Speak to anyone whos been to the beautiful Italian region of Tuscany, and theyll tell you theres nothing quite like its serene countryside and views.
“It doesnt get better than Tuscany,” theyll say, gazing wistfully into their pint, but to those people I have two words: Harley Davidson. Theres no better way to explore this gorgeous part of Italy than by straddling a classic motorcycle and taking to the winding Italian roads.
Sounds romantic, but I dont own a bike…
Thats alright, because you dont need one. Its no longer enough for resorts to have swish infinity pools and hot stone massages, and although Castello Di Casole in the heart of Tuscany has all that and more, it also offers visitors the chance to experience the rolling Italian countryside on the back of the most famous wheelie-machine on the planet. The Harley Davidson Tour is offered to guests at the 5 star resort.
On one of the peaceful terraces a group of mountain bikers – whod made their yearly pilgrimage to the Italian hideaway from San Francisco and passionately lectured us on the virtues of exploring Tuscany by bicycle – looked on with mild envy as we were interrupted by the deafening purrs of a herd of Harleys pulling up outside.
What if I cant ride?
Experienced riders can grab a Harley for themselves but if youd rather cling to a muscly, Italian biker fella then one can be provided for you by Luxury Bike Pearls, who supply everything from helmets and bikes to mustachioed road companions. The owner of my Road King (and soon to be possessor of my heart) was Daniele, known to his friends in the Harley community as Black Hammer. As well as acting as a tour guide he also let me pick the music that accompanied the ride. There are very few feelings like that of drifting through Italian countryside whilst blasting out a bit of Mozarts Marriage of Figaro.
Where can you go?
Your Harley tour can be tailored to be as long or as short as youd like. I did a full morning on the back of my hog (thats road talk for bike, youll learn all that on the tour so dont worry) during which we explored the San Chimento countryside, as well as taking in the nearby Chianti region and making a brief pit stop (coffee for Daniele and wine for me) in the cypress-lined village of Fioraie.
And after that?
When your tour finishes, back at Castello di Casole youll be welcomed by some of the most attentive, interesting and funny hosts that Ive had the pleasure of meeting. Id stroll around the 4,200 acre estate and hear brilliant stories about the area, or interesting trivia about the resort itself. I spent a good chunk of my day chatting with the lady that runs the spa about her life, and almost completely forgot to get a massage.
That happens a lot at Castello di Casole, whether youre taking one of their cooking classes or tasting the best of the resorts own wine, its so disarmingly peaceful and runs at its own private pace. Its almost a shame to disrupt the blissful silence of the resort with the distinctive growl of a Harley engine, but the tour is worth every rev.
Destinology offer a four-night stay in a Suite Classica from £725 per person on a B&B basis including flights from Gatwick to Florence until 29 April. For further information or to book visit destinology.co.uk or call 01204 824619. Prices at Castello di Casole start from €425 per night, based on two adults sharing a Suite Classica on a B&B basis.