Passports and Visas
Packing suggestions for a bike tour – gear list
The key to staying comfortable while cycling is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, this will help you and the field staff.
The weather in Tuscany is typically warm, with sunny days in the mid to high 70’s. Early spring and fall departures will have slightly cooler temperatures. Rain is possible on any of the departures, but not typical.
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT: 27speed hybrid or race bikes; Helmet; Front handlebar bag; water bottle & cage; Lock; Cycle computer; Repair kit, including spare tire; Pump; Toe clips
We recommend the following gear:
Duffel bag or soft suitcase & Small fanny pack or neck pouch to keep travelers checks and passport
Cycling shoes (or running shoes with stiff soles)
Clipless pedals and special cycling shoes (only if you usually use them!)
Cycling jersey – long-sleeve
Cycling jersey – short-sleeve, quick-drying, lightweight
Cycling padding shorts (3 pairs)
Cycling rain gear (jacket & pants)
Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for city wear (dinner and sightseeing).
Slacks, travel skirts, mid-thigh shorts, button down shirts, etc. Comfortable and casual are great!
Sweater and/or light jacket
Swimsuit (pool and spa)
Sunglasses and strap
Baseball cap/Sun hat
Electric adaptor plug
OPTIONAL Camera and film; Reading and writing materials ;Favorite energy snacks
Dress for dinner: The restaurants we use have a very nice, pleasant atmosphere, but are not stuffy. Therefore, you will feel quite comfortable in casual clothes for these meals.
However, cycling clothes, running shorts and cycling shoes are not appropriate and should be reserved for biking.
Note: in Europe, periods and commas are interchanged. So our 100,000 is written as 100.000; likewise, decimals such as 1.5 are written as 1,5.
All the old ways of exchanging money are pretty well supplanted now by the ubiquitous ATM machine, called “Bancomat” here in Italy. Bring along your ATM card and in front of almost every bank you’ll find an ATM machine — most of which also accept major credit cards for cash advances. The exchange rate is the best going, although a fee may be applied by your bank — from $1 to $3 per transaction — and there is often a limit on how much you can take out per day. Check to make sure what your bank’s terms are, and then decide if using the ATM is your best option. On most machines, after you put in your card, you’ll be prompted for which language you’d like to use. In any case, the procedure is exactly the same as in the US: enter your PIN (Codice segreto), enter the amount you’d like to withdraw, and after thirty agonizing seconds, the machine spits out your card, your money, and — 9 times out of 10 — a receipt. If you absolutely rely on having a receipt, then stick with the traditional exchange services: banks, airports, major rail stations, and as a last resort (because of the poor exchange rates offered) big hotels.
Keep in mind that banks are usually only open in the mornings
Also, keep in mind that most hotels accept credit cards, as do many restaurants and larger stores. Keep an eye out for the sign posted on the door “Carta Si”. The days of overstuffed money belts are largely over, thanks to electronic money. But don’t be too overconfident; you will very likely still need some cash, and if you want to stay absolutely on the safe side, you can bring along some Traveler’s Checks, which you can exchange at any exchange service.
Emergencies If you need an ambulance the emergency services number is 118. If you need immediate police aid call 113. This functions the same as 911 in the U.S., and should only be used in life-threatening situations.
If you need first aid, every hospital has an emergency clinic, called the “Pronto Soccorso”. The standards of Italian health care and treatment are quite high.
If you need police help, there are two main police forces to turn to. If you are in need of help, call the “Carabinieri” at 112. These are essentially a branch of the military and are the ones you may see standing on the roads carrying machine guns and putting fear into the heart of the innately (and inanely) fearless Italian driver.
If, on the other hand, you want to report stolen articles or the like, call the local branch of the “Polizia Statale” (state police). You’ll find the number of the “questura” (the local police station) in the first three or four pages of the white pages, along with all the other emergency numbers. They’ll ask you to fill out a form called a “denuncia” (statement), which you’ll need in order to make insurance claims. If you’re taking a tour with us, you will also be provided with a list of contact numbers, all guides’ cell phone and Cicloposse office, as well as all accommodation info to provide to your close ones.
There are five main types of trains in Italy:
• Eurocity — linking the major Italian cities with major European cities
• Intercity — linking the major Italian cities together (e.g. Florence to Rome)
• Inter-regionali (or Espressi) — long routes between different regions making stops at only the larger stations along the route
• Regionali (or Diretti) — long routes between different regions making stops at the most of the stations along the route
• Locali — short, intra-regional routes making stops at all the stations along the route
Faster is the train, more expensive is the ticket. Seat reservations are obligatory on Eurocity trains. We recommend you always use the Eurocity trains for longer journeys between large cities, and that you buy your ticket from your travel agent before you leave home. You can also get a reserved seat on Intercity and Inter-regionali trains — and it’s a good idea to do so during the summer months on popular lines. Even without the reservation, you’ll probably still be able to get on the train, but it might mean standing the whole way in the corridor.
Timetable and routes can be consulted and reservation can be made on line at www.trenitalia.com. Many travel agent can also dispense tickets and help you plan your journey. Automated tickets machines are available in nearly all stations.. the can be used to check schedules, makes reservations and purchase tickets.
One thing to remember: Just before you board your train, VALIDATE your ticket. You do this at one of the breadbox-sized yellow machines located on the platforms (or at the end of the platform). You can get a fine if you don’t do so — although with enough display of foreign incomprehension all but the most persnickety conductors will shrug you off.
train Leonardo Express (takes about 30 minutes) start each half hour and is direct from Airport to termini train station.
from fiumicino airport to train station : the first at 07.37, 08.07, 8.37….the last at 22.37
From Termini station to airport : the first at 06.51, 07.21, 7.51 the last at 21.51
All hotels use the official star classification system, from 5 star luxury to 1 star.
All hotels have room with bathroom – only one star hotel have shared bathroom.
Most of hotel rates include breakfast “prima colazione”. It is served in a communal room and comprises a buffet with pastries, bread with butter and jam, cereals, fruits, cheese, yoghurt, fruit juice, coffe or cappuccino. Hotel regularly frequented by foreign tourists serve eggs and cheese.
For more detailed local maps, you might want to wait until you get to Italy to look through bookstore selections. You’ll often find small-scale maps that can be very helpful in planning out a day hike. Also, the tourist office in each town can usually provide a map of the town, usually for free or a nominal charge.
Please Don’t think Italians at home have always a meal like that! All that food is just in special occasion or for the Sunday’s lunch. Also in Italy people “try” to have light lunch, a dish of pasta and some vegetable or just the second plate.
Farm stays at agriturismo
These farms offer lodging and some also provide meals prepared with ingredients cultivated on site.
In Tuscany and Umbria there are many agriturismos, the lodging could be really luxury and very comfortable. Often private pool is available for guests. In our tour we do not use this kind of accommodation due to location and the fact there is always gravel road to get in. but we can suggest for pre or after bike trip!!!