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Secrets of San Gimignano Cycling


Park Hotel Le Fontini  ****
Volterra  Days 1+8

The 4 star Park Hotel Le Fonti is located just below the Porta dell'Arco entrance to Volterra's beautifully preserved medieval center. It's an easy 10 minute strool into agruably one of Italy's oldest towns. The hotel has over 50 comfortable rooms, all of which are furnished in a simple style with terracotta floors and elegant fabrics. All rooms have ensuite facilities. The real highlight of the hotel is the breathtaking view from the terrace and fabulouse infinity pool - the sweeping panorama over the Pisan hills is truly outstanding!

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 1  Arrive in Volterra

We meet you at Pisa airport and take you to Volterra (75mins) where you've time for a dip in the pool and a wander round its tangle of cobbled alleys and hidden squares before dinner. (Staying at Park Hotel Le Fonti, Half Board)

Day 2  Volterra to Pancole 41km/26mi

A downhill spin out of hilltop Volterra and down into the pretty Era Valley where spectacular views of the surrounding timeless Tuscan countryside open up as you pedal! As you climb gently out of the valley, you'll soon pass through the pretty hamlet of Castagno where we suggest a coffee pit stop in the local bar. Your route continues on to Gambassi Terme, a well preserved spa town with cobbled streets, C12 church and lovely shaded gardens. Lunch here perhaps in one of the many trattorie then, soon after leaving the town, you'll pick up the famous Via Francigena for the gentle mainly downhill stretch to medieval Certaldo where you can stop for a gelato before your final climb through olive groves and vineyards to the hamlet of Pancole. (Staying at Hotel Le Renaie, Half Board

Hotel Le Renaie ***
Pancole Days 2+3

Hotel Le Renaie is a lovely family run 3 star hotel run by the Sabatini family in the pretty hamlet of Pancole, midway between San Gimignano and Certaldo.
The hotel started life as a restaurant but over time, it has grown into the charming 25 room hotel it is today.
The bedrooms are spacious and decorated in a traditional style. All have ensuite bathroom facilities.
Surrounding the hotel is a pretty terrace with bright flowers and scented gardens. There is an outdoor pool, a tennis court and a shop which sells wine as well as the family's own home grown and produced olive oil.

Further details on the
hotel website.

Day 3  At Pancole

If you prefer a day off from cycling today, then the pool here is simply gorgeous and nice lunches served on the geranium-scented terrace too! There's also a small shop where you can taste local cheeses, olive oils and wines. The more energetic might want to cycle past orchards and vines to Boccaccio's birthplace, stunning Certaldo. Take the funicular to its medieval centre for spectacular views across the Val d'Elsa.(Staying at Hotel Le Renaie, Half Board

Day 4  Pancole to Colle di Val d'Elsa 32km/20mi

Today's route explores the panoramic wine country between Pancole and Colle di'Val d'Elsa. You'll first retrace your route to Certaldo and then follow the official, mainly off-road, Chianti Wine Route where you'll find lots of tasting opportunities. Don't forget, we can collect any purchases for you! It's then on to the old town of Poggibonsi, a perfect lunch stop and where you can visit the ruins of its unfinished C15 fortress. The day ends with gentle pedaling through tree lined meadows and a valley of poppy and sunflower fields to Colle di Val d'Elsa. (Staying at Relais Della Rovere, Half Board)

Relais della Rovere  ****
Colle di Val d'Elsa  Days 4+5

The Relais della Rovere is a stunning 4-star hotel located at the edge of Colle di Val d'Elsa. The Cellerai family have sympathetically converted this C12 Benedictine Abbey into a 31 room luxurious hotel, retaining many of the abbey's original features.
The bedrooms are split between two buildings and decorated in a contemporary style with wooden floors and beech furniture. The rooms are quite large with ensuite facilities.
The hotel has a lovely outdoor pool which is surrounded by pleasant gardens.
Further details on the
hotel website.

Day 5  At Colle di Val d'Elsa

Lots of choice today: explore the medieval old town which dates back to Etruscan times, take the local bus to Siena (30 mins) or Florence (1 hr), two of the most beautiful cities in Italy; take in the medieval town of Monteriggioni, an easy cycle or short bus ride away; or simply laze by your hotel's sparkling swimming pool surrounded by lovely gardens. (Staying at Relais Della Rovere, Half Board)

Day 6  Colle di Val d'Elsa to Pescille 40km/25mi

It's easy pedaling this morning as you head south via the high old town of Colle di Val d'Elsa and on to Casole d'Elsa, a beautiful village charaterized by ancient vermilion-hued buildings and blessed with stunning balcony views from its hilltop position. Take time to explore its C12 church (frescoes by Gano da Siena) and impressive fortress before an early lunch perhaps in the lovely piazza. You then wind north, gently uphill, through wonderfully scenic countryside with the fabulous medieval towers of San Gimignano giving a formidable backdrop as you pedal on to Pescille. (Staying at Hotel Pescille, Breakfast at the hotel, evening meal taken at a local restaurant)

Birds eye Hotel Pescille

Hotel Pescille ***
Pescille Days 6+7

The Hotel Pescille is located just 4km outside San Gimignano, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. It started life as an old farmhouse before being converted into the 3* hotel it is today. Evidence of its origins still remains however, with its ancient tower housing the hotel's small agricultural museum. There are pleasant gardens surrounding the hotel - with lovely views of the surrounding landscape - and it also benefits from an outdoor swimming pool.

All rooms at the Hotel Pescille are ensuite and are simple yet spacious with tiled floors, whitewashed walls and pristine white linen; air conditioning. satellite TV, minibar and hair dryer also all come as standard. Rooms have views onto either the timeless Tuscan countryside, or the roofs and mediaeval towers of San Gimignano itself.

The hotel does not have a restaurant open for dinner, we have therefore arranged for you to have return taxi transfers to the centre of San Gimignano, where there is a wealth of restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes.

Further details on the hotel website.

Day 7  At Pescille
San Gimignano is just a short cycle away, its stunning medieval towers giving this hilltop town a distinctive Manhattan-style skyline! Explore its myriad of narrow streets and many hidden cobbled squares before returning to your tranquil hotel for a refreshing dip in the sparkling swimming pool. (Staying at Hotel Pescille, Breakfast at the hotel, evening meal taken at a local restaurant)

Day 8   Pescille to Volterra 38km/24mi
It's a short ride to San Gimignano before a climb up through classic Tuscan landscapes of vines, olive groves and fields ablaze with sunflowers befpre emjoying the 16km/10mi, mainly downhill, run into the pretty Era Valley. There's a real sense of achievement on your final pedal through open countryside offering spectacular views before heading back to the ancient cobbled streets of Volterra. (Staying at Park Hotel Le Fonti, Half Board)

Day 9  Leave Volterra after breakfast

We take you to Pisa airport after breakfast for flights home.

Note: Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in Italy for children under 16.  As we cannot provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

For extra nights we recommend Florence, Pisa, Siena, Colle di Val d'Elsa or Volterra.

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