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Best Reasons to Travel to the Tuscan Coast with VBT

Gregg--Vineyard Tuscan Coast

So much of southern Tuscany seems to have emerged from the earth itself. Tiny villages huddle within walls and rise atop hills as if divinely sculpted from the very stone upon which they perch. Quaint farms – many of them transformed into countryside agriturismo inns – offer up a bounty that finds its way onto famed Tuscan tables. As we cycle along its friendly Wine Roads—whose soil bear vintages so bold they can only be called Super Tuscans—we pass ancient olive groves that produce smooth elixirs beloved by the Medici family themselves. VBT will bring you the heart of the Etruscan Coast and here are some of the best reasons why you should join us.

The Cycling
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There are wonderful biking routes throughout the tour, but one of our favorites is the day we take in the scenery on a spellbinding cycle along one of the most picturesque routes in Europe, from Sassetta to Suvereto. During our ride we’ll pass cork and pine trees, medieval estates, and fields of sunflowers before arriving in Suvereto—an ancient village that dates back to the year 1000. Located on a hill overlooking the coast, the town is a true jewel full of history and art. After walking the ancient streets, we’ll continue on a thrilling downhill ride to Montioni where you’ll have the option to hop on our van and shuttle through a beautiful area of flat grazing lands, or continue riding back to our inviting country hotel.

The Agritourismi
Agriturismo Montebelli--Exterior at night

At VBT we place a certain emphasis on our guests immersing themselves into as much local culture as possible, and a big part of that are the accommodations we carefully select.  One of our favorites, the Agriturismo Montebelli—which has 91% thumbs up rate from Trip Advisor—is a gorgeous country hotel located in the Maremma region that is surrounded by olive trees, gardens and vineyards. VBT travelers will enjoy using their tennis courts and bocce courts, as well as relaxing in the outdoor pool or taking advantage of their horseback riding facilities for a leisurely ride. We’ll also dine on fresh food, much of which is grown right on the property and cooked up by the chefs at their amazing restaurant.

Wine and Olive Oil Tastings
Tuscany Olive Oil tasting
Not only will we pedal past beautiful wine roads like the Strada del Vino—which traces the Ornellaia vineyard to Bolgheri along gently rolling hills—we’ll also enjoy a tasting of some of the best varietals in our Agrihotel’s wine cantina in Collemezzano. Also, on day 6 of the tour, we’ll visit the family-owned and operated Fonte di Foiano olive oil mill in Livorno. Upon arrival we’ll meet members of the Di Gaetano family and enjoy a private tour of the press and workshop. During our tasting, Michael Di Gaetano will explain the differences among regions and how varied the flavors can be.

The Pre-Trip Extension
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The Tuscan Coast tour begins with an optional pre-trip extension of two days in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Florence is a perfect city to discover on foot because many of its attractions are centrally located in the small historic city center that stretches from Piazza del Duomo south to the Arno River. By day you can see all the masterpieces of art that are on display throughout the city and at night we’d recommend heading up to Piazzale Michelangelo, and taking in its enchanting  views overlooking the city.

To learn more about how you can visit this region on VBT’s popular The Tuscan Coast tour please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit vbt.com. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Meet Eileen and Naran: VBT’s Travelers of the Month for October 2013

eileen and naran

Usually we like to highlight some of our frequent travelers in the VBT Traveler of the Month series and check in to see what exciting new adventures they’ve been on. However last week, our friends at Agriturismo Montebelli—one the fabulous accommodations on our Tuscan Coast bicycling vacation—passed along a video of first-time VBT travelers, Eileen C. and Naran B., who took their first active vacation as an anniversary celebration.  Since there’s no better way to hear about a VBT vacation than from our travelers themselves, enjoy this short interview with Eileen and Naran from under an oak tree in Tuscany.

While the video covers the great time they were having on the vacation itself, we thought some of you might like to know Naran on beachhow they decided a VBT vacation was the perfect anniversary present to each other. Here’s what Naran had to say…

…About how they decided to celebrate their anniversary:
With our 30th anniversary approaching, we considered a variety of ways to celebrate, from parties, to gifts, to a number of different types of vacations. I’d heard good things about bike tours, and the more we considered it, the more we liked the idea of seeing some beautiful countryside, out of the crowds, with good food and wine, and getting some fun exercise in the process.

…About how they chose VBT:
We found out about VBT from the retired chairman of my company, who has been on a couple of your tours and highly recommended you. Since we are not much more than novice cyclists the variety of biking skill levels, your customer support services, and the cultural events in your tours made VBT sound like a good fit.

ruins 2…About how they chose which vacation to go on:
The most appealing areas to us seemed to be Italy, Austria or Croatia. We’ve been to the major cities of Italy before, but hadn’t really spent any time in the countryside. The reviews of both your Italian and Croatian tours sounded terrific. In the end, the timing and availability of the Tuscan Coast tour were the final factors.

To learn more about VBT’s Italian vacations please click HERE.