Tuscan loop
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:47 pm quote
The ride of a lifetime is coming up in May.

Family vacation in Italy. 5 days of which will be in Tuscany, just south of Lucca, which is just north of...


... Pontedera...


... and the Piaggio museum.


I've been given permission to take a moto day. After seeing the museum, we (a fellow MVer and her hubby) are renting bikes (I'm thinking MP3 250s) and doing a Tuscan loop (with deep thanks to Aviator 47 for suggesting a route).

I cannot wait.

Any suggestions from those with experience here?

I'm wondering whether to pack an armored jacket. I'm leaning towards "yes".

Thoughts?
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:47 pm quote
FWIW, I haven't yet had the privilege to ride in Italy, but have traveled in the same area. If you want gorgeous countryside, I would suggest going to Empoli and then heading south on secondary roads to San Gimignano. From there, you can head towards Siena or back up towards Firenze through Montespertoli. Others may have better ideas.
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:55 pm quote
Re: Tuscan loop
davidmasse wrote:
The ride of a lifetime is coming up in May.
Family vacation in Italy. 5 days of which will be in Tuscany, just south of Lucca, which is just north of...
I was there a year ago and stayed in Barga. Started in Venice, drove to Barga and spent a week using Barga as a launch point for Florence, Pisa, Pontedera, Lucca, Cinqua Terra and the surrounding villages and mountain passes. I can help a lot if you have any questions you can PM me.

I definitely think a visit it to the museum is worthwhile for those who are passionate about Vespas (anyone...anyone ). It's small and takes only an hour or two. Start early at Pisa to beat the crowds. It's an amazing place then head over to Pontedera for the pilgrimage.
Molto Verboso
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:39 pm quote
David, just one day??? Bet if the weather is good, you do it a second day.
That is a excellent route. Thow in a couple of "any left turns" and you will be in heaven.
Everybody plays to their own safety level, but I would not drag a jacket for a one day ride.
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:35 pm quote
lostboater wrote:
David, just one day??? Bet if the weather is good, you do it a second day.
That is a excellent route. Thow in a couple of "any left turns" and you will be in heaven.
Everybody plays to their own safety level, but I would not drag a jacket for a one day ride.
^^^^
All of the above.
Ossessionato
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Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:00 pm quote
Thanks for all the great responses folks.

I was originally thinking of going up the coast, but thanks to Google street view realized there was nothing to see.

Al says his suggested loop is 5 hours, which is about right.

We have a few months to flesh this out.

I am so used to wearing gear that the thought of riding without it is a little weird.
Ossessionato
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:19 am quote
davidmasse wrote:
I was originally thinking of going up the coast, but thanks to Google street view realized there was nothing to see.
Really?

https://plus.google.com/photos/101820596510716650155/albums/5847245735598852337?banner=pwa
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:43 am quote
Jealous. Never been to Italy. Have fun my friend.
Ossessionato
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:31 am quote
Paddlenround wrote:
davidmasse wrote:
I was originally thinking of going up the coast, but thanks to Google street view realized there was nothing to see.
Really?

https://plus.google.com/photos/101820596510716650155/albums/5847245735598852337?banner=pwa
Agreed, I should have said Pontedera to La Spezia. Cinque Terre and Portofino are non-moto family destinations for earlier during our Tuscan stay.
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:34 am quote
judy wrote:
Jealous. Never been to Italy. Have fun my friend.
Thanks Judy. Can't wait to see Hawaii. We'll provide plenty of advace notice to make sure we get to see you.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:50 am quote
Al's route looks great to me -- it takes in much of the "stompin' grounds" from our Tuscan honeymoon week on Vespas two years ago -- although you won't have much time to explore the wonderful medieval, walled, hilltop towns on the route like Volterra and San Gimignano.

Be sure to make time for a Chianti in Chianti at a nice outdoor cafe table.

By all means take an armored jacket. I put mine to good use there!
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:22 pm quote
Lots of great riding, be sure to take a GPS!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:15 pm quote
wmak wrote:
Lots of great riding, be sure to take a GPS!
Nah. Good road signs at every intersection and roundabout. Route numbers are displayed on the mileposts alongside the roads.

