Dates: OCTOBER 12 – 18, 2009 | Start: PISA Finish: PISA | Activity Level: C
This 6-day will take you through 2 regions of Tuscany, the Northern Maremma and the Crete Senesi. The first 3 days we will cycle through the Northern Maremma region. This particularly beautiful part of Tuscany is located along the Etruscan coast and the surrounding mountains. We will cycle along the famous Stada dei Vini Bolgherese where the Super Tuscan wines are produced. This area is known for its high quality wines such as Sassiacaia, Ornellaia, and Ca Marcanda. It is also the land of Small Vineyards estates of Terre del Marchesato, Rigoloccio, and the wines of Antonio Sanguineti. This area is not well known to North Americans, but is very popular with professional cycling teams and other European visitors. You will savor breezes from the sea and the forests in the surrounding mountains.
We will be staying at IL Canovaccio in the 10th Century medieval hill town of Campiglia Marittima. Our accommodations are in a restored apartment building with 7 bedrooms, a beautiful living room, and kitchen. This apartment has been restored in a very thoughtful manner with an interior design of simple, but elegant taste. Breakfast will be served daily at our apartment before we depart on our bikes. Each evening we will enjoy the culinary masterpieces of Davide D’Onofrio at his restaurant, IL Canovaccio, only 50 meters away. All of our dinners will be paired with wines from Small Vineyards estates.
The next 3 days we will cycle through the Crete Senesi which is home to the beautiful hill towns of Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza and other lesser known hill towns. Famous for its wines, cheeses and local cuisine, this region promises to fulfill all of our cycling and culinary desires. This area is known for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino. We will enjoy wines from the Small Vineyards estates of Perazetta, Antonio Sanguineti and other Small Vineyards estates.
The next 3 nights will be at Relais Tenuta Il Palazzaccio a restored 17th century estate in the countryside. The estate, the rooms and the surroundings are a combination of beauty, elegance and comfort. We may be the only guests since there are only 9 rooms. Our dinners will be prepared especially for us by a local chef to be enjoyed at Il Palazzaccio along with Small Vineyards estates wines.
Our tour will be led by an incredible team of expert guides, all local residents of Tuscany. Gerardo Caprpintieri, our driver and professional cycling mechanic has been on more than 100 tours; Mark Mahan, our cycling guide has guided in Italy for over 18 years, over 100 tours and lives in Campiglia Marittima with his family; Chiara Sanguineti, resident of Siena, hiking guide and partner in Small Vineyards Travel; Doumina Whyman, resident of Seattle, Washington and Cortona, Italy, partner in Small Vineyards travel and tour guide; and Antonio Sanguineti, wine producer, Small Vineyards liason in Italy, and partner in Small Vineyards Travel. Willie Joffroy is your host and leader of Small Vineyards Cycling Tours.
Our goal is to provide you with an experience that will bring you into the life of Italy as cyclists, lovers of culture, wine and food in the most authentic way. The people you meet, the places you visit, will make you feel as if you are home with family.
Day1, October 12: Benvenuti in Italia!! We will meet at the train station in Campiglia Marittima at 11:00am. Directions will be provided to you on how to arrive to the train station. Gerardo and Willie will take everyone to our accommodations in Campiglia Marittima. Our accommodations will be at Locanda Il Canovaccio in the 10th Century hill town of Campiglia Marittima a village of 600 inhabitants. We will have the apartment building to ourselves with very nice rooms each with its ensuite bathroom. After settling in we will have a light lunch. We will introduce everyone to Mark Mahan our cycling guide, reintroduce Gerardo our driver and mechanic. Mark and Gerardo have guided together on over 100 tours. We will discuss the tour in more detail each day of the tour. We will then take a short ride to make sure the fit on the bicycles is correct. During our ride we will visit Ciclosport in Donoratico. Ciclosport is owned by Gerardo, Daniella his wife, and Ricardo their son. You can purchase cycling gear or any last minute items. From Ciclosport we will return to Campiglia Marittima. Dinner will be at Ristorante Il Canovaccio, prepared by Davide D’Onofrio owner of the restaurant and our accommodations. Ride distance about 25 miles.
Day2, October 13: 9:00am breakfast. A short briefing on today’s ride. We will depart from Campiglia Marittima into the beautiful hills of the Northern Maremma. This ride will take us into beautiful wooded areas with fantastic vistas to the sea below when we crest the hills. Along the way we will stop at Terre del Marchesato, a Small Vineyards estate, on the famous Strada dei vini Bolgherese for a tour of the winery and a tasting. We will have lunch at the winery or at a local trattoria. After lunch, those that do not want to continue cycling will return to the apartment with Gerardo. You can relax or spend time getting to know Campiglia Marittima. The piazza in the center of town is perfect for a cappuccino or just enjoying the setting of a medieval village. The rest of the group will continue on the ride. Those that do not wish to cycle will join Chiara for a tour of Castagneto Carducci and Bolgheri. We will all meet at Terre del Marchesato for the tour, wine tasting and lunch. This evening we will enjoy another delicious meal prepared by Davide at Il Canovaccio. Ride distance about 50 miles.
