As soon as you get to San Gimignano, book your hotel at the booking service, which is at lower gate to the city. The address is Via S. Giovanno, 125 – 53037. tel is 0577 940 809. Their email is email@example.com, the website can be found here. You cannot drive into the city because it's walled, but there is parking at the southern end. From there you walk through the gate and the booking window is about 10 meters in on the right hand side.
We booked our hotel then went and sat outside at a enoteca (cellar) and enjoyed the setting sun and some fabulous Tuscan cuisine. This was at the Dulcinsinfundo (see restaurant review journal entry in this journal), which I highly recommend and it's also a little bit of the tourist beaten path (which you really want to try to do in San Gimignano because tour buses visit it and they only walk on the one main street so try to get off it.)
We stayed at a villa (with only four rooms) just outside of the walled city, but very easy to walk to the city and probably a fair bit cheaper (see hotel review for San Gimignano, it was called "Villa Alba").
We cycled through Sta Lucia down to Quartaia then east to Mensanello, to Strove onto Monteriggioni. All stunning countryside, and we stayed off the main roads. From Monteriggioni we pushed on to Castellina in Chianti (about 14km, of which the last 10 were uphill, but beautiful scenery to take your mind off the pain). Then onward to Panzano where we stayed the night. The ride from Castellina in Chianti to Greve is almost all downhill and is breathtaking. I cannot recommend this route enough. For our accommodation and restaurant reviews see the relevant journal entries.
Cycled from Greve to Florence via some very small towns and ended up pushing our bikes up hills alongside vines. You just need a phrasebook to ask the friendly people on the street how to get to Florence. There are many roads, but my strong advice is to take the least busy roads and just ask people to point you in the right direction because these small towns may not always be on the map. It’s much more peaceful and scenic if you do it this way.
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Afghanistan
July 29, 2007
From journal I Bike Italy Tour Review
New York CIty, New York, Australia
September 18, 2002
From journal Florence, Lucca, and cycling through Tuscany
Brooklyn, New York
September 17, 2001
From journal Living in Florence