Look at the spectacular scenery, not a screen.
Molto Verboso
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:31 pm quote
Re: Tuscan loop
davidmasse wrote:
The ride of a lifetime is coming up in May.

Family vacation in Italy. 5 days of which will be in Tuscany, just south of Lucca, which is just north of...


... Pontedera...


... and the Piaggio museum.


I've been given permission to take a moto day. After seeing the museum, we (a fellow MVer and her hubby) are renting bikes (I'm thinking MP3 250s) and doing a Tuscan loop (with deep thanks to Aviator 47 for suggesting a route).

I cannot wait.

Any suggestions from those with experience here?

I'm wondering whether to pack an armored jacket. I'm leaning towards "yes".

Thoughts?
It's a great area for twisty roads. I've done a couple road trips through there. If I go again, I'd have to rent a scooter.

I noticed that Sienna is just south of your loop. I stayed a few days and had fun there. It's a bit touristy, but worth a look...

Just north, I stayed in Montecatini Terme and had a blast. Wish I had spent more time in the area.
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Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:54 pm quote
CinqueTerre are a bit further up and the best Tuscan beaches are actually in the south of the Tuscan territory, facing The Giglio island.
Keep the suggested loop as I am sure you will find many reason to stop on the way, what I love about Tuscany is that it is possibly the best scenario to get lost, really! A wrong turn will take you to some fantastic discoveries
as you ll be visiting the cradle of the Renaissance, do not forget this...

Post scriptum: I found that packing the basics (gloves and sunglasses/goggles) helps with the rest. You will need to hire a helmet which will come with the bike but by using some of your bits will produce that comfort zone..

Ant
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:59 am quote
Humbled
Thanks for the great advice.

We are taking a GPS unit with maps for Italy, but I don't see being able to run it off a rental bike. My fellow riders may be able to ride their Vespas down from Germany, I don't remember if either has mounted GPS on their bike. I take comfort from Silver Streak's remark about the good and reliable signage.

I'm definitely planning a stroll through San Gimignano and there will be a Chianti stop in Chianti. Siena is on a separate family itinerary along with one or two winery tours and dinner at a restaurant in Montefiorale that promises a spectacular view.

There will be photos, ride reports, GoPro video and lots more, I promise.

That and adding Italy to my map.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:46 am quote
I might add that the signage is a bit different from what we are used to in North America. The signs at the intersections do not show route numbers, but rather the direction to the next principal town. Takes a bit of getting used to.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:15 pm quote
Enjoy the food always, but keep the Grapa and Lemoncello for the absolute end of the ride. Can't go wrong anywhere in Italy, but gotta say Pisa isn't worth the trouble. Museo Piaggio in Pontederra is well worth it. You'll leave with a big smile.

Love Siena, Cinque Terra and there are some great little coastal towns from Cinque Terra to Genoa, like Camogli. You just can't go wrong.

Have fun and enjoy the food. Did I mention the great food in Tuscanny?
Molto Verboso
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:47 pm quote
Quote:
I might add that the signage is a bit different from what we are used to in North America. The signs at the intersections do not show route numbers, but rather the direction to the next principal town
Being a lawyer after reading all that legal stuff road signs will be a breeze. Besides, getting lost makes it more fun. You are never lost just seeking a new direction.
Quote:
Enjoy the food always, but keep the Grapa and Lemoncello for the absolute end of the ride.
Grapa, did someone say Grapa!!!!! It took me awhile but once I found the "reserva" I learned to appreciate good Grapa. Just a shot a day. In the morning with coffee or after dinner at night. This year when I come back from Italy I will have a suitcase of "good" Grapa. Like olive oil, no matter the price, I have not found a good Grapa in my hood.
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:11 pm quote
lostboater wrote:
Quote:
I might add that the signage is a bit different from what we are used to in North America. The signs at the intersections do not show route numbers, but rather the direction to the next principal town
Being a lawyer after reading all that legal stuff road signs will be a breeze. Besides, getting lost makes it more fun. You are never lost just seeking a new direction.
Quote:
Enjoy the food always, but keep the Grapa and Lemoncello for the absolute end of the ride.
Grapa, did someone say Grapa!!!!! It took me awhile but once I found the "reserva" I learned to appreciate good Grapa. Just a shot a day. In the morning with coffee or after dinner at night. This year when I come back from Italy I will have a suitcase of "good" Grapa. Like olive oil, no matter the price, I have not found a good Grapa in my hood.
Ken, come meet us in Pontedera on May 21st. Then take us to the good grappa spots. Limoncello is more of a Sorrento thing, and too sweet for me.

