Tuscan lifestyle cooking and bike tour
Welcome to the cooking and bike tour combining fantastic moderate rides and cooking lessons; we add special tasting: olive oil, wine and cheese. Of course is la cucina Toscana – simplicity in its purest form. Tuscany cooks take advantage of the freshest seasonal products and tamper with their natural state as little as possible. The cooking and the cycling aspects will please anyone who has a strong interest in one or both of these great passions.
You will explore gorgeous loop rides in the beautiful val d’orcia: Pienza, Montalcino, San Quirico. Across Val di Chiana to reach Cortona, Discover Crete Senesi, a rolling sea of land and sightsee Siena town.
How much cooking will we do?
After you have worked up an appetite, we will feed you very well! Most days include a hands-on cooking class or a visit to taste local food artisan. Our dining-out experiences range from a simple osteria, to a family trattoria, and an elegant restaurant. You will come home inspired, not only with new recipes, but also with the enthusiasm to cultivate these lessons into your lifestyle.
Foodie adventure Highlights
- Return from your trip with actual know-how to create a Tuscan dinner back home—it’s the ultimate keepsake!
- Pedal rolling hills past Sangiovese vineyards
- Brunello wine tasting at acclaimed biodinmaic and organic Winery Corte Pavone
DAY BY DAY
- Friday: Welcome to Val d’Orcia
Meet at Chiusi train station (a major stop on all the Rome-Florence lines) at 14.00. Private van transfer to the country house Palazzi del Papa , 14 km /9 miles from Pienza. Check in at your room and let’s start bike fitting session and meet your guides. After all guest are set with bikes and equipment let’s have a short bike ride test in the valley. Welcome Dinner in Monticchiello at La Cantina della Porta.
After welcome breakfast ready to start – a short transfer by van just outside Montepulciano village to let you start the first ride with a nice gentle downhill through the vino nobile vineyards. After will be flat terrain: the Val di Chiana, once a swampy lowland, except for the final climb to reach the old town on the hill Cortona, one’s of Italy’s oldest towns. The first set of city walls were built by the Etruscans in the 4th century BC. It became famous by Frances Mayes in her bestselling book “Under the Tuscan sun” also a movie!! Stroll the winding narrow – and steep! – medieval streets for a while. Transfer back to the country house by van in the afternoon.
Distance km 45/28 miles for stronger cyclist option to ride back!
Dinner at Dopolavoro della Foce
- Sunday: Pienza & Montepulciano.
Our ride today starts from the villa – First stage is Pienza, a pristine Renaissance jewel created in 1458. Pope Pius II chose the famous Florentine architect Rossellino to transform his home village of Corsignano into one of the few examples left of 15th century architecture. The main product is the pecorino the delicious pungent cheese made using only sheep milk – continue to next village Montepulciano known as the Pearl of the Sixteenth Century, do not miss the visit at underground wine cellar. Back in the saddle last stop in the village of Monticchiello, the quintessential Tuscan hill town. Bold cypress trees line our route to the Orcia valley where you bike through the fields that inspired Renaissance painters.Distance 46 km /29 milesReady for your first cooking session with Paola at the countryhouse?
- Monday: Montalcino & Brunello
Our ride start from the villa: first stop after 10 km easy ride is the ancient Roman spa of Bagno Vignoni. Legend has it that Saint Catherine and Pope Pius II both bathed in the thermal waters here. It is a tiny village, water has a constant temperature of 51 degrees Celsius, at the heart of the village is the “Square of sources”, namely a rectangular tank, of 16th-century origin, which contains the original source of water that comes from the underground aquifer of volcanic origins.
Now the climb to Castiglione d’Orcia is the challenge part of the day. Once at the top enjoy a long downhill till Romanesque abbey of Sant’Antimo that dates back to the time of Charlemagne. Last effort -9 km gentle up to Montalcino – the hill town is very famous for Brunello wine made with the Sangiovese Grosso grape and aged a minimum of four years. After the visit let’s reach all together Corte Pavone winery: you will taste this biodynamic & organic Brunello wine, learn about the aging and enjoy the lunch at cellar. Distance 48 km /30 miles
Back to the villa for the second Cooking lesson
- Tuesday: Radicofani & pici
Today another terrific bike ride: start from villa reach Radicofani a medieval and enchanting village with a 1000 dating Rocca, one of the most impressive fortresses in Tuscany. Radicofani is included in the Park of val d’Orcia – Unesco site and Via Francigena (which was the main route followed by pilgrims in antiquity who went to Rome), bust still is off the beaten path – so will be the most quiet day – from Radicofani now we will reach another secluded road called le Conie and reach Bagni San Filippo Enjoy the downhill back to the valley. It rise along Francigena road near the old Spedaletto Castle, shelter for wayfarer which, in the Middle Ages, wanted to get to Rome from all over Europe, in the XV century. Castle was readapted in a granary, a real fortified farm. Back to the country house by bike.
Distance 55 km /34 miles
This afternoon let’s learn the classic pasta of the area: pici all’ aglione sauce and pici al ragu di chianina. Pici is a fresh spaghetti, handmade one by one.
- Wednesday: Siena & Le Crete
After breakfast departure by bike from the villa. First stop is San Quirico, an Etruscan origin village with a superb example of the Italian garden: the Horti Leonini. Pass through Asciano and Le crete area, with strange rock formations and lone farmhouse flanked by twin cypress tree. Let’s pedal through vineyards and forest we’ll arrive in Siena, a medieval city with beautifully preserved Gothic architecture. The entire city of Siena was built around the Piazza del Campo. Here we’ll have time to shop while exploring the many hidden medieval walkways Go soon to visit the shell shape square where the Palio horserace is run and enjoy a free lunch on your own.
Distance km 60 /37,5 miles. Back to the country house late afternoon. Farewell dinner at restaurant La Bandita townhouse in Pienza.
- Thursday : Arrivederci al prossimo bike tour
After a breakfast all together there will be transfer to Chiusi train station around 10.00/11.00
On request we will arrange transfer at different time.
Podere Palazzi del Papa
The Palazzi del Papa farmhouse was built in the thirties by the Marchesa Origo – La Foce – replacing an old inn where the Eminences used to rest when they were going through the nearby Francigena road.
Podere Palazzi Del Papa – Room
Furnished with rustic antiques, the country house has a warm atmosphere authentic Tuscan charm.
The Agriturismo has 9 double/twin bedrooms With en suite facilities with both showers and baths
Podere Palazzo Del Papa – room close up
Nowadays, the Company owns 100 ha cultivated with cereals and wheat which is mainly used for the Chianina-breeding. This activity is, among others, the most important one.
Podere Palazzi del Papa
From the vineyards a wonderful red DOC Orcia wine is produced. Of course, it is available to be tasted for all our kind guests. They produce wine, olive oil, Chianina meat
Price & Inclusions
Cost: Euro 2.800 per person in double occupancy
Single room supplement euro 490
Six nights in country house with all breakfast
Six dinners & two lunch
Three cooking classes
two wine tasting
All maps, trip notes and detailed route directions
All Shuttles and technical assistance
Experienced English speaking guide
Cicloposse water bottle
Transfer on day one from station
Transfer on day seven to the station
Airfare to Italy, train to Chiusi, 5 lunches, alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, gratuities, travel insurance, laundry expenses and items of a personal nature
Bike Rental for entire tour
Hybrid bike euro 180
Race bike euro 210
E-Bike euro 210
Easy to Moderate
Spring & Fall
Nice charming private villa
May 22th – 28th
June 12th – 18st
September 11th – 17th
October 9th -15th
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