Mangia. Beve. Bici. Chianti
If they’re doing it right, pro cyclists lead regimented lives that make monks look like college kids on spring break. During his time as a pro for the Cervélo TestTeam, João embodied the spartan lifestyle. He lived and trained just outside of Siena in the Chianti region of Tuscany, an area known as one of the best places anywhere to ride a bike.
Chianti also happens to be the epicenter of the food and wine world. João being João, with his heart and mind never far from the table, he whiled away all those long training hours on the bike dreaming of the ultimate bike trip — one that would cover the roads he was on but not keep him from the epicurean bounty surrounding him. Finally, at the end of a late-season training ride, he sent out a tweet: “Thinking of doing a ride, eat, drink EOY bash here in Chianti October 12-18th. Share my favorite things about this place. Who’s interested?”
There were no security deposits, no liability waivers, and, as one guest put it, “a huge amount of trust.” Bicycling Magazine would end up calling Joao’s trip, “the best ride on earth.”
We’re still committed to the spirit and sense of enjoyment that embodied that original adventure. We’ll stay in Lecchi, roll through picturesque Tuscan villages, descend through vineyards and olive groves, linger over coffee stops, ride the famous white roads, and climb our way to a hearty appetite.
About the eating: It is often said that it’s hard to find a bad meal in Tuscany. That’s true enough, but also doesn’t go far enough for inGamba. We want only the sublime meals — the best of the best, and, what’s more, the ones still hidden from guidebooks. We dine in the region’s top-secret restaurants, and at friends’ homes for a taste of incredible local cuisine.
And this is Chianti, after all: We’re just a few pedal strokes away from where the famous wine was first produced by Barone Ricasoli in the late 19th Century. On a recent trip, we went through 23 different types of wines. No, that’s not bottle numbers.
When off the bike and away from the table, we’ll be taking insider tours of Siena — a few local wineries as well as some surprises, like a private sampling at renowned Sienese baker Il Magnifico.
As with all inGamba trips, you can expect to be cared for with the same personal attention reserved for world-class professional cyclists. For details about our bikes, soigneurs, mechanics and overall approach to creating the most carefully curated cycling experience available, please read about Our Mission.