One could run through the alphabet and find phrases and descriptions—beginning with each of the 26 letters—that personify the wonderful country that is Italy. In an effort to bring this specialness to the fore, we have a delightful itinerary that is wholly Italian. The Regioni of Italy are comparable to the states in the U.S.A., and on the Italian Idyll we explore five: Toscana, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, and Abruzzo.
As with all Beach destinations, these offer tremendous terrain; scenery that truly does take the breath away; and riding opportunities incomparable elsewhere. To take maximum advantage of all that central Italy offers, this itinerary features many double overnights. These allow in-depth exploration, or riding each and every road that strikes your fancy.
The majority of the Italian Idyll takes place in magical little towns far from the normal “tourist circuit.” Here life moves at a farmer’s pace, and seasons rather than hours or days dictate activity. The ancients left a special legacy, and our visits to Florence, Rome and Siena are the opportunity to appreciate the culture and beauty they created.
As modern men and women, we have the opportunity to ride, and ride we shall! Away from the main valleys dynamite little roads await. These tiny roads take time and reward you, the explorer, with a glimpse of Italy that is unforgettable in its timelessness. These roads take you through olive groves, spectacular mountains, medieval villages, and quiet countryside, rewarding the motorcyclist with a unique experience.
We begin with the heart of Italy, Tuscany. All of Italy is beautiful, but this region surpasses all others in natural beauty. It is one of the most verdant areas with beech and fir woods, majestic and elegant cypress trees, and one hundred nature preserves.
For centuries the Guelphs of Florence bitterly fought the Ghibellines of Siena. The first days on the tour feature two double-overnights, in Florence and Siena. With time to explore both cities one gains a sense of the changes brought by the Renaissance. Money, talent, and new ideas flowed into Florence while Siena languished. Their loss is our gain, as Siena is now a more 'genuine' medieval city, unaffected by the changes that swept through Florence. The crowds are absent, the back alleys quieter, the shopping more affordable.
The roads between the two cities are brilliant, meandering over the Tuscan hills, around and through vineyards and ancient settlements. Captivating vistas and little traffic make for a great ride!
Italian culture is very much about the sea. An overnight on a magnificent property on the west coast will help you understand why. At the foot of the impressive Monte Argentario, Porto Santo Stefano is a working man's port with fishing boats vying for moorings among the jet-setter's yachts.
On the way there pass through active thermal areas where the earth's heat is used to produce power with sustainable resources.
It is more than a cliché - every road sign really does point to Rome! Our two days there are rewarding, with enough time to see this magnificent city and taste some of the history, but not so much to be overwhelming. A private city tour is included as part of the Italian Idyll, and when it is complete you will have had an intimate view of the millennia of history here.
A dip into Abruzzo takes us, once again, almost to the east coast of Italy. Abruzzo is sited in the highest and wildest portion of the Apennines. Three mighty mountain chains contain the highest peaks in the peninsula. Villages seem to cling to the cliffs for dear life. Farming is possible only in the valleys and in the hills brown bear, chamois, wolf, and the golden eagle are still to be found.
Our double overnight here has been arranged specifically to benefit the riders, for roads in the Gran Sasso offer some of the best riding in the entire country! Snow capped mountains are not what one would expect in Italy, yet here they are, towering over your truly unique accommodation in a Medieval village. The Gran Sasso is just one more place certain to leave a lasting memory.
Next comes Umbria and specifically, the village of Trevi, just a few kilometers from Assisi, for our overnights. Each small village along the way is home to a castle, church, or museum that is, indeed, a must stop and admire location! Nearby Spello has Roman ruins, Baroque and Gothic churches, and a renowned fresco depicting New Testament scenes.
Umbria consists of 8,456 square miles, 53% of which is mountainous, 41% hilly, and 6% flat (we have ways around that bit!). Situated in the exact geographical center of the Italian peninsula, Umbria was the crossroads for men, ideas, and cultures as well as the meeting place for the battling hordes from the north and south.
Dante was of the opinion that Umbria was the most violent place in all of Italy. In spite of the violence, or perhaps because of it, Umbria is also known as the land of saints—Francis, Clare, Benedict, Rita, and Valentine—to name but a few.
We touch the Marche region more than once, with good reason. Seemingly a more 3-D version of Tuscany, the hills of the Marche are higher and the views are more expansive. We travel south at right angles to a majority of the valleys. Crest a range of hills and be treated to a wonderful view again and again throughout the day! The economy of this peaceful area relies on service, agriculture, and artisans. Another delight for riders is the lack of industry, meaning that the roads have not been straightened to handle the burden of large vehicles. Rather, the Marche’s roads faithfully follow contours of the land.
As an alternative to dancing with your bike on brilliant roads, Italy’s culture and history come alive in the cities visited on the Italian Idyll. Your free days allow detailed exploration of crazy, majestic Rome, artistic and beautiful Florence, and elegant Siena. Stroll on the Ponte Vecchio, visit the Roman Forum, and enjoy a glass of Chianti in Piazza del Campo. Take it lightly, or dive in with tourist vigor.
Riders have excellent options on free days if these impressive cities don’t strike your fancy. Each day on the Italian Idyll has been thoughtfully planned to offer a variety of routes of various distances. Enjoy the cities, revel on the country roads—it is your choice.
As you will find, from the sun-drenched coasts to the snow-clad peaks, Italy is a paradise for motorcyclists. There is magic to be found in the antiquities: the magnificent museums, the art treasures, the architecture, the parks, gardens and streets, and food and wine that is nothing short of irresistible. And the people! Yes! In short, the entire Italian Idyll is magical!
Here is an altitude track for one rider's version of the Italian Idyll.
April 30 - May 14 Book Now
Oct 7 - 21, 2018
1450 miles / your choice
Florence, Trevi, Santo Stefano Di Sessanio, Rome, Siena
includes a variety of a la carte, choice menu, fixed menu, and buffet style dinners.
detailing daily routing options, points of interest enroute.
with turn by turn detail of all the daily route suggestions
embroidered with your name and tour
Prices based on shared twin/double room. Single rooms available at extra charge.
Rider price includes the choice of a BMW C650GT, F700GS, F800R, F800GS, F800GT, R1200R or R1200GS motorcycle with unlimited mileage. Other models are available at additional cost. Find out more about the various models of BMW Motorcycles available for use on a Beach tour.
Sports car Driver price does not include vehicle. Please see the list of convertibles available for use on a Beach tour for details and prices on the automobiles available.
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