Backroads - vacations and travel

Tuscany & Umbria Biking: Undiscovered Umbria to Cortona, Land of the Tuscan Sun

Italy

from $3,998* per person 6 Days May-October
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Backroads 26 people max
  • Arezzo, italy
  • Active & Adventure trips
No doubt you'll arrive with certain expectations. After all, artists and writers have waxed hyperbolic on the glories of Umbria and Tuscany for centuries - how can you not have preconceived notions? But somehow it's still a surprise, the sensory feast that surrounds you. You're still floored by the beauty of silvery olive groves and endless acres of vineyards. By springtime poppies. Summertime sunflowers. Harvest-ready grapes in the fall. By the symphony of flavors in even the simplest of dishes. And the sheer warmth and passione of the local people. Expectations exceeded? Just another day in the heart of Italy.

  • Soak up the medieval flavor and ancient traditions of charming hilltop towns
  • Taste splendid wines, like Sagrantino, Montefalco Rosso and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
  • Simple yet delectable local specialties: hearty ribollita, panzanella, fresh pastas and delicious pastries
  • Gracious hotels with distinct local flavor: a family villa, a former mill and a converted farmhouse
  • Get to know our favorite friends and colorful local characters

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Italy

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Itinerary

Days 1-2 Soak up the medieval flavor and ancient traditions of charming hilltop towns. Beneath rolling Umbrian hills, enjoy a riverside spin on the Assisi-Spoleto bike path.  Wander in timeless Bevagna, perhaps pausing to browse for ceramics and silver. Beauty abounds in Assisi, from the stunning Basilica of Saint Francis to the verdant valley below.

Day 3 Taste splendid wines, like Sagrantino, Montefalco Rosso and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Welcome to Tuscany! Pedal through the Chiana Valley, whose white Chianina cows provide the key ingredient for the region's famous bistecca alla fiorentina. Fortified hill towns and distant Mount Amiata - Italy's second-highest volcano - provide a dramatic backdrop. Explore Pienza, the Renaissance utopia of Pope Pius II. Join our friend Vittorio in his cozy cantina for a private degustazione.

Days 4-6 Simple yet delectable local specialties: hearty ribollita, panzanella, fresh pastas and delicious pastries. Cruise past olive groves and sunflower fields to La Braccesca wine estate for an exclusive visit and picnic. Show off your culinary skills alongside talented chefs at our hotel's cooking school. Pedal gentle terrain to historic hilltop Cortona, a great place to shop for unique handicrafts. Giovanni, our longtime local guide, leads us on a tour of this celebrated town. Savor a classic Tuscan tableau during an easy ride past ancient farmhouses, vast wheat fields and cypress-lined roads.

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