Experience incredible harmony with the beautiful Tuscany landscape
Dear Italia Living readers, this week I want to talk to you about the most important event of the world in the matter of vintage racing bicycle. A picturesque bike race which was born in 1997, and it takes place every year on the white roads of the Tuscan Chianti countryside, on the surrounding area between Florence and Siena.
This cycling demonstration is called Eroica, and during this occasion, it’s possible to see beautiful bicycles of every epoch, often belonging to the first half of the twentieth century. This is the peculiarity of this sporting event: it’s striking to see cyclists wearing vintage clothes and riding vintage bikes through gorgeous white roads located in a typical Tuscan territory characterized by a thick mantle of cypresses, interpolated with traditional cultivations of wines and olive-trees.
It seems as though these original bikers write a poem on these white roads, staying in incredible harmony with the beautiful Tuscany landscape. As a matter of fact, the idea of Eroica was born proper for preserving the heritage of Tuscany’s white roads.
The race starts in the nice village of Gaiole in Chianti, and it is open to all, giving riders an option of 38, 75, 135, or 205 kilometers – making it suitable to all kinds of people who want to enjoy a new cycling experience surrounded by the green hills. But, only riders with a vintage bicycle and vintage sportswear, and are able to complete the track in under 12 hours can achieve a diploma of Heroic!
The event starts at the beginning of October, but the experience of the Permanent Route of the Eroica is a unique adventure that allows you to experience the excitement of the Heroic event during any time of year.
Personally I ride the white roads with a “simple” route of 38 km, and it is not so easy, but the beauty of the landscape is so awesome that it rewards all the strain.
One beauty that pops up during the ride is a beautiful castle! I’m talking about the Brolio Castle, a castle which has been in the Ricasoli family since the 11th century. The view from Brolio Castle and his gardens are incredibly gorgeous. I suggest you walk around the castle to see the fantastic views of vineyards, hills, woods of oak and chestnut trees, olive groves and the valley below. It’s possible to visit cellars and taste wine at the Barone Ricasoli Winery, the oldest winery in Italy and is believed to be the second oldest in the world. Baron Bettino Ricasoli was a far-sighted wine entrepreneur as well as a leading protagonist in the Italian Risorgimento and promoter of Chianti!
It’s an unforgettable experience to taste a good Chianti surrounded by nature and held by a spectacular green panorama.
It is for this reason that I found the best season to ride the Eroica is in springtime, when the view is totally green, and of course in October when the Eroica takes place and it’s the harvest season.
During your vacation, I also recommend you stay in some typical holiday farm resort, in which from the swimming pool it is possible to enjoy all the beauty and peaceful panorama around you. Resorts normally rent bicycles and they can come to pick you up if you are getting tired on the way back.
Nature, sport, history, good wine, food and a picturesque Italian sport event – together make for a most memorable experience for discovering an uncommon Tuscany with all of its sustainable lifestyle.
Every Italian place hides a secret ready to be discovered – and Eleonora shares some of those here on Italia Living.