Day3, October 14: 9:00am breakfast. After a short briefing on today’s ride we will depart toward Massa Marittima another fabulous hill town with vistas to the far off sea. We will have lunch in Massa Marittima. From there those who wish to return Campiglia Marittima may do so with Gerardo. The rest of the group will continue on the ride. Those that do not wish to cycle, Chiara will take you to Calidario, an Etruscan hot spring and full spa. Needless to say with the combination of ancient springs and the amenities of a modern spa, who needs to cycle? This evening Davide will prepare another memorable meal. Antonio Sanguineti will join us this evening to share the story behind the Small Vineyards wines we are enjoying. Ride distance about 60 miles.
Day4, October 15: 9:00am breakfast. After a short briefing on today’s ride we will depart for Chiusura and Relais tenuta Il Palazzaccio. Because of the distance to Il Palazzaccio we will go in the van part of the way and begin our ride a little later. We will then ride to our new accommodation which is in one of the most beautiful locations in the Crete Senesi countryside. The vistas are breathtaking as are some of the climbs!! We will stop for lunch along the way. After lunch those that do not wish to continue will go to Il Palazzaccio with Gerardo and check in. The rest will arrive a bit later. For those that do not wish to cycle Doumina or Chiara are prepared to take you on a day hike into the countryside. You will hike through vineyards and olive groves,with the most beautiful views in the land. This evening we will enjoy a dinner prepared especially for us by a local chef at Il Palazzaccio. Ride distance about 50 miles.
Day5, October 16: 9:00am breakfast. After a short briefing on today’s ride we will depart toward the hill towns of Montepulciano, Montichiello and Pienza. We will stop for lunch along the way and those that do not wish to continue cycling will return to Il Palazzaccio. Those that do not wish to cycle will visit L’Abbazia di Monte Oliveto in the morning. In the afternoon the non-cyclists and short ride cyclists can take a cooking class which will culminate as our dinner to be enjoyed by all.
Ride distance about 45 miles.
Day6, October 17: 9:00am breakfast. After a short briefing on today’s ride we will depart toward the highest point in Tuscany, Monte Amiata. Along the way we stop at Perazetta winery for a wine tasting with lunch following. After lunch we will cycle to the summit of Monte Amiata. Those that do not wish to continue cycling will go back to Il Palazzaccio with Gerardo. Those that do not wish to cycle will meet us at Perazetta and a visit to Montalcino after lunch. Tonight will be our farewell dinner at Il Palazzaccio. No doubt we will recount our adventures of the last 6 days and plan for the next Small Vineyards Cycling tour. Ride distance about 50 miles.
Day7, October 18: Breakfast will be between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. After breakfast, we must bid our guests farewell. Gerardo and Willie will transfer the group back to Pisa.
Cost per person is $4,500 U.S. Dollars and includes:
- Lodging 6 nights
- All breakfasts
- All lunches
- All dinners
- Small Vineyards wines paired with your dinners plus tastings that are part of the tour
- Cooking Class
- Bicycle (Guests are responsible for damages to their bicycle, so please treat your bike as if it were your own.)
- Cycling kit (jersey and shorts)
- Snacks and water on bike rides
- Cycling guide, driver, and mechanic services
- Tour guide for non-cycling guests
What this does not include:
- Any rental car or train service you may use outside of tour activities.
- Any purchases of a personal nature.
- Any incidental expenses associated with non-cycling activities, such as museum entry fees, spa services, archaeological site entry fees, etc.
- Small Vineyards wines will be available for purchase at a discounted price. Freight charges in the USA to your address are additional.
A deposit is required in the amount of $1,000 by May 1, 2009, with the balance to be paid in full 60 days prior to the tour. Please make checks payable to Willie’s World Cycling. If your party includes a non-cyclist, please notify us when you submit your deposit so we can put you in contact with our tour guide to plan stimulating and rewarding activities while cyclists are on the road.
Our prices are in U.S. Dollars and are based on exchange rates in effect at the time of publication. While we make every effort to avoid adding surcharges, Willie’s World Cycling reserves the right to do so should the U.S. Dollar lose substantial value against the Euro.
After your deposit is received, you will be sent more information regarding the sizing for your bicycle, liability waiver, and general information that will be helpful for your visit to Italy.
If you must cancel your trip for any reason, the fees for doing so are as follows: 91 to 120 Days: 50% of tour price ; 0 to 90 Days: 100% of tour price.
We recommend checking out Insure My Trip if you are interested in obtaining travel or trip cancellation insurance. This online service gives the customer a choice of several types of coverage from various companies. Or speak to your travel agent for further assistance.
Willie’s World Cycling reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason. We will refund any payment received by Willie’s World Cycling (Joffroy Contemporary, LLC) which will constitute full settlement.
Although we make every effort to contract the very best in outside services, we do not guarantee services provided by third parties.
Please make sure you have a valid passport. Should you have any questions, contact the U.S. Passport Agency.
We count on our clients to ensure they are healthy and adequately fit for this tour. This tour is rated Activity Level C (Enthusiast Level).
C: Enthusiast Level
Regularly Training Cyclists
Thorough Pace (cyclists who choose challenging terrain on a regular basis and are in excellent physical condition)
35-80 Miles per Day
Rolling and Very Hilly Terrain
Please read the Activity Level page under the Details section to determine your fitness level. Consult with your doctor if you have any doubts about your ability to participate in strenuous exercise.