It`s very difficult to pick a favourite day at the Hotel Dory, all were so good, but I think perhaps the ride to San Marino was one of the best guided cycling tours Italy. We had to pick the Cappucino light Group to ensure we could participate in the promised wine tasting rather than the faster longer rides we had done on the other days. The pace was a bit more lesiurely allowing more time to really appreciate the scerery and give our weary legs and sore bottoms a welcome break. I had read that the climb to San Marino however was 18% at the top and was rather concerned about this on the leisurely ride out., ensuring not to take any Hills too hard. When we saw the village perched on the mountain top my concerns mounted with every bend in the road as we wound up the hillside. However, as it turned out we were taken up the longer, but very manageable side and arrived quite suddenly in the town with spectacular views and a welcome coffee.
The ride down the steeper side was one of the best of the trip, wide road, sweeping corners and a good road service due to being a tourist destination and a better cared for road affording a more confident and enjoyable descent for some of us who prefer v the ups to the downs!. Very soon we arrived at the vineyard where we were well catered for with olive oil, cured meats, cheese, the tastiest tomatoes and ample Prossecco, White wine and red wine to wash it all down. Sitting at the long tables under the umbrellas it was easy to forget we still had to ride home.
We spotted our guides downing a few Grappa shots before they rounded us up for the group photo and the ride back to the Dory, Expecting a leisurely trundle along quiet country roads the pace took us by surprise as our guide Walter seemedvery keen to get home chasing and passing other Dory groups along the way! We were surprisingly sober by the time we arrived back! This ride is highly recommended for all as those in the faster groups missed out on a uniquely Italian experience that day, the really best guided cycling tours Italy!