Topbike Tours - European Cycling Holiday Specialists

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 -

L'Eroica Retro Bike Tour - Vintage Gran Fondo, Chianti Tuscany

L'Eroica Tour - Tuscany
September 27–October 7 2019
Pistoia to Florence

L’Eroica is a ‘vintage’ Gran Fondo, run on the dirt roads of the Chianti region in Tuscany.

On this tour we’ll preface Chianti with a fully Tuscan experience, starting with four days in a Villa outside Pistoia.  From here we’ll ride all the way south to Chianti, with a two day stopover near the Tuscan coast.  On the final day we’ll be riding L’Eroica with many others, past pencil pines, vines and many an olive tree.  It’ll be hard, rewarding and eccentric, so don’t miss it.  Grab your ol’ pre ‘87 steely and come along.

2019 Topbike L'Eroica Italy Tour with start in Pistoia - Dolomites, Chianti & Tuscany Sept 27- Oct 7 2019, Cycling in Tuscany
Excellent accomms, cuisine, and unique rides, guaranteed.

NB: You may be able to hire an old steely for L’Eroica, we have a few.  Please contact us to help facilitate.  Or a full carbon bike for the other rides, or both!

Tour Price: $5950 (AUD) (Per person)

[Places are limited to 13 clients in total (with 3 staff).]

Rides will average 60-100k along with >1000m vertical, per day.

11 Days/10 Nights
Sept 27–Oct 7 2019 *
  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Florence - Florence
  • Pick Up

    September 27 - Pickup 11.00am: Florence Railway Station SMN
  • Drop Off

    October 7 - Drop off 10.00am: Florence Rail Station SMN (or other location if arranged prior)
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

Friday, Sept 27: Day 1 | Start in Pistoia

Our Tuscan tour will commence with an 11am pick up at Florence 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 town centre of Pistoia. 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.
Highlights: 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.

Accommodation

Renovated historic Villa, with gardens

Dining

Inhouse Restaurant

Ride: 50k

Terrain: Undulating with a couple of 50km climbs

2

Saturday, Sept 29: 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.

Accommodation

Renovated historic Villa, with gardens.

Dining

Inhouse Restaurant

Ride: < 70k, < 1500m vertical

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

3

Sunday, Sept 29: 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, with lunch at Montecatini Alto.

Accommodation

Renovated historic Villa, with gardens

Dining

Inhouse Restaurant

Ride: < 95k < 2500m vertical, (adding Abetone climb = 125km + 1000m vertical)

Terrain: climbing & descending all day, not much flat.

4

Monday, Sept 30: 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. NB It’s important 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. Lunch at Hotel Melini, Pracchia

Accommodation

Renovated historic Villa, with gardens

Dining

Inhouse Restaurant

Ride: < 90km, < 2000m vertical ascent (can add Porretta Terme = 100km)

Terrain: climbing and descending all day

5

Tuesday Oct 1: Day 5 |

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

Accommodation

Recently built luxury Villa, with golf, gardens and pool.

Dining

Inhouse Restaurant

Ride: < 95km < 1700m ascent

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

6

Wednesday Oct 2: Day 6 | 'Rest Day' (or not!)

Rest Day
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 & ride on Le Mura (the old earthern wall) at Lucca.

Ride: < 85km, < 1500m ascent

Terrain: flat but with one serious mountain climb

NB: The Vespa musesum (better than the Ferrari one) at Pontedera is an active option on both days.

Accommodation

Recently built luxury Villa, with golf, gardens and pool.

Dining

Inhouse Restaurant

7

Thursday Oct 3: Day 7 |

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 in Chianti, a little out of Gaiole, with the basic services on our doorstep. We have almost an ‘inhouse’ Alimentari/Bar/Café with an excellent ristorante within walking distance. Not to mention the fantastic rides.
Highlights: True Tuscan terrain, lunch at the medieval hilltop town Poggibonsi. Dinner at a local ristorante tonight, walking distance.

Accommodation

Tuscan built apartments/rooms.

Dining

Excellent Ristorante, walking distance

Ride: 70km, < 1700m ascent

Terrain: 10k gentle climb to start, 15k descent, 10k flat, followed by a gentler 20k climb ascent all the way into San Regolo in Chianti.

8

Friday Oct 4: Day 8 |

All the fun of L’Eroica today, without the crowds. We’ll do an 80k loop, and as the l’Eroica ride route passes through the middle of San Regolo, it’s fairly easy to find the course. From here we follow the L’Eroica signs, taking in many sections of dirt road, as we loop around back to our final destination. 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.

Accommodation

Tuscan built apartments/rooms.

Dining

Excellent Ristorante, walking distance.

Ride: 85km, < 1900m ascent

Terrain: Undulating, with gravel sections, followed by more undulations. Six small peaks, the highest of which is 750m (NB our starting point is at 500m)

9

Saturday Oct 5: Day 9 | L'Eroica Registration and course reccy

Registration and course reccy for tomorrow’s Eroica is all we have to do today. Along with a little carbo loading, probably an aperitif as the Tuscan sun sets, etc.
All in all, a fairly easy day. Not forgetting of course the retro bike market that spreads all over, and fills Gaiole. If you need to pick a part up at late notice, there’s no better place. You can even pick up a classic here, be it Bianchi, Colnago, Tomassini, Wilier, Fondriest or something else? In fact you’ll have a huge choice.

Accommodation

Tuscan built apartments/rooms.

Dining

Excellent Ristorante, walking distance.

Ride: 30km, < 500m ascent

Terrain: nothing massive

10

Sunday Oct 6: Day 10 | L'Eroica Gran Fondo!

Today it all changes. It’ll be an early start for those riding the bigger routes, the rest of us can take a more leisurely approach, kicking off between 8-10.00am, genuine ‘pro’ hours. You may choose from 46k, 75k, 135k and 209km courses. Lots of dirt sections, or ‘bianche strade’ and lots of dust, broken up by the best food stops available in any granfondo.
It is expected you will be sympathetic to the overall ambience of the event, choosing to ride a pre-1987 bike, with down-tube shifters, toe straps and exposed cables. Woollen jerseys will complete the picture.

Accommodation

Tuscan built apartments/rooms.

Dining

Excellent Ristorante, walking distance.

Ride: 46 / 75 / 135 / 209km

Terrain: Varying amounts of ascent. All spectacular.

11

Monday Oct 7: Day 11 | Pack up day

Pack up day. Time to pack our gear and bikes, and get on our way to our next destinations. Drop off point will be central Florence Rail Station Santa Maria Novella.
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 approx and subject to change.

Tour Location

L'Eroica Italy Tour

2019 L'Eroica Tour | Sept 27–Oct 7

'Gran Fondo'

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