We sleep well. We are up early and get our gear ready to go. We leave San Gimignano, reluctantly, but excited to continue our journey. The scenery changes slightly as we are now exposed to more greenery than the day before. The traffic is minimal and you feel as if you alone occupy this precious space in time. Your mind is at rest. You are peaceful as you cruise through the Tuscan Valley.
The sun continues to caress you with its warmth and you wonder ever so silently – how much more of this Tuscan heat can one take. But as you look around you, the rolling hills, expertly manicured vineyards and strategically placed Cyprus trees, remind you that you are in one of the prettiest places in the world – and your worries melt away as you contemplate your impending stop for lunch.
You enter into a pristine town that cools you by its simple but welcoming presence. You cycle to the nearest charming restaurant and enjoy the hospitality and charm of the Italian countryside. Your thirst is quenched by non other than the local Prosecco and beer and you indulge in the finest pasta and pesto ever.
Refreshed, rejuvenated and probably smiling a bit too much, you continue through the Tuscan hills to your destination Monteriggioni. Nothing however could prepare you for the elegance and grandeur of the Castel Pietraio, our home for the evening. At the end of a 40km cycle in the hot Tuscan sun, your only thoughts are air condition and water. At the Castel you are welcomed like kings and queens, ushered into exquisitely appointed rooms and told that the pool is just a short walk away in the well manicured garden. Wine is served as an aperitif at 7 and you stroll into the village for dinner.
Royal service indeed. What more can you ask for..