Italy: Sea-to-Sea Chef on Wheels Bike Tour With Seamus Mullen

  • Region: Italy
  • Destination: Umbria, Tuscany
  • Duration: 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
  • Level: Four
  • Price From: $5995
  • Single Supplement: $490
Tour Dates
Oct 1 - Oct 8, 2017 $5995 Sold out

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Region Highlights Tour Guides Accommodations Bikes What's Included

Join Chef Seamus Mullen on a journey for the senses across the heart of Central Italy. Cycle east to west to touch both coasts of the Mediterranean, beginning by the Adriatic Sea and ending at the Ligurian Sea. Listen to herds of sheep bleating in the pastures of the Sibillini mountains and watch the morning fog roll across the valleys of Umbria. In gardens and kitchens across the region, Seamus will teach you to craft Italian dishes from the freshest local ingredients, including truffles from your very own hunt. Pedal through an array of landscapes, from mountain passes and deep forests to olive groves, vineyards, and the cobbled streets of tiny hilltowns. Each day will feature different local specialties like pecorino cheeses and tender roasted lamb or lentil soups, truffle pastas, wild boar, and Super Tuscan wines. Develop your appetite during each wonderful day of cycling on a culinary experience so rewarding you will never want it to end.


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Tour by Day

Day One: The Climb Begins
Welcome to Le Marche! Your guides will meet you at the train station in San Benedetto del Tronto, on Italy’s Adriatic coast. After a coffee, we’ll hop on our bikes and start climbing out of town onto a panoramic ridgeline that quickly leaves the beach-town vibes of San Benedetto behind. Riding through ancient hilltop towns with striking views over vineyards, farms, and olive groves, you’ll wonder how this region has remained a secret for so long. Its isolation has helped preserve local produce like the heirloom pink apples of Montedinove, a town we will ride through. Tonight we celebrate the best of Le Marche’s regional cuisine at dinner with a local winemaker.

Meals: Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: San Benedetto del Tronto, Montedinove, Montelparo
Accomplished: 29 miles / 46 km, elevation gain: 1012 meters
Accommodations: Hotel Leone

Day Two: Conquering the Sibillini
Yesterday’s climb departed the coast and today will continue in kind: we’ll leave the cultivated landscapes of the coastal plain and spend the next two days in the wild uplands of the Appenine Mountains. This area has remained unknown to Italians and tourists alike due to its inaccessibility, but on a bike all you need is a strong will and low gear. The Fiastra gorge acts as the gateway to this region and we’ll wind our way up the canyon for views of the wild Sibillini Mountains. According to legend, the range is named for the legendary seer, or ‘sibyl,’ who lives in a cave here. This evening, we’ve earned a soak in the soothing pools of our spa hotel while Seamus cooks a dinner featuring local products like lentils, cicerchia (a local legume), mountain lamb, and pecorino cheeses.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Falerone, Fiastra, Camerino
Accomplished: 57 miles / 91 km, elevation gain: 1190 meters
Accommodations: Borgo Lanciano

Day Three: Crossing the Hump
Get ready for the wildest ride of the trip. Our route follows the narrow Sefro Valley up a switchback climb to the mountain pastures of Montelago and over the Passo Sallegri, recently featured in the Tirreno-Adriatico bike race. Descend to the plains of Colfiorito, famed for its red potatoes, and cross into Umbria where a surprise experience awaits. The final push of the day brings us to the highest point of our trip: a view we call “Umbria’s balcony,” where the entire Val Umbra sprawls before you. Tonight we’ll stay at a restored farmhouse that still produces olive oil, grains, and legumes. Needless to say, dinner will feature these farm-fresh ingredients and some local truffles found in the surrounding forests.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Passo Sallegri, Colfiorito, Poreta
Accomplished: 49 miles / 78 km, elevation gain: 1304 meters (Shorter option: 45 miles / 72 km, elevation gain: 1131 meters)
Accommodations: Borgo Della Marmotta

Day Four: The Green Heart of Italy
Pedal today across Umbria, known as the “Green Heart of Italy.” This area was the home of St. Francis and boasts an incredible wealth of both medieval hilltowns and Roman ruins. It is also the source of some of Italy’s best olive oils, wines, prosciuttos, and homemade pastas. We’ll delve into Umbrian food culture during a truffle hunt with a local tartufaio and his dog before setting off on our ride. Once we’ve left the mountains in our dust, our route takes us along panoramic open ridgelines through olive groves, wheat fields, and oak forests. Cross the upper reaches of the Tiber River before arriving at our beautiful country villa near the south shores of Lake Trasimene. Tonight’s dinner features local lake fish and homemade pastas.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Collazone, Marsciano, Pietrafitta
Accomplished: 54 miles / 86 km, elevation gain: 1018 meters
Accommodations: Villa Monte Solare

