Spotlight: Southern Tuscany

Spotlight: Southern Tuscany

This bicycle experience merges refined lodging and cycling through unique parts of Southern Tuscany. This is a focused exploration of two locations in the Maremma region of Tuscany, squeezed between the Tyrhennian Sea and the volcanic lake region north of Rome. For three nights you’ll enjoy a countryside resort which is a springboard for great days of cycling to the sea, where fishing villages and beaches bring the coast to life. Retreat to the resort’s olive grove and spend the afternoon lounging near the pool, or enjoy optional activities such as art classes, cooking classes, in-depth culinary activities, or get back in the saddle and go mountain biking or horse back riding! Your next resort is in the beautiful, small village of Sovana, where you'll enjoy a unique and magnificent landscape as you pedal to small Tufa towns, built with and into the soft tufa (volcanic stone) prevalent in this area. Here too, enjoy the immense hotel grounds with its natural swimming pool and sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. This is a relaxing bicycle holiday that provides great cycling, exceptional lodging and time on your own to simply relax or do a myriad of other activities.

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Spotlight tour at the Spotlight Tour Style page.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jun 21-26, 2020
USD$3295
USD$550
Space Running Out!
Aug 23-28, 2020
USD$3295
USD$550
 
Oct 4-9, 2020
USD$3295
USD$550
 

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Tour Style: Spotlight Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Request Custom Date Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 6 Days
  • Total Distance / 176km (109 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 44km (27 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 2.5 Spotlight
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Shuttle from Rome's Fiumicino Airport to Maremma / Sovana with shuttle to Orvieto's train station.
  • Price / From USD$3295
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Less packing and more relaxing with a 3 and 2-night hotel stay, Argentario and Orbetello, Tuscan Maremma, Giardino dei Tarocchi, Talamone, cheese tasting, Tufa towns of Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano, Etruscan Hildebrand tomb, free time and optional activities after morning rides.

    Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Spotlight tour at the Spotlight Tour Style page.
  • Includes
    5 nights lodging; 3 dinners, 1 lunch, all breakfasts; group shuttle from Rome's Fiumicino to the tour start, and from Sovana to Orvieto; Pecorino cheese visit/tasting.

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Spotlight tour at the Spotlight Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Rome (FCO)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    36km / 176m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    Longer optional ride available
    3
    50km / 504m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    Longer optional ride available
    4
    58km / 970m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    5
    32km / 543m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 2.5
    Longer optional ride available
    6
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: If you'd like to partake in the extra rides on this trip you will need to navigate using the Ride with GPS tracks that we will make available to you.

Terrain Legend

Gently rolling Gently rolling hills

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Meet at Rome's Fiumicino airport to shuttle to Maremma

Highlights: Maremma, Lunch in the countryside, Tarot Garden

We will start the day with a shuttle from Rome's Fiumicino airport to our country resort in the Tuscany region of Maremma. We will enjoy lunch together before our bike fitting and first loop ride. On the test ride we recommend you visit the Tarot Garden, an esoteric sculpture garden based on Tarot cards, designed by the French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle. This garden is home to one of the most amazing outdoor sculpture gardens in the world. Opened in 1998, it is something between an Antonio Gaudí or Salvatore Dali exhibit and a Cristo installation. Once back at the hotel, you can lounge by the pool or ride a few extra miles to explore the small hilltop village of Capalbio. Enjoy getting lost in the intricate alley ways of this picture perfect village or visit the tiny castle with its magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. Though you won't be lost for long, you will gain an understanding for the defensive strategy of building villages that are reminiscent of a maze.

DAY 2: Coastal loop ride

Highlights: Monte Argentario, Spanish Forts, Porto Ercole, Tuscan coast

We cycle towards the coast today, riding parallel to it as we reach Monte Argentario, a small mountain emerging from the sea and connected to the mainland by two sand bars which form a lagoon. Here you’ll find Orbetello - a once thriving fishing village, in the middle of the lagoon. Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano are the two main villages of Monte Argentario and were once important open water ports, the huge defensive fortresses you see today were built by the Spanish. Cycle up to the main fort for a majestic view over Porto Ercole and the coast, take the opportunity to enjoy a snack or beverage as you overlook the bay. Return by shuttle or bicycle back to the hotel (an additional 46 km and 521 meters of climbing). Be sure to consider that there are a wide variety of optional afternoon activities including cooking demonstrations, winery or olive oil visits or just relaxing by the pool.

