Embark on a thrilling adventure with the XL Tuscany Tour, a motorcycling journey that takes enthusiasts through the picturesque landscapes and historic wonders of Italy. Our meticulously planned itinerary promises an unforgettable experience, combining the thrill of riding with the beauty of Italy's diverse regions.
Day 1: Departure and Rainy Beginnings
On the 23rd of July, we set out in two groups, with the first departing in the early afternoon and the second, including our group, leaving around 5 PM. Despite the initial rain, Saig, a charming village, offered a comforting dinner and rest. The promise of better weather lingered in the air.
Day 2: Alpine Challenges and Scenic Beauty
July 24th greeted us with November-like coldness as we navigated through the darkened Black Forest. The rain persisted, and the challenges intensified, especially at the Col du Susten, where rain turned into a torrential downpour. The unexpected closure of the Grimsel forced us to backtrack before tackling the Gotthard. A brief scare involving a fellow rider and an English tourist added to the day's drama. Sunshine and wind eventually guided us to Come.
Day 3: Exploring the Gems of Emilie-Romagne
After a brief highway stretch, we found ourselves in Emilie-Romagne, one of Italy's most beautiful regions. The renowned SS62, with its breathtaking Passo della Cisa and three other cols, led us to Sarzana, our haven for the night.
Day 4: Cinque Terra and Unforeseen Challenges
July 26th brought superb weather and splendid roads, particularly through the enchanting Cinque Terra. However, a mishap involving a Dutch rider and a tricky turn highlighted the need for caution. In a twist of fate, I, too, experienced a minor incident, earning the playful nickname "lapino." The afternoon provided a mix of relaxation and unexpected adventures.
Day 5: Marble Trails and Rainy Pursuits
Our route to Pise on July 27th traversed the marble and granite quarries of Carrara and Massa, encountering the Forbici and Radici cols. The day unfolded with a blend of sunshine, cold spells, and intermittent rain, requiring constant adjustments. Despite some challenges, the day concluded with a taste of local specialties in Pise.
Day 6: Crystal Delights in Colle Val d'Elsa
July 28th brought excellent weather and delightful roads leading to Colle Val d'Elsa. This fortified town, a hub for Italian crystal production, offered a luxurious hotel experience. While some expressed desires for longer stays and shorter riding hours, a sumptuous dinner at "Il Frantoio" in the old town rejuvenated spirits.
Day 7: Varied Experiences in Riolo Terme
On July 29th, weather conditions and hotel standards underwent a shift. Riolo Terme greeted us with an ordinary hotel and the unexpected presence of lively elderly Italian ladies. An intense storm during a mountain pass descent tested our riding skills but spared us from significant damage.
Day 8: Culinary Extravaganza at Giancarlo Perbellini
As we approached the end of our journey on July 30th, a smaller group opted for a direct route via the highway, while others continued to savor the planned stops. The evening featured a culinary masterpiece at "Giancarlo Perbellini," a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, marking a memorable conclusion to our Italian sojourn.
Conclusion: A Grand Finale and Heartfelt Thanks
On the 31st of July, the majority of our group, facing highway traffic, returned to Luxembourg, reflecting on the legendary Monte Bondone and Croce Domini. Despite the challenges, our return was uneventful, concluding a motorcycle expedition filled with rich experiences and camaraderie.
In the end, we express our sincere gratitude to Alain for masterfully organizing and leading this tour, creating lasting memories for each participant. Until the next adventure, ride on!