What type of event is L'Eroica?

Have you ever heard of the event called Eroica? Probably, for those who live in Tuscany and especially in the province of Siena, this name will not be new.

This in-depth study is designed for all those who have not yet heard of it, and might be interested in Experience firsthand an event that has always combined sports and discovery of the Tuscan territory.

L'Eroica is a renowned bicycle touring event. held annually since 1997 in the province of Siena, conceived by Giancarlo Brocci together with other cycling enthusiasts.

The special feature of this event is to Celebrating and reliving vintage cycling, with routes that run largely on dirt roads and participants using historic clothing and bicycles.

The traditional Eroica (the one that takes place in Gaiole in Chianti) is always held on the first Sunday in October.

There is also the so-called Eroica Montalcino, another event that uses these routes, but differs in that it starts in the quaint village of Montalcino, at a different time of year (usually by the end of May).

It is in no way a competitive race or competition, but rather an opportunity to bring together cycling enthusiasts and enjoy a unique experience surrounded by the beautiful Tuscan landscapes.

Along the route, cyclists can enjoy numerous refreshment points, where it is possible to taste delicious local products (with special reference to wine, it is an excellent opportunity to enjoy an excellent glass of Brunello di Montalcino).

How does L'Eroica work?

cycling on the white roads of l'eroica

But how does L'Eroica work in detail? There are a number of components that make this event truly special!

As we anticipated, L'Eroica was born with the Purpose of reviving the spirit of vintage cycling, enhancing local traditions, landscapes and gastronomic specialties.

Perhaps the most unique aspect lies in the fact that. participants are encouraged to use bicycles and period clothing, so as to recreate the atmosphere of historical cycling.

Usually, on the weekends when this event takes place you can find all kinds of vintage bikes, even models made in the early 1900s and excellently preserved over time. Regulations prohibit the use of mountain bikes, precisely to ensure that this historical component is maintained by all.

As we will see in more detail below, Eroica offers several routes of varying length and difficulty, to allow cyclists of all levels to participate. White roads, or dirt roads typical of Tuscany, characterize much of the route.

The departure of L'Eroica takes place in the French manner, which means that cyclists are free to leave within a certain time slot, usually early in the morning. There is no mass start as in competitions.

Each participant receives a roadbook from the organization, which serves as a "passport" to the event. Along the route, there are several checkpoints where cyclists must stamp their roadbooks to attest to their passage.

Along the route there are numerous dining options, where cyclists can take a break and enjoy local products such as bread, cheese, cold cuts and excellent Tuscan wine.

One aspect that fully characterizes L'Eroica, is definitely its not to be a real competition; this is also why a final ranking is not made.

At the end of the event, the organization only publishes a list of arrivals in alphabetical order, showing the route taken by each participant.

Where does one start for L'Eroica?

heroic start montalcino

The start of L'Eroica, which takes place on the first Sunday in October, takes place in the quaint village of Gaiole in Chianti, located in the province of Siena, in the heart of Tuscany.

This picturesque town is the starting point for several routes that wind through the hills and vineyards of the area, allowing cyclists to immerse themselves in the beauty of Tuscan landscapes and the history of vintage cycling.

Instead, at the end of May, the "Eroica Montalcino" event takes place, starting in this quaint Tuscan village.

The idea of Visit Montalcino by taking advantage of the weekend when this event takes place, is undoubtedly a very good thing. We, as Montalcino Club, we have always focused on uncovering the best of this area, with special focus on the local wine supply.

A good option, might be to Plan a vacation of a few days, during the time of this event And, why not, Participate afterwards in one of our wine tours, which will allow you, in addition to discover the beauty of Montalcino, to participate in a guided tour of some of the leading local wineries, with tastings of excellent bottles of Brunello.

If the idea is tickling you, you can read more in the appropriate section and choose the tour of your preference (traditional, elegance, unforgettable).

What bike does it take to participate in L'Eroica?

As mentioned at the outset, to participate there is only the rule of Do not use mountain bikes, preferring older models, acts as a reminder of the spirit and sacrifice of what cycling used to be.

Not surprisingly, part of the course consists of classic white roads, which once characterized much of the roads in the Tuscan territory, and were used extensively in bicycle races many years ago.

