Coed Tuscany Cycling Retreat
Castagneto Carducci, Italy
September 17-24th, 2023
Come join us on our most celebrated retreat and rekindle your passion for the art of living: la dolce vita (Italian for “the sweet life). We’ll cycle quiet back roads through the Tuscan wine country, visit magnificent medieval villages, discover the best gelato and cappuccino stops, and hike along the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. We’ll also enjoy the mindfulness of daily poetry and yoga, savor the freshest local cuisine, learn to prepare authentic dishes from local cooks, taste the finest wines, olive oils, and cheeses together with the families that produce them, and experience true Tuscan hospitality and local color in all aspects of this unique, Co Ed Tuscan retreat. All ability levels welcome.
See Italy in a whole new light on this amazing cycling vacation in Tuscany. From the shimmering Mediterranean Sea to the rolling hills and ancient villages, we’ll absorb the essence of Tuscany and allow our senses to run wild. From the honey-soaked light of the morning glowing over fields of red poppies, to the golden rays shining through the vineyards in the evening, we will discover the blissful rhythm of Tuscany. We’ll bike the most charming roads in the world, and delight your taste buds with spectacular local foods, all while learning about our surroundings: art, architecture, history, and the art of making olive oil, wine, cheese and authentic Tuscan cuisine.
All ability levels are welcome and each bike ride is guided. The high staff-to-participant ratio means you’ll have someone to encourage you, as well as teach you cycling tips, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran. This is the trip you always promised yourself you’d take. Come join us in the sweet life.
Where We’ll Go on La Dolce Vita Co Ed Tuscany Cycling Retreat:
We will split our time between two spectacular regions of Tuscany: the authentic, unspoiled countryside of the Etruscan coast on the Mediterranean Sea, and Val d’Orcia, known as the heart of Tuscany, with gentle, carefully-cultivated hills peppered with picturesque towns and villages
Some of the towns we will be visiting and riding through are: the Etruscan city of Montalcino, Pienza (the jewel of the Renaissance), Monastero di Sant’Anna (where the English patient was filmed), Castagneto Carducci, Sassetta, Suvereto, Montescudaio, Bolgheri, and Populonia. We’ll have a full day to savor the charms of mystical Siena, considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Italy. An expert local guide will lead us into the heart of Siena’s history and art.
Our home base for the first portion of the retreat is the lovely Campastrello Sport Hotel (www.campastrellosport.com) in the Etruscan coast region. Set in a beautiful Mediterranean garden, the hotel is modern but built in charming, traditional Tuscan style. The beautifully landscaped grounds feature fruit orchards and olive groves, a state-of-the-art Olympic swimming pool, and great views of the village and sunsets. Our meals are specially prepared and served in the hotel’s noted restaurant, L’Olivo, which specializes in homestyle Tuscan cuisine.
We’ll spend three nights here, exploring the Etruscan coast by day — a cyclist’s paradise of rolling hills and quiet roads through some of Italy’s most prized vineyards. Stretching from medieval village to medieval village, our select routes take in glorious views with sublime spots to stop for a cappuccino or a gelato.
For the next portion of our adventure, we’ll head inland to the magnificent region of Val d’Orcia, where we’ll spend two nights in the countryside borgo of Casabianca (http://www.casabianca.it/). Casabianca sits in the rolling hills between Siena and Pienza and is a charming estate with fig and olive trees as well as a swimming pool overlooking the Tuscan countryside. We’ll have dinner one evening at Casabianca and head to Conte Matto (translated the Mad Count) in the nearby village of Trequanda for the other.
The cycling in the Val d’Orcia region, particularly the Le Crete (pronounced cret-tay) area, is nothing less than breathtaking. The landscape is the quintessential dream of Tuscany, unfolding its splendid and miraculous beauty mile after mile along some of the most idyllic roads in the world. On our daily rides, we will visit the many hilltop towns and ride through picturesque areas famous for calendars photos and Tuscan based Rom-Coms.
What to Expect at the La Dolce Vita Co Ed Tuscany Cycling Tour:
Most mornings we will begin with yoga to awaken our senses and limber our bodies before enjoying a buffet breakfast with foamy cappuccinos. Then we’ll pedal our
E-Bikes on the Tuscan roads, famous for their cypress trees, lack of traffic, and friendly drivers. Our afternoons will be spent exploring villages, swimming in the calm sea or our 25 meter pool which is right out our door, and rekindling the spark for life.
Throughout the retreat, you will have personal and individualized professional instruction and guidance during all activities. Our staff consists of world-class athletes and coaches, who will offer you heartfelt support and instruction. We’ll create small riding groups to ensure everyone rides with others at a similar ability level. Riding options are provided for beginners to accomplished riders. And, all rides are fully supported with a bike mechanic and a sag wagon (full of fruit, water, cookies and, of course, chocolate). PLUS we have E-Bkes!!!
