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BIT1703 - Tour of Tuscany

Saturday, September, 23nd, 2017 | Ursula Peter / Björn Greibig | Europe

Everybody arrived safe and sound back in the Villa. What a beautiful week!

Day 8: San Marino - Florenz

SS67!! Right, our highlight today is simply a road number. But it´s one of the best roads you can imagine! Hundreds of turns accompany us on our way to Florence. Today we´ll do the world famous dragon´s tale, probably 10 times in a row!

An 80 km road, definitely designed by a passionate motorcyclist, leads you to one of the most frequented motorbikers coffee stops. The pass divides Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. In the old days the pass road was closed on Sundays for racing. A great place to enjoy your last cappuccino of the day and a chance to get in touch with the locals

and last not least a boot beer -cheers

Day 7: Loop day San Marino

The beaches of Gabicce Mare and Pesaro connected by the Strada Panoramica high above the Adriatic coast offer great views and awesome riding. Marco Simoncelli`s hometown Coriano, with his memorial and museum is on our way as well as the race track of Misano.

Our lunch place is located high above the Adriatic Sea. We will stop in Tavullia, Valentino Rossi’s Italian hometown, at the "caffe dello sport" to take a picture from his "ranch" and to  drink a cappuccino topped with the "46". 

 

what a beautiful view from the Grand Hotel San Marino into the Montefeltro mountain range. 

Gerti and Paul at the "Teutonen Grill" - (German Barbeque)

In the museum in Coriano - Super Sic

the memorial of Marco Simoncelli

Misano race track

in Gabbice Monte at the Bel Sit restaurant - the best on tour

that was the starter

on the Strada Panoramica Adriatica

Rossi`s ranch

Cafe dello Sport

Day 6: Assisi - San Marino

If you are worried that you would come short on your daily ratio of curves, this route is your choice. It will briefly take you back to Tuscany, along the Trasimeno Lake and the battlefields of Hannibal near Tuore. 

We will stop in Cortona which was the film set for "Under the Tuscan sun". This route contains some road layouts that will make you drool months later in hindsight. 

On our way to Urbino, a Renaissance town,  we reach our fourth region of Italy, Le Marche. The street SS73 must have been designed for motorcycles.

Crossing the Montefeltro mountain range, we come to San Marino, the oldest republic of Europe. Like a crown on a mountain, it marks the end to a perfect riding day.  

What a sunset!!!

Lake Trasimeno

Dave, Roberto and Paul

The boys

Ursula and Gerti

Van time!

Cortona!!! Film set for "Under the Tuscan Sun". Besides the tourists, not much has changed here since the Middle Ages. The view through the gaps between the houses, down to the plains and fields is magnificent. We wonder if the people who lived there 600 years ago could have appreciated it as much as we do.

Everybody is stuffed after a delicious lunch at "Il Grillo"

and here he is - the master

“The town on two hills”, this is the meaning of Urbino in Latin. The Renaissance town is unique in Italy and of an extraordinary beauty. Since 1998 on the World Heritage List. The visitor should take a look at the Palazzo Ducale - the Duke’s palace – which showed the rich and demonstrated power. It is the birth town of Donato Bramante, Raphael, the most famous Renaissance Painter and last not least Valentino Rossi was born here.

Day 5: Loop day Assisi

Despite the millions of tourists and pilgrims it attracts every year, St Francis’ hometown remains a beautiful and tranquil refuge. From Roman times, its inhabitants have been aware of the visual impact of their city, perched halfway up Monte Subasio. From the valley its pink and white marble buildings shimmer in the sunlight.

San Francesco was born here in 1182 and his spirit hovers over every aspect of the city’s life. He renounced his father’s wealth in his late teens to pursue a life of chastity, obidience and poverty, founding the Order of Minors (the Franciscans after his death), which attracted a huge following in Europe. St Francis’ Basilica is the city’s, and possibly Umbria’s main attraction.

You can easily spend a very enjoyable lazy day in the streets, cafes and restaurants of this medieval place or you make a compromise between action and relaxation by doing a half day round trip on fun roads to Orvieto so as not to miss out on any picturesque palazzi and piazzi.

quick fotostop at Lago Trasimeno

Also on a tuff-plateau 325 meters above sea level, Orvieto has been known since the Etruscs. Let yourself be impressed by the world famous Dome Santa Maria. Construction began in 1288. This masterpiece of architecture and art, with the mosaic front, the round window and the flat relief and many more details will fascinate our eyes. 

San Francesco

the lower basilica

Day 4: Siena - Assisi

This is a riding day at its best! Hopefully you are well rested. We leave Siena with a lot of new impressions. Only a few miles down the road we are overwhelmed by new ones. To the average Italian tourist, an itinerary that includes Siena, Montalcino, Assisi sounds like a cultural overkill. Tonight these names will have a different meaning to us. The riding is spectacular here!