How long is the route of L'Eroica?

heroic cyclist passage

As we will see shortly, there is no single route made for the weekends on which the L'Eroica event takes place (Classic and Eroica Montalcino), so there are different tracks, and everyone has a way to opt for the one that best suits their level of preparation.

One can start from a very simple path, of about 27km, to gradually ascend to the most complete one, which runs for a total length of as many as 153km.

However, there is also to be said that there is a route, named as "permanent," which encompasses the whole essence of this event.

The permanent L'Eroica route stretches a total of 209 kilometers (209 miles) through the heart of the Terre di Siena, passing through Chianti, the Crete Senesi and the Val d'Orcia.

It represents A journey into the essence of the legendary Tuscan landscape and is an excellent opportunity for those engaged in bicycle touring due to its technical features.

In fact, the itinerary includes a continuous alternation of paved and unpaved roads, has a total elevation gain of about 3,800 meters, and can be safely ridden, without limitations, at any time of the year and with bikes of any type.

We believe that this route can be an excellent excuse to visit the area and also discover local food and wine goodness.

If you have no way to Being able to travel to the Montalcino area, for the weekend in which the event takes place, you can still take advantage of this permanent route at any time of the year and also carry out one of our organized tours, Discovering the Brunello region.

Should you wish to taste the wine of Montalcino, directly to your home, you will have the opportunity to join our club and receive every 2 months a selection of the best bottles from the area, specially chosen for you by the Montalcino Club team.

What are the routes of L'Eroica?

bikes used for heroics

On weekends when L'Eroica takes place, it is possible to Sign up for one of the routes of different lengths, designed to meet the physical needs of all members, and to enable everyone to fully enjoy the experience.

Currently, the routes of L'Eroica are as follows.

Heroic Walk: a very simple and short route of approx. 27km, which can also be carried out by families with children in tow and thus discover the territory of Brunello di Montalcino.

This route consists of about 12km of dirt roads and 15km of paved roads, and has only one refreshment point as it is very easy.

Brunello Route: winds for about 46km and allows you to see an important part of the complete route, especially the part that reaches the village of Castiglion del Bosco, a short distance from Montalcino.

The route is equally divided, between paved and dirt roads, and includes 2 refreshment points.

Medium route of the Crete Senesi: of well 70km, practically half of the main route, includes as many as 46km of dirt roads and about 26 of paved roads, with 3 refreshment points.

Medium route Val d'Orcia: a journey of well 96km, especially suitable for cyclists with a good level of training, and which will allow you to discover much of the beautiful territory of the Val d'Orcia.

It provides as many as 63km of dirt roads, and 33 of paved roads, with 5 refreshment points, along the way.

Heroic long route: the longest route, for those who want to fully experience the essence of L'Eroica, with as many 153km total, equally divided between dirt and paved roads, and as many as 7 refreshment stations.

What to see along the route of L'Eroica

Along the route of L'Eroica, participants have the opportunity to admire some of the most fascinating and characteristic landscapes of Tuscany.

Starting with the picturesque village of Gaiole in Chianti, the starting and finishing point of the event, we immerse ourselves in the Chianti vineyards, with picturesque views and countless opportunities to taste local products.

Continuing along the trail, we encounter ancient castles and villages, such as the Castle of Brolio, the Castle of Meleto and the village of Radda in Chianti, which provide an overview of the history and architecture of the region.

Montalcino, famous for the production of the fine Brunello wine, is a must for food and wine enthusiasts, with its medieval village and panoramic views of the Val d'Orcia.

The imposing Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, located among the Crete Senesi, is another place of interest, known for its Renaissance frescoes and monumental cloister.

The Val d'Orcia, an enchanting valley included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites., offers unique and picturesque landscapes with rolling hills, rows of cypress trees and fields of wheat.

Pienza, a perfect example of an ideal Renaissance city, is another jewel of the Val d'Orcia, with its square and historic buildings designed by architect Rossellino at the behest of Pope Pius II.

Finally, San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers, is a charming and well-preserved village that offers striking views and an atmosphere of yesteryear.

The dates of L'Eroica 2023

When does L'Eroica take place in 2023?

  • As for L'Eroica traditional, starting from Gaiole in Chianti, the event will take place on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1 (two separate days, with the first dedicated to longer routes and the second dedicated to easier routes)
  • L'Eroica Montalcino, however, will take place on a single date next Sunday, May 28.

To register for the event, simply click on the appropriate page Of L'Eroica's official website.