David Olle and Emma Colson

An Australian company, Topbike has a fully equipped European base and its own fleet of high quality hire bikes and E-bikes.

We specialise in quality cycling tours with small groups and are famous for looking after our clients.

+61 (0) 3 9419 2040
+61 415 866 061 (mobile)
PO Box 1717 Collingwood VIC 3066 AUSTRALIA
holiday@topbike.com.au
- SINCE 1997 -

Tour of Tuscany 2018
EAT-DRINK-RIDE

PISTOIA to FLORENCE | June 1–11 2018

Ride the rolling Tuscan hills, pick poppies at a lunchtime picnic, sip Chianti in a Piazza overlooking (Chianti) vineyards, chase fireflies as you walk home from dinner, without dropping your gelati.

2018 Topbike Tour of Tuscany - Eat-Drink-Ride - June 1-11 2018, Cycling Italy

On this tour we have an excellent mix of quality accommodation, featuring plenty of vineyards, olive groves and swimming pools, with our final location in a hotel so close to the Duomo in the centre of Florence, you could hit it with a good throw of a champagne flute (or stubby).  Places are limited to 13 clients in total (with 3 staff).

We’ll spend the first four nights on the outskirts of the medieval city of Pistoia, a couple of nights in Castelfalfi (west of Florence) in a rural location and three nights in Gaiole in Chianti, before finishing with the final night in central Florence.

{Places are limited to 13 clients in total (with 3 staff).}

11 Days/10 Nights
June 1–11 2018 *
  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Pistoia - Florence
  • Pick Up

    Friday, June 1 - Pickup 11.00am: Pistoia Railway Station
  • Drop Off

    Monday, June 11 - Drop off 11.00am, Florence Railway Station SMN
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

Friday, June 1: Day 1 | Pistoia

Our Tuscan tour will commence with an 11am pick up at Pistoia railway station. From here it’s just a short transit to our accommodation. The first four nights we’ll spend in a renovated ‘villa of charm’, located 4 km from the historic town centre. After lunch, and bike set-up, we will have a lazy afternoon rolling the jetlag out of our legs, covering around 50 ks in the surrounding rolling hills. Our route taking us through the towns of Monsummano and Serravalle. The highlights being the medieval Serravalle, and taking a coffee at the bar ‘Umberto, the king of Capuccino’ in Monsummano. Others may choose to laze under an olive tree by the pool, or explore the grounds of the Villa.

Dining

We will dine in-house tonight, al fresco, if the weather permits. Much of the produce for dinner will have been grown in the onsite organic garden of this historic residence.

Ride: 50km

Terrain: Undulating, with a couple of 2k climbs.

2

Saturday, June 2: Day 2

Heading out of Pistoia today, we’ll be riding due south, over a small range to the town of Vinci. Here we’ll visit a museum dedicated to ‘local boy made good’ Leonardo. For those not used to such cultural pursuits there is a standout Enoteca (wine bar/shop) in town, that is sure to keep you entertained. Next stop is the small town of Larciano, high on a hill. From here it’s just one short climb and a tour back across the plains to our base outside Pistoia.

Dining

Dinner inhouse tonight

Ride: < 70km, < 1500m asc.

3 climbs, two of which are used in the Pro race, GP Larciano

3

Sunday, June 3: Day 3

The Appenine range runs the almost the full length of the peninsula that makes up the ‘leg’ of Italy. It makes up parts of the border of Tuscany and it’s where we’ll be headed today. It’s not a huge range, in height, like the Dolomites. And while we’ll stay under 1000m asl, we’ll still do our fair share of climbing, and by the end of the day, we’ll know all about it. Leaving Pistoia we’ll head through Le Piastre, San Marcello and Prunetta. There’ll be three peaks, but for those who require MORE, there’s a ski resort not far away in the shape of Abetone, that’ll add another 35k and 1000 metres of vertical.
Highlights: medieval town of San Marcello, ride through forested mountains, w/lunch at Montecatini Alto.

Dining

Dinner inhouse tonight

Ride: < 90km, < 2000m asc.*

Terrain: climbing & descending all day, not much flat / *adding Abetone climb = 125km + 1000m vertical

4

Monday, June 4: Day 4

Up into the hills again, riding out of Tuscany into Emilia Romagna. After leaving the hotel, we’ve approx 5k of flattish riding to warm up, before it’s UP for the next 15k, albeit gently. 700m ascent in 14k, puts it at an average of 5%. We’ll journey through Il Signorino, Ponte della Venturina, Granaglione and Pracchia. Not to forget to mention, there’s an alternate ‘soft’ route home, following the river road down the valley.
Highlights: Foray into Emiilia Romagna! Forested ride along the Reno River, riding through small towns.

