L’Eroica a spectacular cycling race across the beauty of the Tuscany region

26 Jan



The Eroica is a Foundation, the purpose of which is to safeguard the heritage of the white gravel roads of Tuscany. This was the motivation behind the cycling event which started in 1997.

In 2013, L’Eroica wil be raced on the 6th of October.

There will be the classic four different itineraries: 38Km 75Km  135Km  and  205Km.

A unique bicycle race between the gorgeous Tuscany countryside. Close to the white roads where the Eroica is raced there are stone farmhouses, typical Tuscany case coloniche. These locations can be reached by car, but at the same time, they are far from the traffic. Peaceful locations, where you can decide if you want to race l’Eroica or just to relax in front of the hills with a glass of Chianti  and a Toscano cigar………..



Tuscany is a a beautiful region which offers so much both to the locals and the visitors and L’Eroica is an attractions enhancing the popularity of this unique territory. It is a spectacular and special cycling race held in Tuscany  in autumn, normally in the month of October.

Started from 1997, L’Eroica is a “period” cycle rally held through a course which crosses mainly gravel roads. Giancarlo Brocci conceived this event to save the “strade bianche”, the white Tuscany roads. Brocci conceived L’Eroica as a race with four different courses atarting and ending in Gaiole in Chianti.

It is a unique race. The course of the race is through dust, mud and gravel, uphill and downhill routes which test the ability of the cyclist. The view and the surroundings are scenographic and beautiful but make the riders adapt to and sometimes even endure a lot to complete the race and become “eroica” or heroic. As the heroes and tourists battle through the short, medium or long courses they are offered vintage refreshments and traditional foods to sustain them in their untiring efforts. Participating in the L’Eroica is not only a heroic but also a fun and adventure filled test of strength and endurance. It is possible to see many vintage bikes restored and used in this race. The Bianchi is definitely the favourite cycle used in the race.

L’Eroica is an “Italian Classic” race which get the opportunity to see so much vintage cycling memorabilia.

During the L’Eroica the  town of Gaiole comes alive and displays pictures of the past racing events. Some of the pictures are in mono chrome and the cyclists are wearing woolen jerseys and shorts. They even have spare bicycle tires around their necks.


The Courses at L’Eroica

The L’Eroica is definitely one of the most scenic and enduring races ever. The course of the race follows through the beautiful roads in Tuscany, in the Chianti, Val d’Arbia and the Val d’Orcia areas. To complete the entire race the partecipants have to cycle through smooth roads, difficult paths, sometimes going off road through rural and scenic routes.

The views are beautiful. However the roads and paths can be treacherous too though they seem like gentle slopes they have some hairpin bends and many twists and turns.

There are four different courses- the long course, the medium course, the short course and the cyclotouristic course. All the courses start from Gaiole in Chianti and the long course also ends in Gaiole in Chianti.

L’Eroica- the Heroic Chianti Cycling RaceThe long course is marked with permanent signs and arrows. It covers a distance of 205 kilometres filled with scenic beauty, flat roads, hilly roads  and unpaved roads.  It is a real proof of heroism and relives the experience of Tuscans through the ages with their ancient cycles and strength and fortitude traveling through and working in these beautiful and rugged regions of Tuscany.  Some cyclists use historic bicycles and traditional costumes and trademark clothing while participating in L’Eroica.

The medium course is 135 kilometres long. It also has permanent signs and directions and traverses across scenic beauty, hilly regions and the “strade bianche” as well as asphalt roads.

The short course and the cyclotouristic courses also traverse through scenic roads. They do not have permanent signs. The course has mainly asphalt roads with a few unpaved roads.

Registration for the Event

L’Eroica- the Heroic Chianti Cycling RaceL’Eroica is normally organized in October. The L’Eroica is open to the participation of cyclists belonging to both genders. There are a few rules to participate at L’Eroica. A valid racing license (Italian and foreign) is required though you can obtain it a one day license cum insurance as well. There is a participation fee and online registration which generally closes by mid September. This is a “period” rally and costumes and heritage and even antique bikes are preferred. However modern bicycles, excluding mountain bikes and modern clothing are also allowed. Bike numbers and other registration details have to be completed the evening before.


L’Eroica offers few prizes too. All riders (whether they ride in ancient or modern bicycles) who finish the long race within 7.30 pm (the official time limit) receive  a commemorative plate and a bottle of Chianti Classico with a special label on it. Special Prizes are given to individuals who ride “heroic” bicycles. Ten prizes are also given for the heroic rides on the long course and for those who used ancient and antique bicycles.


There are traditional refreshments at specific places along the course. There is a wide selection of Water, Wine, Grapes, Bread and Garlic. Lunch does include the traditional Ribbolita, different Tuscan breads, cold meats including Prosciutto and the Chianti wines. At the end of the race a  typical traditional Tuscan dinner is provided.


Many participants dress up in vintage costumes. It is very colourful and in keeping with the spirit of a bygone era which is one of the aims of L’Eroica. L’Eroica is a must visit and must participate event at least once in a lifetimes is the opinion of many. It is a beautiful and energetic way of exploring the beautiful province of Tuscany especially the region designated as Chianti.

To live this fantastic experience, a very good solution is to rent a holiday home, a villa an apartment or an agriturismo with Vacavilla. Vacavilla offers a wide selection of vacation homes in Chianti. Villas and apartments with pool, luxury farmhouses and cottages, indipendent houses for weekly rentals or short breaks.

For your stay in Tuscany, contact Vacavilla, a tailor made villa and apartments rentals agency in Colle Val d’Elsa, Siena (Tuscany-Italy).



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: