Dates: OCTOBER 18 – 24, 2010 | Start: LA BANDITA Finish: PISA | Activity Level: C
This 6-day tour will take you through the beautiful Northern Maremma region of Tuscany, which is located near the Etruscan Coast and surrounding mountains. We will cycle along the famous Strada dei Vini Bolgherese, where the Super Tuscan wines are produced. This area is known for its high quality wines such as Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Ca Marcanda. It is also the land of Small Vineyards wine estates Terre del Marchesato, Rigoloccio, and the wines of Antonio Sanguineti.
This area is still relatively unknown to North Americans but is very popular with professional cycling teams and other European visitors. The beautiful climate of the area lends itself to fantastic cycling. You will savor the breezes from the sea and the coolness of the forests in the surrounding mountains. This tour is best for those of you who enjoy a variety of terrain, rolling hills, and some challenging climbs.
We will be staying at La Bandita, a restored 17th century villa. La Bandita has an excellent restaurant, where we will enjoy some of our meals. Additionally, La Bandita produces virgin olive oil and grows its own organic produce, “cinghiale” wild boar, and cinta senese pork. La Bandita is located in the countryside between the hilltowns of Monteverdi Marittima and Sassetta. You will be treated to quiet elegance in a stunningly beautiful location.
Breakfast will be served daily before our rides, and lunch will usually be on the road. Each evening, we will enjoy the culinary masterpieces of the region with fresh ingredients gleaned from the countryside, the forests, or the sea. All of our dinners will be paired with wines from Small Vineyards estates. We will also visit Small Vineyards wine estates for tastings.
Our tour will be led by an incredible team of expert guides, all local residents of Tuscany. Our cycling guide Mark Mahan, a resident of Campiglia Marittima, has guided in Italy for more than 18 years and led over 100 tours. With more than 15 years of experience, Gerardo Carpentieri, our driver and professional cycling mechanic has accompanied over 100 tours. Gerardo also owns Ciclosport bicycle shop with his wife Daniela and son Riccardo in the town of Donoratico.
Antonio Sanguineti, winemaker and partner in Small Vineyards, will join us at some of our dinners to describe the wines we will be enjoying. He is a resident of the beautiful city of Siena. Willie Joffroy, owner of Willie’s World Cycling, will be your host.
Our goal is to provide you with an experience that immerses you in Italian life as cyclists and lovers of food and wine in the most authentic way. The people you meet and the places you visit will make you feel as if you are at home with family.
We welcome our guests’ non-cycling partners and ensure that they too experience the joyful immersion into Italian life and culture. When you book our tour, we will put non-cyclists in touch with our tour guide, Chiara Sanguineti, who will assist them with formulating an itinerary that appeals to their interests. Chiara will also accompany non-cycling guests on their excursions, which in years past have included visits to Etruscan hot springs and spas, hikes into the scenic countryside, tours of medieval villages, shopping, or just relaxing in charming town piazzas.
Day1: Benvenuti in Italia! Meet at a designated location in Pisa at 9:30 a.m. to be picked up by Gerardo and Willie, and depart for La Bandita, our villa in the countryside between Sassetta and Monteverdi Marittima, where we will lodge for the next 6 days. We will check in and have a light lunch. After lunch, we will go to Ciclosport bike shop to pick up our bikes and make any fitting adjustments. There will also be time to shop for some of the great cycling accessories Ciclosport carries. We will cycle back to La Bandita. Dinner will be a La Bandita that evening. Ride distance about 30 miles.
Day2: Breakfast will be between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. with a short briefing on the day’s ride. We will leave La Bandita traveling to Castagneto Carducci along the Strada dei vini Etruschi to Bolgheri, Casale Marittima, Canneto, and back to La Bandita. Lunch will be on the road. Seafood dinner will be at Dal Cacini in Suvereto. Ride distance about 40 miles.
Day3: Breakfast will be between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. with a short briefing on the day’s ride. We will travel from La Bandita to Volterra and back. Lunch will be on the road. Dinner will be served at Fonte di Foiano, an olive mill. Ride distance about 66 miles.
Day4: Getting up very early, we will have breakfast and catch the ferry to spend the day cycling on the Island of Elba. We will have lunch in Elba. Dinner will be at La Bandita. Ride distance about 45 miles. (Ride could be subject to change.)
Day5: Breakfast will be between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. with a short briefing on the day’s ride. We will travel from La Bandita to Sassetta, Suvereto, and back to La Bandita. Lunch will be on the road. We will enjoy a cooking class and dinner at the home of Chicca Maione. Ride distance about 40 miles.
Day6: Breakfast will be between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. with a short briefing on the day’s ride. We will cycle from La Bandita to Massa Marittima and back. Lunch will be on the road. Dinner will be at La Bandita. Ride distance about 66 miles.
Day7: 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 $3,950 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 August 1, 2010, 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.