destination is Cortona, an exquisite hill town filled with Etruscan treasures. We’ll stop for a delicious picnic lunch and wine tasting at the Santa Vittoria vineyard estate. A late afternoon guided walking tour of Cortona will lead us to Roman arches, Etruscan tombs, and Renaissance palaces. Tonight is pizza night at our favorite local pizzeria!
Loop to Castiglione del Lago
Cross the border to the Green Heart of Italy—Umbria—where the terrain rolls through several small villages. We’ll take a short ride along a very charming lake and we’ll walk along the Palazzo della Corgna, a 16th-century ducal palace housing frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi and Salvio Savini. Before lunch, we’ll stop to visit a local bike shop where you can purchase Italian-made cycling gear and souvenirs. After lunch, you can either shuttle back to Cortona or get a few more miles under your belt and bike back to Cortona. We’ll have lunch at our friends Gabriele and Maria Grazia’s private home, where they’ll teach you how to make pici, a thick Italian spaghetti that’s very famous in Tuscany.
Why not extend your Tuscan journey for a few extra days to see Florence’s Renaissance treasures? Today after breakfast around 9am, we'll shuttle you to Cortona’s train station and we are happy to assist you with any post-tour travel needs, whether you are continuing on to a new city or returning to Florence.