Through the Crete Senese we touch the Via Cassia, a former Roman North/South main road. We turn east to the thermal spa region around Montepulciano and Chianciano. The water of this health resort has been well-known since the Etruscs. 

Additional to all that highlights we offer you one of our spectacular and famous “Edelweiss picnics” with all the Italian specialities in the middle of the impressing Tuscan nature, high above d`Orcia Valley.

The beautiful Assisi.
all hot water

Bagno Vignoni, the little village, dates back to Roman times and was later a popular overnight stop for pilgrims. 36 springs of hot sulphurous water bubble up  into a picturespue pool, built by the Medicis. The whole piazza is a big pool surrounded by restaurants and mellow stone buildings.

Picnic time in Bagno Vignoni

Motalcino

Day 3: Loop Day Siena

Le Crete – typical Tuscan hills, cypress alley along the driveways to the farmhouses, San Galgano and Abbazia di Monte Oliveto and the power of the church, curvy roads in the Merse valley, sightseeing in Siena in the afternoon - Piazza del Campo, Torre del Mangia, where the  Palio takes place twice a year and last not least the cathedral – the mosaic floor, the Great Plague and the plan of enlarging the old church. Quite a program - so lets go. 

A historically important ruin, standing completely isolated on a flat plain, it was abandoned in the 15th century for reasons unknown. Only in the year 1962 did a Roman monk settle down here and bring life back to this place of peace. You will feel it!

Steven asked for sun - and here it is. Perfect temperature, perfect riding weather

Troy and David and Ruth

this couple is meditating

a delicious picnic on a wonderful place. Thank you Björn

can you see what`s cooking there?

Le Crete - this landscape is known from calendar pictures

Santa Maria Assunta

inside like in a fairy taie

56 panels of marbel inlays. 40 artist worked on it for 200 years

Il Campo - one of the most beautiful plazas in Italy.

Pizza di Salimbeni - this is headquarter of one of the big banks in Tuscany - Monte dei Paschi di Siena

Day 2: Florence - Siena

Our destination for today is Siena - the town on three hills, famous for its annual horse race the “Palio” in the city center. It’s time to enjoy the sunset with a glass of original Chianti wine. Welcome to Bella Italia!

We leave busy Florence behind, and start to enjoy riding the winding roads of the Chianti area. This region seems like it was made for motorcyclists, with its small villages inviting you for a coffee break along the way. Many castles and fortresses, most of them privately owned, are scattered along our way. This is also the area well known for its excellent wines, many of them produced in small wineries embedded in those same castles and fortresses. We enjoy our first glass in the evening.

The Black Rooster - icon of the Chianti area

Maybe here are two roosters

This charming town with its triangular Piazza Matteotti has two claims to fame: Antica Macelleria Fallorni (butcher`s shop), known for its meat cuts since 1729; and Giovanni da Verrazzano, the local-boy-made-good who discovered the New York harbour. Verrazzano was commemorated there by the Verrazzano Narrows bridge, linking Staten Island to Brooklyn which is well known by every runner who ever did the New York marathon.

David, Ruth and Roberto in front of the Verrazzano statue

Macelleria Falorni

Troy in the old cheese cellar

Listen says Paul - the Chianti region is gorgeous

David and Ruth

Due to a lack of Ferraris, Rolex and Prada the rich and important families who ruled the region in the past needed to find their way to outdo each other. They came up with building higher towers than their neighbours. Around 1500 they had more than 72 examples of this picturesque nonsense. Today there are only 14 left but the result is still a must-see tourist attraction nicknamed “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” for its skyline.

Day 1: Guided City Tour Florence

"The pearl of Italy", "The cradle of Renaissance" - thats Florence. Troy and Steven joined the guided city tour today. The weather was perfect, the rest as well

We started with San Lorenzo the oldest church in town. The Medici Chapel, were all the Medicis are buried.

Leather market at San Lorenzo, Yes, even men are shopping.

the belt gets ajusted

famous food market

poor sword fish

The "Gates to Paradise" at the Baptistery

good view to the Duomo from the Irish Pub

the ensemble is just amazing. Took them 100 years to build and than there was no roof for the next 100 years - the just didn`t know how to do it - until Brunelleschi came up with a solution

like real Italians you need to have a cappucchino

Michelangelo`s first sculpture - the Bacchus

can you recognize the lion face on the back of faun?

the Bargello

Santa Croce

Piazza Signoria - the old town hall - Palazzo Vecchio

the David - only a copy but still amazing. Anatomically correct and 500 years old

some art along the way

The designer street

The Tour of Tuscany - the autumn version - starts. We wait for our guests in the Villa Pitiana south of Florence. Tomorrow we`ll have a guided city tour in Florence before we take off to expolore the Chianti area. So stay tuned...

 

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