Day Five: Tuscany and the Val di Chiana
Today we enter Tuscany, the third and final region of our sea-to-sea sojourn. Climb to the hilltown of Panicale before descending into the Val di Chiana, home of the famed Chianina cattle. These huge white cows were the original Tuscan tractors, prized for their ability to pull plows through the thick local soil. Since WWII they have been reinvented as beef cows, most famously as the star ingredient of Bistecca Alla Fiorentina. This area also produces wheat, apples, olives, peaches, and, as you’ll see on our climb to the hilltown of Montepulciano, some of Italy’s standout red wines. Sample some of this local Vino Nobile at lunch before visiting a local Chianina producer and farm where Seamus selects the ingredients for tonight’s dinner and cooking class at our villa.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Panicale, Montepulciano, Montefollonico
Accomplished: 42 miles / 67 km, elevation gain: 925 meters
Accommodations: La Chiusa

Day Six: Siena and the Crete Senesi
Ride into the classic Tuscan landscape of the Crete Senesi, characterized by long vistas, cypress-lined drives, and orderly brick and limestone hilltowns. On our approach to Siena, the landscape changes once again as the green hills of Chianti emerge. Vineyards and deep forests obscure ancient castles and the wild boar who roam the region, known as cinghiale. No trip to Chianti would be complete without trying cinghiale, especially washed down with world-class Chianti wine. After lunch, it’s a short ride to our hotel in Siena where the afternoon is yours to explore this quintessentially gothic city, have an aperitivo in the Piazza del Campo, and research the local restaurant scene for dinner on your own.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
Destinations: Trequanda, Asciano, Siena
Accomplished: 38 miles / 61 km, elevation gain: 765 meters
Accommodations: Borgo Grondaie

Day Seven: Siena to the Sea
Leaving Siena, we ride past the fairytale fortress of Monteriggioni and onto the ancient Roman road, the Via Cassia—its low highway number (SS 2) a sign of its longevity. Pedal past the impressively perched medieval village of Colle di Val d’Elsa en route to Volterra, an imposing Etruscan hilltown that marks the beginning of our descent to the coastal plain. Ride over one last hill and through Bibbona to reach our final hotel of the tour. In the last 40 years, this region has risen from obscurity to become famous in the wine world for its production of so-called Super Tuscans like Sassicaia and Ornellaia. We will pair some local Super Tuscans with our final dinner as we celebrate a memorable week of biking, eating, and drinking our way across Italy.

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Monteriggioni, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Volterra, Bibbona
Accomplished: 58 miles / 93 km, elevation gain: 1206 meters
Accommodations: Relais Sant’Elena

Day Eight: Pisa
Take a final spin through Bolgheri and down to the beach to dip your front wheel in the Ligurian Sea, officially completing the journey from coast to coast. Later in the morning we will transfer you into the Pisa train station as you head to your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast
Destinations: Bolgheri, Pisa
Accomplished: 18 miles / 29 km, elevation gain: 198 meters

About The Chef: Seamus Mullen

Chef-Seamus-Mullen-ThumbnailSeamus Mullen is an award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author known for his inventive yet approachable modern Spanish cuisine. A leading connoisseur on Spanish food in the United States, Seamus opened his first solo restaurant Tertulia in Manhattan in 2011, which was awarded two stars from The New York Times, three stars from New York Magazine and was a finalist for one of the industry’s highest honors, the James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. In November 2013, Seamus opened El Colmado, a classic Spanish tapas and wine bar at Gotham West Market, a new food hall in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen.

After many years cooking in kitchens throughout Spain, New York and San Francisco, Seamus first rose to national prominence in 2006 with the opening of Boqueria, one of the first critically acclaimed and highly successful tapas restaurants in New York. In 2009, he was one of three finalists on the Food Network’s “The Next Iron Chef.” He has since been a contributing columnist to Everyday with Rachael Ray, and was a regularly featured judge on the popular Food Network series “Chopped.” Seamus currently contributes to SURFACE Magazine, Men’s Journal and Panna, an iPad video cooking app.

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