View Full Version : Cycling in Tuscany

09-24-2007, 09:16 PM
We're looking at a 3 day, 110 mile trip through Tuscany (Pienza to Castellina in Chianti).

The ride is rolling hills with some climbs. The climbs are "7-10% and long."

Can anyone give me an idea of what "long" is? We have a lot of very steep hills (think 45 degree angle) around here, but they aren't what I'd consider long (maybe 3-4 blocks worth).

Anyway, just looking for a general description of what to expect - are we talking 40 miles of climbing a day?!

We're doing a self guided tour through cicloposse if anyone is interested, and going in June 2008. So far they've been fantastic to work with.

09-25-2007, 03:33 AM
Hopefully, you get someone who has been in the area to give you better detail (I know of at least two TE-ers who have been to Tuscany). We were in Tuscany briefly before heading east into Umbria and Marche.

As a flatlander, I can say this much...I preferred the hills that were 7-10% and long over the shorter 10-20%-ers. In the area, most of the time "long" meant no more than a mile of climbing--the area was more rollers than mountains.

One day we had almost 20 miles of up, some of it was steeper than 10%, but, quite frankly, that was easier. The reasoning is that when the climb continues, you enter a climbing mindset and you just go. You're not looking for the top and panic-ing because it is "so far away"; instead you find the easiest gear and just keep plodding. I found I saw a lot more of the scenery on the longer climbs.

Good luck. Enjoy the views when you get to the top!

09-25-2007, 07:23 AM
Hi Laura,

We did a Tuscany cycling tour this summer, and although not in the same area, I'd say the longest climb we did was approximately 5 miles at 7-10% grade. Keep in mind we were on an "advanced-beginner" tour, so if you are on an intermediate or advanced tour you could face more climbing.

Thorn is right in that most of the hills are rolling. Most of our climbing was done as the end of the day in order to get to our lodgings. In Tuscany, most of the cities are atop hills!

I hope you have a wonderful time. We sure did! :)

P.S. If this is a self-guided tour, will you have your routeslips/maps ahead of time? If so, I highly suggested plotting your routes out on something like Map My Ride or Routeslip. Although I've found both a pain to use, if you have patience, you can plot out our route and get climbing info as well. I was able to do it for our trip after we got back home - it was fun to see the stats of what we did.

09-25-2007, 03:48 PM
We were in Pienza on our Trek Travel tour last year. Riding is awesome, hills tend to be longer then we have in Indiana, but doable. I had a little more trouble on some of switchback descents, but DH loved them. Here are some pics:











01-06-2009, 12:50 PM
I've been cycling through Tuscany before and it shouldn't be that strenuous for anyone who just bikes regularly. Several people in our group had older kids with them and they were able to handle it. It is very rewarding to sit down for a nice glass of wine afterward as well. Great experience.