Cycling holidays in Tuscany... a lifetime of cycling, yet never getting enough of it
Here in Tuscany the landscape constantly varies in all directions: from the white marble of the Apuan Alps in the north, to the Maremma marshes in the south, from the beaches and cliffs of the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the crest…
Here in Tuscany the landscape constantly varies in all directions: from the white marble of the Apuan Alps in the north, to the Maremma marshes in the south, from the beaches and cliffs of the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the crest of the Apennines in the east, traversing the hill ranges that have made Tuscany renowned for its unique landscape.
Its asphalt, dirt or cobblestone roads have always been the cradle of great champions who have striven and lived here. Tuscany has always been a region devoted to cycling, with an extraordinary cycling tradition: Bartali, Magni and Nencini – and more recently Ballerini, Bettini, Cipollini – are just a few of the great Tuscan cyclists. It’s not by chance, in fact, that the claim of the World Cycling Championships Toscana2013 was “Tuscany Land of Cyclists”.
But here even mountain bikers are the norm. In this corner of paradise, between the Apennines, the Maremma, the Val d’Orcia and the Val di Chiana, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Ribollita is one of the most popular Florentine soups, which has stale bread as the common denominator with other characteristic local dishes. A particularly tasty winter dish, the soup is prepared by boiling a number of vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, beans, celery, carrots, onions and black cabbage. It is then served with croutons and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil; some people also add raw diced onion.
Characteristic Maremma dish, the ciaffagnone is nothing more than a thin and light crepe, made with water rather than milk. It’s truly tasty, but not very easy to find in restaurants. The most characteristic of all is pecorino-based, but there are also sweet versions, made with sugar.
An old Sienese Christmas dessert (which you can find all year round). Particularly nutritious, panforte is made with boiled honey, to which candied fruit, flour, spices, whole almonds and hazelnuts are added. It seems there are two versions of this spiced bread, the margherita panforte, in honour of Queen Margherita di Savoia who visited Siena in 1879, and a type of gingerbread panforte, which adds cocoa powder, candied melon and pepper to the classic recipe.
Those who have travelled along the Tuscan coast will surely have heard of this characteristic chickpea cake from Versilia, also known as farinata di ceci, made with cold water and chickpea flour. The traditional method of cooking is in a baking pan in a wood oven, which gives it a beautiful golden colour.
History & Culture
Tuscany has, without a doubt, always been one of the most visited Italian regions. Its irresistible charm, which attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world and from other Italian regions, is also reflected in the long list of places that are protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Florence, Pisa, Siena, Lucca, but also small villages such as Massa Marittima or San Gimignano, are alone worth a trip.
It is a concentration of beauty and unique works of art, evidence of the Etruscan civilization scattered throughout the region.
Bike hotels in Tuscany
San Quirico d’Orcia, Tuscany
open all year round
Chianciano Terme, Tuscany
April - November 2023
14 April - 5 November 2023
all year round
all year round
San Gimignano, Tuscany
30 March - 1 November 2023
1 April - 5 November 2023
open all year round