One of my colleagues gave me a bottle of Grappa from her native town. I kept it in the office for medical (or existential) emergencies. One day one of my staffers came in with a nasty earring induced infection. She was in pain, but didn't want to go to the clinic. A cotton swab, dipped in Grappa, some fliching and a few yelps, and her ear lobe was as good as new in no time.
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:25 pm quote
Quote:
Ken, come meet us in Pontedera on May 21st. Then take us to the good grappa spots. Limoncello is more of a Sorrento thing, and too sweet for me.
I would love to meet you there, but I have a other little ride I have committed to in May. But, I will be there in Sept if you want to come back for the tour.
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:56 pm quote
Jealous.

And I'm hoping you write about this extensively on your blog. With lots of pictures.
Molto Verboso
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:22 am quote
David, just sent to me from Tuscany and I pass it on to you. Still bet you just can't do one day.

Ossessionato
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:38 am quote
lostboater wrote:
David, just sent to me from Tuscany and I pass it on to you. Still bet you just can't do one day.

Ken, I wish! But even one day will be awesome.

This morning I sent my rental request in to Noleggio Toscana.
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:08 am quote
My wife and I were on a two week trip to Italy. Tuscany was a 3 day stop that turned into a week. On our return to Canada there was a lot of discussion on quitting our jobs, selling the house and packing it all in to move to Tuscany.
It was our Italy trip that got me hooked on owning a Vespa.
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:58 am quote
TEX wrote:
My wife and I were on a two week trip to Italy. Tuscany was a 3 day stop that turned into a week. On our return to Canada there was a lot of discussion on quitting our jobs, selling the house and packing it all in to move to Tuscany.
It was our Italy trip that got me hooked on owning a Vespa.
Davidmasse
Quote:
Ken, I wish! But even one day will be awesome.

This morning I sent my rental request in to Noleggio Toscana.
I got this from my friend Daniel at http://www.bestoftuscany.com/ who is on the hunt for a couple of 250 Vespa's for us. I hope he succeeds because even though I have spent lots of time in Italy I never really wanted to scooter around it until last year. Now I am foaming at the bit to do it.
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:50 pm quote
lostboater wrote:
TEX wrote:
My wife and I were on a two week trip to Italy. Tuscany was a 3 day stop that turned into a week. On our return to Canada there was a lot of discussion on quitting our jobs, selling the house and packing it all in to move to Tuscany.
It was our Italy trip that got me hooked on owning a Vespa.
Davidmasse
Quote:
Ken, I wish! But even one day will be awesome.

This morning I sent my rental request in to Noleggio Toscana.
I got this from my friend Daniel at http://www.bestoftuscany.com/ who is on the hunt for a couple of 250 Vespa's for us. I hope he succeeds because even though I have spent lots of time in Italy I never really wanted to scooter around it until last year. Now I am foaming at the bit to do it.
Ken, I found this outfit in Tuscany. They come recommended by Aviator47, and I believe that he is an expert on scooter rentals in Italy: http://www.noleggiomototoscana.it/
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:14 pm quote
davidmasse wrote:
lostboater wrote:
TEX wrote:
My wife and I were on a two week trip to Italy. Tuscany was a 3 day stop that turned into a week. On our return to Canada there was a lot of discussion on quitting our jobs, selling the house and packing it all in to move to Tuscany.
It was our Italy trip that got me hooked on owning a Vespa.
Davidmasse
Quote:
Ken, I wish! But even one day will be awesome.

