Italy

Strade Bianche Gravel

Ride where legends are made.
  • From $4560
  • Location Tuscany, Italy
  • Duration 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Rider Level 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Ride the white, unpaved roads that wind through the Tuscan countryside.

We’ve added a new twist to our Tuscany itinerary and included more sections of the famed white roads (aka “strade bianche”) of the Italian countryside. Legends have been made on these roads during the Strade Bianche, a one-day classic bike race that has become one of the most anticipated and watched professional cycling events. Our trip will highlight some of our favorite sections of the race and sprinkle in a few lesser-known segments of gravel.

On Friday, we will pre-ride the last 50 km of the Strade Bianche course—and likely spot a few professionals doing their final reconnaissance. On Saturday, we will do a short ride then watch the men’s and women’s professional races at several locations, stopping mid-day to fuel up with a homecooked pasta meal. We will be sure to catch the final kilometer, where racers sprint up a 25% grade into the walls of Sienna for the finish in Piazza del Campo. You can’t get much closer to the action! On Sunday, we will ride/race the twisty and undulating Strade Bianche Gran Fondo (80 or 140 km courses).

Highlights

  • Daily guided and supported rides among vineyards and olive groves with an emphasis on the Strade Bianche, the white gravel roads of Tuscany
  • Watch the Strade Bianche pro race on Saturday
  • Ride the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo on Sunday
  • Eat family-prepared meals by our Italian hosts, including pizza made in a wood-fired oven
  • Stay in cozy bed-and-breakfast accommodations off the beaten path
  • Explore Siena, taste wine and try the local cuisine
  • Take part in an authentic Italian cooking class

Food

It doesn’t get more authentic than this: Our food in Tuscany is prepared fresh by the Italian family who runs Palazzo a Merse, the bed and breakfast where we stay. Many of the meats are sourced from a farm down the road, and the veggies are grown in the field behind the property or by the neighbors across the street. Meats are cooked over an open flame, and pizzas are prepared in a 500-year-old wood-fired oven. Family B&B meals are balanced with dining out to enjoy the local cuisine.

Accommodations

Meet your new extended family at Palazzo a Merse, a restored 18th-century farmhouse bed and breakfast where we’ll spend the week. Owned by our guide Andréa Rossi and his wife and sister’s family, the rustic Tuscan B&B is about 10 kilometers from Siena in the quiet countryside of Val di Merse. Relax in the spacious, shady garden, or enjoy breakfast or a glass of wine as you lounge around the outdoor pool. Family-style meals are cooked by our hosts and served outside when the weather allows.

ITINERARIES

Day 1

Benvenuti in Toscana - Arrival Day

Guests will arrive in Italy, and our staff will do Florence Airport (FLR) pickups. After you register, we will email a list of suggested hotels for guests planning to arrive early. If arriving early we ask that you meet back at the Florence airport, it’s easy to take the train to/from downtown Florence. Please email us your arrival/departure plans, including flight numbers.

Everyone will have time to settle into the house and enjoy our first chef-prepared meal.

After lunch, our mechanics will work on building guest bikes or fitting people to their rentals. We will depart for an afternoon shakeout spin once all the bikes are ready, and all the guests have arrived.

Today’s Ride: Arrival Spin

20-25 miles & 1,000′ – 1,500′

Day 2

Crete Senesi Region

Today we’ll point to point across the Val d’Orcia region on our way to Il  Il Molinello Agriturismo. Here we will have lunch, tour their lavender farm, and check out their L’Eroica museum. The ride has several Strade Bianche sectors and we ride the famed white roads lined with Cyprus trees across the rolling countryside, you won’t want to miss this ride!

Today’s Ride: Crete Senesi Region

37 miles & 3,500′

Day 3

Strade Bianche & Siena Finish Recon

No trip to Tuscany is complete without visiting Sienna and today we will do it by bike. Our ride with recon the final miles of the Strade Bianche gran fondo and we will stop in Sienna to pick up packets and have lunch. Post-lunch we have an option to ride back to the B&B.

