Where to stay and bike in Tuscany

May 21st, 2012, 11:56 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Where to stay and bike in Tuscany

I am going with my husband to Italy for a week in June. We are flying in to Florence, spending 2 nights in Manarola on the coast.
We are trying to find the perfect town & lodging for 3 nights in Tuscany. We're going to rent bikes and explore the countryside, wineries, food, architecture, art & history for 2 full days.

Please help us with recommendations for where to stay. We'd love to stay in a B&B or hotel very near a town with shopping, restaurants. We're also not afraid of the hills, but more interested in seeing a beautiful place, rich in history, friendly people, and good food & drink.


Thank you

Cassidy
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 03:41 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
http://www.poggiolo.info/

San Quirico is the real thing!
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 04:48 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Thank you so much, I'll look into that.
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 06:27 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,539
Are you and your husband experienced road cyclists? Can you repair a flat tire and fix other minor mechanical problems? Have you investigated how/where you can rent bikes?

If you answer 'no' or 'maybe' to any of the above, I would consider finding a small organized cycling tour or a guide. There are no bike lanes anywhere and very minimal shoulder, and, although the locals are attentive to cyclists, tourist drivers not so much. If you join a tour, the company is responsible for all mechanical issues and will know the safest, most enjoyable routes. A tour company can also make reservations at a few wineries, most of which do not accommodate drop-in visitors.

If you want to do the cycling independently, I suggest you investigate where you can rent bikes before you decide on where you will stay. Tuscany is a large area, and you don't want to spend half a day driving to a rental spot or paying to have the bikes delivered. Some companies have a minimal rental of 3-4 days, and some rent bikes without pedals on the assumption you'll bring your own. IMO, you should bring your own helmets. If you're talking about June 2012, you may be late in finding exactly the type of bike you prefer. Here's one company I've heard about (but there are others):

http://www.gustocycling.com/holiday-...ycle-hire.html
Jean is online now  
May 21st, 2012, 07:48 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Thanks Jean. We are experienced road cyclist. I don't, however, enjoy biking on busy roads. Do you have suggestions for an area where there are more "roads less traveled"?
Driving is a concern. We will be driving from the Cinque Terre and I'd I love input on whether it is worth it to drive a bit further past Siena to Pienza or Montepulicano OR if we should look into staying in the Chianti region.

Thanks again
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 07:50 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
PS, Bob-I have sent an inquiry to Il Poggiolo.
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 08:39 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,539
After several driving vacations in Tuscany, my (serious cyclist) husband has abandoned (nearly) all desire to cycle there. Roads are narrow, little/no shoulder, often twisty-turny, blind corners, occasional farm vehicles, etc., although we have been on some roads with sparse traffic (mostly in/near towns not frequently mentioned here). Last October, we encountered a group tour having lunch in Radda, then heading to Lucolena and back to their base outside Greve. 50 km. r/t.

Frankly, I think you need to look for the bikes first and then decide where you'll stay. The rental companies can help with suggested routes in the immediate area, useful tips, etc. You also need to decide if you want to cycle a small geographic area for two days or explore Tuscany (with a car). I love the area between Montepulciano and Montalcino, but I wouldn't cycle there without some very specific road advice from locals.
Jean is online now  
May 22nd, 2012, 06:11 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
I will seek out as much advice and detailed maps (and upload them to our garmin) from where ever we rent bikes. I know that there is a good place in the Chianti area and based out of Siena.
We are driving Tuscany on our day down from the Cinque Terre and our day back up to Florence. So, for our 2 days of biking we want to just explore a small area.
So, should we base ourselves out of
1. Chianti (thanks Jean for the tip about that group ride you saw there) OR
2. the Montepulciano area

Is it worth the longer drive down & back from the north to get South of Siena?

Thanks again for all your input, my wheels are turning and I'm a googling machine.

Cassidy
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 06:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
This is a good company in Pienza.
http://www.cicloposse.com/

I agree with Jean--it is not easy to bike in Tuscany without help. The area south of Pienza toward Montichiello is the best I have seen for the definitive Tuscany expereince.
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 06:36 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
Ok, thanks guys. I had originally planned on staying in Chianti to keep our drive time shorter, but now I think I'll try to find a place to stay in the Pienza area.

I'd love recommendations for B&B's or hotels that are within walking/biking distance from shopping & restaurants in this area. I don't even know where to start


Cassidy
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 07:35 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,018
The choice is enormous but you need to decide if you like riding hills or the flat. If the flat stick to the valley bottoms and slog dwon from Pisa airport to Chiusi with a variety of detours.

If over the hills there is no limit however you might like to do the "Heroes" race which starts in Florence and goes due south out of Siena on the main ridge road. I think its 450kms in 24 hours and I did 25kms in 2 hours trying to beat the setting sun as I had no lights, tough but straight.

Pienza (on hill) not a bad place, plenty of tours do Montepulicano from there. Use Google maps to find bike hire.
bilboburgler is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 08:13 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
Jane, I too have been looking for that place in Tuscany with a rural setting but near shops and places to eat. After 20 years of looking, and hundreds of hours of research, and 17 trips to Italy, I have found few that meet those criteria. One is above !
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 08:57 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,936
We stayed here a couple of weeks ago. It's located about half a block from the walls of Pienza. It's a new hotel but it's not a cookie-cutter hotel by any stretch. Each room is different and service was outstanding. We had the most amazing view from our balcony over-looking the stunning Val d’orcia.

http://www.hotelcorsignano.it/hotel.aspx
sharona is offline  
May 22nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7
www.cicloposse.com is a really helpful website.

I've sent availability requests to both of the suggested lodging options, thank you.

bilbo, it's good to hear from some one that's cycled the area. We're looking to do a couple of loops from one location. So far the 2 main contenders are Radda in Chianti OR Pienza.

Thanks again!
Cassidy_Jane is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jd2015
Europe
10
Jul 11th, 2015 05:07 AM
CK27
Europe
14
Feb 6th, 2013 05:52 PM
nspotz
Europe
22
Dec 9th, 2011 02:02 AM
abcsports
Europe
11
May 2nd, 2007 06:58 AM
KNP
Europe
4
Apr 24th, 2005 06:46 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:43 PM.