  • Distance: 36km (23mi)
  • Gain: 176m (577ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Ride to Talamone

Highlights: Visit to herbal liquer maker

We'll pedal north toward Magliano this morning before turning towards the Tyrrenian coast to reach the small village of Talamone. Perched high on a rocky promontory overlooking a picturesque gulf, this tiny village gets its name from Greek legends. Once upon a time this was an important Etruscan port, today it is a sleepy fishing village with an imposing fortress overseeing the village and its beaches. Enjoy some time here before shuttling or cycling back to the hotel (47 km and 390 meters of climbing) where you can enjoy an optional visit to an herbal liqueur maker in town or a yoga class at the hotel. Or, how about a horseback ride? You have a few options for dinner tonight - opt for the hotel restaurant or enjoy a unique barbecue dinner on the grounds.

  • Distance: 50km (31mi)
  • Gain: 504m (1653ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Capalbio to Sovana

Highlights: Tufa town of Sovana, Pecorino cheese, Etruscan tomb optional visit

Today's ride is rewarding and a little more challenging as you make your way to Sovana. This beautifully situated Etruscan town is literally carved into the local tufa (volcanic stone). Along the way, take the opportunity to stop and visit a local dairy and discover the secrets of Tuscan Pecorino cheese from the cheese maker himself. This afternoon, take part in an optional guided visit of the monumental Etruscan Hildebrand tomb, one of the most famous and well-preserved tombs of the area where you'll wander through canyon-like alleyways sculpted from stone! Settle into the hotel for the evening or head to the center of town to sit and enjoy a drink, surrounded by remarkable tufa stone buildings.

  • Distance: 58km (36mi)
  • Gain: 970m (3182ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Loop ride to Sorano and Pitigliano

Highlights: Pitigliano and Orsini Family Palaces, Etruscan archaeological sites, Sorano

Today’s loop ride takes us to the striking towns of Sorano and Pitigliano, both of which are perched high on cliffs of tufa stone. Similar to Sovana, these towns have Etruscan origins and impressive archaeological remnants. Built between the 10th and 15th centuries, they were held by important Roman families, the Aldobrandeschi (Sorano) and the Orsini (Pitigliano) until their fall to the Medici, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Their elaborate palaces still stand in the center of both towns. For those who can't stand the idea of ending their ride in Tuscany there is the option to add another 26 km and 571 meters. Once back at the hotel, enjoy a swim in the pool, a pasta making demonstration, or further exploration of the surrounding archaeological sites. Tonight we'll toast our adventure and savor a celebratory dinner together.

  • Distance: 32km (20mi)
  • Gain: 543m (1781ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Buon viaggio - shuttle to Orvieto train station

Highlights: Group shuttle to the Orvieto train station

Say goodbye after breakfast. We'll shuttle you to the Orvieto train station where you can catch trains north to Florence or south to Rome. If you have the time, we highly recommend you spend a few days in Orvieto to enjoy this spectacular town.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet at Rome's Fiumicino airport to shuttle to Maremma

Lodging: Locanda Rossa

Your tour starts with a complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle pick-up at the Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) on Day 1 (your spot is already reserved on this shuttle):

  • Meeting Time: 10:30 a.m.
  • Meeting spot: Semplicemente Roma Bar* 

*Note: Terminal 3, Semplicemente Roma Bar is located on the very left corner after you exit the luggage pick-up and Police control. Find a map here (only available in Italian).

Day 6: Departure Information

Buon viaggio - shuttle to Orvieto train station

Your tour ends with a complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle drop-off at the Orvieto train station on the final day of the tour at 10:30 a.m. Reservations are required. Please make your shuttle reservation by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date.

If you do not join the shuttle, you will be responsible for your own transportation

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying out of the Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO).

  1. Train from Orvieto to Roma Termini (80 minutes/fares vary, no pre-purchase necessary)
  2. Leonardo Express from Roma Termini to the Rome Airport (32 min/EUR 14) or Taxi (30 min/EUR 48)
  3. There are also frequent train connections to Florence, taking just under 2 hours.

    Look up Italian train schedules at Trenitalia.com or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep in Mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Spotlight tour at the Spotlight Tour Style page.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program.
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike &Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two), one water bottle , and a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

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