Dining

Lunch at Hotel Melini, Pracchia

Ride: < 90km, < 2000m asc.*

Terrain: climbing and descending all day / *can add Porretta Terme = 100km

5

Tuesday, June 5: Day 5 | Pistoia → Castelfalfi

We’re leaving Pistoia and heading south today, through Montemurlo towards Carmignano. Nearing Carmignano we cut away towards an original Tuscan vineyard, where we’ll have our lunch stop. Post lunch we’ll continue on to Empoli, before arriving at Castelfalfi, where we’ll bed down for two nights.
Highlights: Winery and lunch at Carmignano Fattoria (farm) di Bacchereto

Dining

Lunch at Hotel Melini, Pracchia

Ride: < 95km, < 1700m asc.

Terrain: flat for half, undulating to steep to winery, flat/rolling to end.

6

Wednesday, June 6: Day 6 | “Rest Day”

Rest-Day Option

Golf – truffle hunting (seasonal) and wild boar spotting in the private, wildlife reserve (non-compulsory) – Poolside Relax (compulsory, at some stage during the day).
Highlights: Choose an in-house massage and spa, if so desired. Lovely lunch with local wine.

Ride: < 0km

Terrain: flat (poolside)

Non Rest-Day Option

Ride Castelfalfi – Monte Serra - Lucca
Highlights: : Viewing the Mar Tirreno from the top of Monte Serra. Picnic and ride on Le Mura (the old earthern wall) at Lucca.

Ride: < 85km, < 1500m asc.

Terrain: flat but with one serious mountain climb

7

Thursday, June 7: Day 7 | San Regolo

Leaving the plains behind, we’ll be heading south-east into the heart of the ‘shorter’ rolling hills of Tuscany. Hopefully we’ll be riding past some of the ‘Tuscan Calendar’ shots, that have adorned your walls, for the year(s) after your in-laws have ventured to Europe. Once we arrive in Gaiole you’ll really start to appreciate it all. We’ll be staying in San Regolo, a little out of Gaiole, with all the necessary services within walking distance. One bar, one ristorante and fantastic rides.
Highlights: True Tuscan terrain, lunch at the medieval hilltop town Poggibonsi.

Dining

Dinner at a local truffle ristorante tonight

Ride: < 80km, < 1700m asc.

Terrain: undulating.

8

Friday, June 8: Day 8

All the fun of L’Eroica today, without the crowds. We’ll do an 80k loop, and where the first ‘official’ strade Bianche (dirt road) starts, is almost beside our accommodation. From here we follow the L’Eroica signs, taking in many sections of dirt road, as we head towards our final destination near Gaiole. While it’s not ‘off the beaten track’ you will be off the bitumen. So you’ll be seeing many Tuscan views that few get to see, just because you’re riding your bicycle, not touring by car or bus. There’s even a shortcut option, that takes off 26k, if you’re so inclined. Not that any of us would want to do that.

Dining

Dinner at the Baron Ricasoli’s Ristorante tonight, walking distance.

Ride: < 80km, < 1700m asc.

Terrain: Undulating, with gravel sections, followed by more undulations.

9

Saturday, June 9: Day 9

After yesterday’s epic we’ll be looking for an easier day today, so it’s "R & R. That is rest and recovery however you take it. Morning ride with long coffee stops, rolling in to lunch in Siena or a local vineyard, or even a picnic by the pool. Afternoon drinks in the square where the Siena annual horse race is held (Palio di Siena). There is even the possibility of doing an 8hr vineyard tour, in our immediate environs? The agony of choice.

Dining

Dinner locally, walking distance, again tonight.

Ride: Easy Day - Your choice

Lots of options for how you would like to spend the day.

10

Sunday, June 10: Day 10 | Florence

Il grand finale. Off to Florence today. Heading north towards Florence, we’ll cover 60k and three smallish peaks, the maximum height of which is 500m. Once in Florence we’ll tackle the 15k world championship loop, for our ‘grand finale’. Our final night’s accommodation is in central Florence, in a grand Palazzo.
Ride Gaiole in Chianti – Fiesole– Florence.
Highlights: transfer to our final accommodation in majestic Florence taking in part of the 2013 World Championship Road Cycling course.

Dining

Dinner tonight in a centrally located ‘Florentine’ ristorante, within walking distance.

Ride: < 80km

Terrain: undulating with three small climbs..

11

Monday, June 11: Day 11 | Florence

Florence

Highlights: final breakfast together in a historic palazzo. Enjoy breakfast in the renaissance atmosphere, before saying ‘Arrivederci’.. Which is not ‘goodbye’, more correctly, it’s ‘Until we meet again’. We’ll make sure everyone makes their final connections this morning before our final farewells.
NB: The itinerary above is to be used as a guide only, as Topbike Tours are well known for making use of all (and creating some extra) opportunities, expect that variations from the above can happen at any time. Please note all distances are approximate and subject to change.

Tour Location

Pistoia to Florence

2018 Topbike Tour of Tuscany | June 1–11

'EAT-DRINK-RIDE'

Pistoia to Florence

We’ll spend the first four nights on the outskirts of the medieval city of Pistoia, a couple of nights in Castelfalfi (west of Florence) in a rural location and three nights in Gaiole in Chianti, before finishing with the final night in central Florence.