In the afternoon, we’ll taste wine at Trecciano one of our favorite wineries in Tuscany.

Today’s Ride: 

30-40 miles & 3,000 – 3,700′

Day 4

Chianti Gravel

Learn more about the legend of that famous black rooster as we take a tour of the Chianti region. We’ll shuttle to the start, and mid-ride, we’ll enjoy a coffee stop in the village of Gaiole, where the Eroica Gran Fondo starts and finishes. The route finishes in the medieval village of San Gusme, where we’ll enjoy lunch.

Today’s Ride: Discover Chianti

38 miles & 3,900′

Day 5

Strade Bianche Pro Race Viewing & Pre-Ride

Today’s agenda is going to be incredible! We will start the morning with a short ride before we catch the action at the Strade Bianche professional race. Post-ride, we will shuttle to Sienna to watch the pre-race team presentations then it’s off to the races. Fortunately, we have Andréa Rossi (lead Italian guide), and he knows all the best spots for viewing the races. Mid-day, we will take a break to return to the B&B and enjoy lunch before seeing the rest of the ride and grand finale into Piazza del Campo. The atmosphere at the end of the ride will be electric!

Today’s Ride: Recovery Spin

10-20 miles & 900 – 1,500′

Day 6

Strade Bianche Gran Fondo

Today, guests will ride the Gran Fondo or the Medio Fondo, which are great options! In the morning, we will shuttle all the riders to Sienna for a start. Post-ride, we will regroup in Piazza del Campo to celebrate our fantastic day on the white roads of Tuscany with pizza, beer, and wine.

Today’s ride: Strade Bianche Gran Fondo

Gran Fondo: 89 miles (34 miles of gravel), 7,38o feet of climbing

Medio Fondo: 54 miles (13 miles of gravel), 4,400 feet of climbing

Day 7

Ciao - Departure Day

Shuttles will run to the Florence airport all morning, with the last shuttle leaving at 11 a.m. Please email us your departure times.

Today’s Plan: Departure Day

Checkout by 11 a.m.

DATES & PRICES

DETAILS

What's Included

  • 7 days/6 nights accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Airport transfers to/from Florence International Airport (FLR)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for 7 days
  • Wine tasting
  • Mechanical support (including bike build and breakdown)
  • Professional trip guides
  • Daily sag support
  • Ride nutrition products
  • High-quality ride photos
  • Entry into Strade Bianche Gran Fondo

What's Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Bike rentals
  • Gratuity for guides
  • Mid-ride café stops
  • Personal shopping 

Optional Activities

  • Wine tasting
  • Tuscan cooking class

Questions?

Have more questions? View our FAQ page or call us at 406-312-5770.
SEE ALL FAQs

BIKE OPTIONS

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Rent A Bike

Traveling through the airport with a bike—and paying for it to fly—is not everyone’s idea of a fun way to start a vacation. Fortunately, we offer high-quality, full carbon bikes on all of our trips across the United States and Europe. Want to just show up and ride? Just bring your shoes, pedals, helmet, and saddle (if you want), and rent one of ours.

Available this trip:
ParkPre Kroad
Manufacturer: ParkPre
Type: Road
Cost: $350 / trip
Italian E-Bike
Manufacturer: Univega
Type: E-Bike
Cost: $350 / trip
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Bring Your Own

Your bike is yours—we get it. Bringing your own bike has obvious advantages in terms of individual comfort. Before your trip, we suggest getting a tune-up at your local bike shop so it’s ready to roll for your week of riding. Once you arrive, we’ll be sure to have our mechanics build it and help with any necessary tweaks. Check out some helpful resources here:

Shipping your bike

Flying with your bike.

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Skip The Bike

If you or your travel partner want to enjoy the trip and explore a new destination without a bike, drop us a line and we’ll discuss options. Some trips are better suited for non-rider participants than others.

TRIP TEAM