Cooking & Cycling is one of our favorite tours as it offers a balanced experience of exploring the local culture and relaxing with new friends. We will host you in our hometown village of Castagneto Carducci and spend the week cycling the amazing roads from the Mediterranean to the wooded inlands, learning Italian cuisine from a local chef, visiting a favorite local winery, and sampling other local delicacies along the way. For cyclists and non-cyclists alike this itinerary has something for everyone.
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We’ll pass the entire tour at a family run inn, Hotel Zi Martino. We’ve become family with the crew at Hotel Zi’ Martino, a simple inn built by a former Tour de France rider, Carlo Guarguaglini, and his wife, Isa. Now run by their son, Fausto and his family, the Guarguaglinis understand what we’re looking for in a vacation–the best riding, a great kitchen, and a family atmosphere with fun people.
This is our most flexible recipe for an unbelievable week in Italy. You get a bit of everything on this itinerary–the chance to immerse yourself in the local cuisine and culture, great cycling, and plenty of time to relax, too. Non-cycling chefs meet at least four mornings, learning a different recipe or technique, while the cyclists spin through rolling vineyards, chestnut forests, and over the hilly countryside.
Cooking lessons are limited to 10 people and non-cycling guests are prioritized for each lesson. If you are interested in mixing cycling and cooking throughout the week let us know on your booking form. Lessons begin at 11:00 to allow for some light exercise beforehand and last roughly 3 hours. Our rides leave at 9:00 meaning you have to choose between cycling or cooking.
The terrain is rolling hills with some sustained, shorter climbs, and very little flat. Cyclists should come prepared for the terrain and be willing to ride at a 2-pig level pace despite their earned summer fitness. On several days we’ll have the opportunity to ride longer for those interested, but our goal most days is to be back at the hotel in time for lunch.
This is a quiet, untrammeled corner of Italy and we ride the roads around Castagneto during our shorter days, with longer rides taking us to through ancient villages of the maremma and in to the wilds of the Metaliferi hills. The Mediterranean sparkles from the hill tops and we hope to be lured to the beach at least one afternoon.
Cooking classes commence while cyclists turn their legs, and chefs discover the secrets of the Tuscan kitchen most mornings or afternoons in four classes. Our host is Chicca Maione of Cooking in Tuscany and she invites us into her kitchen for instruction . In each class she will guide us through a selection of recipes–antipasto, primo, secondo, contorno, dolce– that incorporate into our everyday lives using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Classes are limited to 10 people to allow a hands on experience.
Cooking & Cycling begins and ends with transportation to Pisa airport [PSA].
Pick-up: 11:00 Saturday, Sept 14th
Drop off: Sunday, Sept 22nd: We will coordinate two shuttle times to the Pisa Airport to accomodate early departures and later morning departures. We will also provide drop-offs at the local train station in Castagneto.
Please email us your travel information, including arrival & departure details (flight number, times, scheduled trains) when you have them booked.