Touring Tuscany from the Seat of a Bike

Text by

Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.

Light
Photo: Kip Malone

Nobody cares about road bikes anymore. But I’d argue these light, fast, and efficient machines are still great for exploring—something that was reaffirmed when I rode a Pinarello F10 through Italy on a trip with InGamba tours.

Pedaling up to six hours each day, I had an unobstructed view of the countryside that I would have missed while sitting in a tour bus. I met locals and got a close look at vineyards and medieval fortresses that I would have otherwise whizzed past in a car. And thanks to all those calories I burned each day, it felt great to eat heaping platefuls of fettuccine with ragu Bolognese every night, washed down with glass after glass of Chianti classico.

Photo: The group rolls through Castellina in Chianti, a small town of 3,000 people just north of Siena.

Photo: Kip Malone

In Tuscany, you can ride for miles without passing a car.

Photo: Kip Malone

Chatting with a local in the piazza outside the Rocca di Castellina.

Photo: Kip Malone

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of vineyards along the road in Tuscany.

Photo: Kip Malone

The food was simple, fresh, and plentiful. InGamba jokes that if you lose weight on one of its trips, you get your money back.

Photo: Kip Malone

The Italians drink espresso at least a couple times a day. It’s rare to find a to-go cup and almost sacrilegious to take milk in your coffee after 11 a.m.

Photo: Kip Malone

InGamba tours are not cheap—the company’s late-August trip starts at $6,950—but that’s because all the details are handled. Riders get their own kit and locker, plus a team mechanic who ensures all the bikes are perfect each day, and the company supplies all the food, coffee, and wine you can consume. Even better, it offers an end-of-day massage.

Photo: Kip Malone

Fresh bikes waiting for the riders.

Photo: Kip Malone

Resting at the Borgolecchi Inn in the town of Lecchi.

Photo: Kip Malone

The medieval town of Siena, which is famous for its Palio di Siena, a bareback horse race that takes place around the palazzo.

Photo: Kip Malone

Riders sharing war stories.

Photo: Kip Malone

No caption needed.