Tuscany Bicycle Tours, Cycling Holidays in Tuscany, Tuscany Villa Rentals
Speed limits in Italy will be clearly marked and the Rotary will be a welcome site with its directions to various towns. Gassing up is similar to US with credit card and automatic shut-off at modern pumps. Car rental are available in all large cities . Italian law states that you should have an International Driving Permit although the rental car companies will ask only for your home State drivers license and passport
Information for those Renting a vehicle in Rome
Tuscany bicycle tours will go between the hill towns and could include wine tasting, dining, and gourmet sampling of cheeses and artisanal produce.
The best bet is to use one of the good guide services or good hiking books like, "Walking And Eating in Tuscany and Umbria" as a guide.
Other Hiking Books listed below
A guided tour like La Dolce Vita Wine Tours gives the best dining and wine tasting option on a hiking tour but you can create your own good day hike at any of the many hill towns.
Park in the lot far below the town and then hike up to the top where you find the plaza, the town center, perhaps a restaurant, a wine cellar, or an interesting medieval church.
Tuscany is a largely agricultural region of rolling hills and intensive farming of grapes (September, October harvest) or sunflowers (Ripe in mid June), and wheat.
Low mountains make up a large portion of Tuscany and offer some good day hikes, especially near the hilltop towns or on the outskirts of the towns.
The best bet for those that will be in Tuscany for a short visit will be to go with a guided hike or a guided bike trip.
The tours usually go from village to village and the operators will arrange lodging and transportation.
Tuscany Photos by Len Delory
Tuscany occupies nearly 9000 square miles of north central Italy north of Rome.
Sections of several of Tuscany's notable places including the Val d'Orcia Artistic, Natural and Cultural Park near Castelmuzio in Sienna have been made UNESCO Sites and thus are protected from development:
Other protected sites Central Florence, the central square and Cathedral of Pisa, the center of Sienna, San Gimignano's central
Castiglione d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani and San Quirico d'Orcia, make up the Val d'Orcia
Tuscany and its fertile valleys was first settled in 1500 BC. Later in the 8th century BC the Etruscans settled the area and gave it its name.
Many museums in the area have Etruscan artifacts, sophisticated pre-Roman art involving advanced metallurgy.
By the 2nd century BC, the Romans had taken control of Tuscany.
Art and Architecture
The cities of Tuscany, particularly Florence and the wealth of its merchants, gave momentum to the Renaissance. The wealthy merchants of Pisa, a port city, and of Florence, commissioned works by great masters that now reside in the museums. Architectural masterpieces in Florence and Pisa resulted from the success of Tuscan bankers and merchants during the Renaissance. Illustrious Tuscans were Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo, and the painter, Botticelli.
The Medici, a banking family from Florence, commissioned many works of art.
A hike to the hilltop town can be a good day hike with a picnic at the top
For a one day guided bike tour out of Florence www.ibiketuscany.com/
Single and multi day tours, Florence and Sienna www.bikingtuscany.it/
Tuscan Hill Towns, Good Day Hikes
Anghiari, Nearby Nature Preserve
San Gimgnano, Wine, towers
Sarteano: hilltop castle, Etruscan tombs in the hills, Etruscan museum in nearby Chiusi
Monteriggioni: fortified 12 th century hill town near Siena with 84 residents
San Quirico D'Orcia:
Hike in the Crete and visit this 12 century fortified town
A day hike to the top of the hilltop village can offer some sights and good views of the valleys.
Tuscany Off the Tourist Castelmuzio is an out of the way hill town in Sienna that centers several other seldom visited hill towns. This once fortified hill town could make a good base for hiking or biking trips.. The town has its own charm with good views and still has remnants of the early forts.
Bus Service .
One road through Castelmuzio is called Via Degli Etruschi, the old Etruscan road. Nearby find the Roman era church of Santo Stefano.
Hike or bike north to the village of Montisi, (2 miles) a Medieval hilltop village (pop 400) Named for the Etruscan god Isis. Notable now for the study of harpsichord music.
From the road you have a view ot the strange landscape of the Crete Senesi, clay deposits from an ancient sea. .
Another hike or bike ride takes you west and north to the village of San Giovanni d'Asso. (6 miles)
From there you can drive or bike west to the village of Chiusure (11 miles)
Hike to the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore where there is interesting paintings and carved altars.
From Castelmuzio you can hike or bike east to the village of Petroio. (3 miles) This village is notable for making terracotta pots.
East from Castelmuzio you can continue to Montefollonico. (12 miles)From there drive further east and south to visit the hilltop town of Montepulciano, (10 additional miles)
A good day hike is to park below the hilltop town of Montepulciano and hike up to the top. (605 meters Alt)
Andrea della Robbia terracotta altar art in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church and two notable wines mark this Renaissance town.
Further west, follow the SP-146 south and west to the E-35 or A-1, north/south highway at the crossroad for Chiusi and the National Etruscan Museum.
Castiglione d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani and San Quirico d'Orcia, make up the Val d'Orcia Artistic, Natural This region is noted for agricultural tourism. Visitors can lodge in a farm house, vineyard or other rural setting with a family. This opens great hiking and biking opportunities.
Tuscany Hiking Books
Walking in Tuscany: Tuscany, Trail
Walking And Eating in Tuscany and Umbria
"50 Hikes In & Around Tuscany: Hiking the Mountains, Forests, Coast & Historic Sites of Wild Tuscany & Beyond"
"A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany: Exploring and Eating"
"The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany"
"Village Walks: Tuscany: 50 Adventures on Foot " (City Walks)
‘If you are looking for a great selection of places to stay with discount prices, visit Florence Hotels for more information’.
Tuscany Bicycle Tours and Cycling Holidays in Tuscany can be affordable with a Tuscany Villa Rental.
Sharing the rent on a Vacation Rentals can put Tuscany Bicycle Tours or Walking holiday in Italian wine country within the budget.
Tuscany Bicycle Tours and Cycling Holidays can be made affordable with a Tuscany Villa Rental.
The villas can offer six or more bedrooms and a shared kitchen and bathroom.
Several families can share the expense and make a Tuscany vacation affordable.
Sharing the rent on a Vacation Rental can put Tuscany bicycle tours and walking trips, hikes to the hill towns, wine tasting and gourmet dining on regional cuisine within reach and within the budget.
Tuscany Hotel and Villa Vacation Rentals: Prices, Guest Reviews, Photos, Maps