Included in the Price:
- 7 days, 7 nights accommodations at comfortable, charming, and authentic family-run Tuscan establishments
- 6 dinners, four lunches, and daily breakfasts – all amazing food, in true Tuscan spirit! And all snacks.
- Daily road cycling rides, guided by our professional staff.
- A bike mechanic and sag wagon for most of the rides
- Transportation from Campastrello Sport Hotel to Casabianca and back again.
- Lunch and a wine tasting at the winery of Giovanni Chiappini
- Picnic on the beach at the tranquil Baratti Bay, the beach of the Etruscans
- After one of our days of riding we visit world-renowned artist Rolando Stefanacci, who has hot springs at his house and offers us great discussions and the best lunch EVER!!
- A visit and guided tour of the magnificent town of Siena.
- A visit to CiccloSport, a Tuscan bike shop with even more local color than the sunsets over the Tyrhenian Sea.
- Yoga classes (daily, or as demand dictates)..
Price does NOT include airfare, airport transfers, or bike rental.
Bike rentals are normally 400 to 450 Euro for the week. We are using E-bikes which are really fun or you can also rent an regular road bike.
What are the accommodations?
We will be staying in two beautiful locations for our tour. The first is located just outside of the small, rural hilltop town of Castagneto Carducci, named after the Nobel Prize-winning poet, Carducci. The hotel is situated below the town, about 5km inland from the Mediterranean and 75km south of Pisa. The region was settled by the Etruscans and is known as the Upper Maremma. Our home-base in this region is the lovely Campastrello Sport Hotel. Set in a beautiful Mediterranean garden, the hotel is modern but built in traditional Tuscan style. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, featuring modern conveniences as well as charming views. The beautifully landscaped grounds feature fruit orchards and olive groves, a state-of-the-art 25 meter swimming pool, and great views of the village and sunsets. Our meals are specially prepared and served in the hotel’s noted restaurant, L’Olivo, which specializes in exceptional, home-style, Tuscan cuisine. Come settle in to the sweet life in Tuscany: we don’t run you ragged packing and unpacking every day.
Our home for the second portion of our adventure will be in the charming borgo Casabianca, in the countryside between Siena and Pienza. An Italian borgo is a small village, typically owned by a single landowner with a main villa and out buildings to support the villa and its residence. This is a great spot that allows us to enjoy the Tuscan countryside and provides plenty of space for us to stroll, do yoga, and swim in their delightful pool overlooking the countryside.
From Casabianca we will return to our home base at Campastrello for two additional nights which includes a special night of cooking and festivities at a local’s home.
When moving from Campastrello to Casabianca we will be checking out of Campastrello. Since we will be staying at Casabianca for only two nights you should plan on bringing a small bag (anything that works as a carry on is perfect) to Casabianca since we will be luggage space constrained while traveling. You can leave your big bag at Campastrello and pick it back up when we return.CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RETREAT: Q&A
A deposit is required to hold your reservation at a retreat. Deposits are $500 for domestic and $1,000 for international retreats. Additional deposits may be required to reserve a single room. All deposits are non-refundable.
We cannot hold your reservation until we have received your deposit. If you would like to reserve an available spot in a retreat 90 or fewer days prior to the retreat date, we require payment in full for the retreat to hold the spot. This is in accordance with our payment policy below.
Payment in full for all retreats is due 90 days prior to the retreat date. If you do not provide payment in full by 90 days prior to the retreat you risk losing your reservation.
A 4% payment processing fee will be added to all payments made using PayPal, Stripe or Venmo.
You are welcome to send in a check or pay by Zelle to avoid this fee.
If you must cancel a reservation, a full refund, less your deposit which is non-refundable, will be provided for any cancellation we receive in writing at least 91 days prior to the commencement date of the retreat. We are sorry but we cannot refund any payments for cancellations made 90 or fewer days prior to the commencement of the retreat.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest. Women’s Quest IS NOT responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in schedules or tour cancellations.
Cancellations by Women’s Quest: Women’s Quest reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel or reschedule any retreat due to concerns over Covid-19. As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled by Women’s Quest due to the Covid pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, in the event Women’s Quest cancels or reschedules a retreat due to Covid-19 Women’s Quest will apply all payments to the rescheduled or following year’s retreat, or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of the next year after the year in which the retreat was cancelled by Women’s Quest. Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.
Cancellations by You: If you need or desire to cancel your reservation due to Covid-19, or failure to comply with the requirements of a negative test and being symptom free, this cancellation is subject to the Cancellation Policy above. This is why we urge everyone to purchase travel insurance when signing up.