This morning I sent my rental request in to Noleggio Toscana.
I got this from my friend Daniel at http://www.bestoftuscany.com/ who is on the hunt for a couple of 250 Vespa's for us. I hope he succeeds because even though I have spent lots of time in Italy I never really wanted to scooter around it until last year. Now I am foaming at the bit to do it.
Ken, I found this outfit in Tuscany. They come recommended by Aviator47, and I believe that he is an expert on scooter rentals in Italy: http://www.noleggiomototoscana.it/
I have nothing but good things to say about these folks. We rented from them for our honeymoon two years ago at Al's recommendation, and they were super-accommodating.
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:48 pm quote
Tidbit from my fall 2012 Vespa trip through Tuscany (the one planned and led by Al) ... know what towns are in between where you are and your destination, because road signs show the next town, not the ones after that. If a sign points to a far-away city, you are about to get on the freeway when you follow that arrow!

It's almost impossible not to have a great time! Lucca and Volterra were my favorite towns.
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Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:38 pm quote
Nice! We're basically staying in Lucca as our base.

Al sugested a loop from Pontedera south east through Greve in Chianti then north west back to Pontedera.

I'm planning to rent an MP3 250. The other MVer and her husband will ride their Vespas from Germany if the passes through the Alps are safe for PTWs at that point in mid May, otherwise they plan to drive and also rent bikes in Pontedera.

Now I have to make sure Volterra is on our sightseeing list.

Thanks for the tip!
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Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:32 pm quote
Hi David ... just locked into your post ... amazing trip. I did it sans scooter but had the trip of a lifetime. When are you leaving ?
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Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:41 pm quote
kdude wrote:
Hi David ... just locked into your post ... amazing trip. I did it sans scooter but had the trip of a lifetime. When are you leaving ?
PM on the way
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Mon May 12, 2014 2:32 am quote
I finally decided that I'm taking my Corazzo 5.0 jacket to Italy. I'll wear it to travel because it's too bulky to pack.

On the weekend I spent hours sewing the MV Italia patch on. What a nice match it is. I have Tomjasz to thank since Jess has still not delivered the Bitcoin-purchased MV Italia patch I bought in February. When I finally get that one I will put it in the shadow box to replace the one I got from Tom that's now a permanent fixture on my Corazzo.

My riding buddies have Senas so I'm taking mine with me. I took my original Sena off my Nolan and packed it with my camera gear. Roberto of Motonoleggio Toscana said I could install it on the rental helmet.

It's a matter of hours and we're off to Bella Italia.

image.jpg



Last edited by David Masse on Mon May 12, 2014 5:33 am; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
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Mon May 12, 2014 3:33 am quote
Bon Voyage and have fun!

I am soooooo



Looking foward to the posts and photos.
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Mon May 12, 2014 4:03 am quote
Have a grand trip, David. Lots of pics, please.
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Mon May 12, 2014 5:29 am quote
Belkwinith wrote:
Bon Voyage and have fun!

I am soooooo



Looking foward to the posts and photos.
Bel, there will be photos, I promise.
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Mon May 12, 2014 5:32 am quote
Aviator47 wrote:
Have a grand trip, David. Lots of pics, please.
Al, I am indebted to you. Roberto at Motonoleggio Toscana has been great. Thanks for your guidance and assistance.

One day we'll make it to Greece and with a little luck we may meet.
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Mon May 12, 2014 6:58 am quote
My pleasure to have been able to assist with your trip. Enjoy!

the welcome mat is also out for a visit to Greece.
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Mon May 12, 2014 7:07 am quote
Re: Humbled
davidmasse wrote:
We are taking a GPS unit with maps for Italy, but I don't see being able to run it off a rental bike.
MP3-250s don't have a lighter outlet under the seat that 400 & 500s do. Check with the rental company to see what they have. If they have a pigtail for a battery maintainer maybe you can mate something up to it. Or a female lighter socket with wire and lugs to attach to the battery for the day.

Jealous of your trip have a great time.
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Mon May 12, 2014 8:25 am quote
Re: Humbled
14perry wrote:
davidmasse wrote:
We are taking a GPS unit with maps for Italy, but I don't see being able to run it off a rental bike.
MP3-250s don't have a lighter outlet under the seat that 400 & 500s do. Check with the rental company to see what they have. If they have a pigtail for a battery maintainer maybe you can mate something up to it. Or a female lighter socket with wire and lugs to attach to the battery for the day.

Jealous of your trip have a great time.
IIRC, Roberto has pigtails with lighter sockets available, but at my age trying to RC is risky.
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