Covid Waiver and Release
This waiver, release and acknowledgement of responsibilities is unfortunately necessary during this unique time of the Covid 19 pandemic. By signing up for and or attending any Women’s Quest retreat you agree to be bound by the terms of this document. We understand these times are challenging, however, these provisions are necessary to protect all attendees and staff members of Women’s Quest.
Testing For and Symptoms of Covid 19. Irrespective of vaccination status you are required to provide a negative test for Covid 19 taken within 3 days of the commencement of the retreat. This test can be either a PCR test or a home antigen test. Also, irrespective of your vaccination status, you agree you will not attend the retreat if you have any symptoms of Covid 19 immediately prior to the beginning of the trip. These symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea (these, along with symptoms outline in the following link and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control shall be collectively referred to as the “Symptoms”.) More information on symptoms of Covid 19 can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Symptoms During the Retreat. In the event you develop any Symptoms during the retreat you must immediately leave the retreat and follow protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and all local regulations. We understand this may result in you incurring significant expenses associated with separate accommodation and travel, however, you understand these expenses are not the responsibility of Women’s Quest and must be incurred by you. You agree to be fully honest with Women’s Quest staff in regard to any Symptoms you may develop and agree to comply with a request by Women’s Quest staff to depart as determined by Women’s Quest staff in their sole discretion. As provided below, this is why we strongly urge everyone to get travel insurance covering these and other expenses prior to departure.
Procedures During the Retreat. During the retreat Women’s Quest may, but need not, endeavor to practice social distancing and wearing of masks when traveling in close proximity. You agree to comply with all requests of Women’s Quest staff during the retreat related to these procedures. Any such procedures implemented by Women’s Quest are not a guaranty you will not be exposed to Covid 19 and you understand you are responsible for taking any precautions you deem necessary and providing your own personal protective equipment during the retreat. You also agree to comply with any reasonable requests by other attendees to respect their social distancing and other protective measures (“Participant Requests”.) Notwithstanding the foregoing, you are responsible to comply with all laws and regulations of the locality visited relating to protections against Covid 19.
Waiver of Coronavirus Related Illness; Indemnification. You understand that irrespective of protective measures that Women’s Quest or you may or may not take, you may be exposed to Covid 19 by another retreat attendee, a Women’s Quest staff member and or an individual to whom you may be exposed during, or traveling to or from the retreat. You agree to waive and release Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any claims, liabilities or damages you may incur in the event you contract Covid 19 at any time during travel to, attending or after attending the retreat. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any loss, liability or damages it or they may incur as a result of your failure to receive a negative test for Covid 19 prior to the retreat as provided above, attending the retreat with any Symptoms, not respecting Participant Requests, and not immediately departing the retreat if you develop any Symptoms.
Cancellation. In the unfortunate event you need to cancel your trip, cannot attend due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms prior to the retreat, or must leave the retreat due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms, Women’s Quest cannot provide any refund of any amounts you paid.
Travel Insurance. As provided in this document you could incur significant personal expense in the event you contract Covid 19 or develop any Symptoms during the retreat. As such, you are strongly urged to obtain travel insurance that provides adequate protections against these risks.
Additional Waiver. This waiver is incorporated into and made a part of other waivers you agreed to in connection with signing up for the retreat. In the event of a conflict between these terms and the terms of any other waiver, this waiver shall govern.
Purchasing Travel Insurance
We highly, highly recommend you get travel insurance to cover your expenses and losses in the event you test positive or come down with Symptoms prior to the retreat, develop Symptoms during the retreat, or cannot return home due to Covid related issues. We recommend getting insurance that covers the cost of your trip, medical care while at the retreat, and coverage to pay for the necessary quarantine period if you test positive or come down with Covid. Please remember, if you have to cancel your trip in the unfortunate event you come down with Covid, test positive, or suffer Symptoms prior to or during the retreat and need to leave, Women’s Quest cannot provide a refund since we have to pay your trip expenses well ahead of time.
If you are concerned about travel and the changing environment in which we are living irrespective of your Covid status, we recommend getting travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason. This coverage is more expensive, however, may provide you with the coverage and flexibility you desire.
We spoke with Allianz Travel Insurance about travel insurance primarily for Covid issues – trip cancellation, medical treatment and delay in coming home due to catching Covid. From our understanding, Allianz does offer policies providing for trip cancellation due to Covid and extended trip interruption coverage for Covid quarantine periods, however, you should talk to them via the phone to ensure you have the coverage you need. Irrespective of the travel insurance you get, please make sure you talk to a travel insurance agent prior to buying any insurance and make sure you have the coverage you desire and that the policy will cover trip cancellation, medical expenses and trip interruption due to Covid. We are providing this only as our understanding after talking to Allianz and not as a representation of what Allianz will cover. You should do your own investigation including directly calling Allianz or any insurance provider you choose, and not rely on this overview to ensure you get the coverage that is right for you.