Pedala con gusto - On Board Diary

A behind-the-scenes look at four days up and down the hills, past salt waterfalls, wineries lost in the Mediterranean scrub and sunset toasts.



Words by Miriam | Photography by Patrizia & Miriam | Styling by Beatrice

9 June 2023 

If we were to try to explain the strange charm that surrounds Pomarance, it would be almost impossible to find the words. Lost in the hills of the Val di Cecina, reachable by one of those kinds of roads that would have inspired medieval storytellers, with almost abandoned level crossings, farmhouses far from civilisation and immense, boundless, wild nature. These days have been like a homecoming, meeting friends and discovering new sights that make us fall even more in love with this corner of Tuscany that, like St Thomas, has to be seen to be believed. 


Here is our trip in Pomarance, amidst overflowing beers, salty air, pici cacio e pepe, wine and flowers, wild flowers everywhere.

Thursday – Red cat in the storm.

When we arrived in Pomarance – it was one o’clock in the afternoon – we didn’t even have time to warm up a schiaccia for Ganesh. We had to prepare all the welcome bags for the guests and be divided up to welcome them to the various facilities. Patrizia and I wait for the first ones at the Reucci, a house overlooking the valley and the geothermal cooling towers that characterise the landscape of a land dedicated to clean energy. Here is Gatto Rosso, a pussycat we met three years ago, visibly leavened since last time by an unbridled passion for kibble – and food in general. The classic summer thunderstorm broke out, and so we spent almost two hours looking out over the hills with the Red Cat in our arms, cuddling, before returning to the base for a shower: it was practically cocktail time. Time flies when there are almost a billion things to do. 


Friday – Tuscan dinner and van rally.

Is it even possible to tell you what happened that day starting from the end? The answer is yes, when the day ends with Dispensa’s pici cacio e pepe – one of the first things I tasted when I arrived here – it brings back so many memories.The enveloping flavour of the pecorino sauce and the full, round moon watching over this Tuscan-style dinner was the perfect reward for the intense hours spent photographing and recording every single moment of today’s ride. From Maurizio Fondriest opening beers with his hands, to Paolo Kessisoglu making himself at home on the Cerretemberg, to Paolo Bettini shouting “Oli, oli, oli” into the small radio, this adventure promises to be the usual festive delirium. Lunch consisted of a tasting of biodynamic wines at Caiarossa, a winery designed according to the rules of Feng Shui, with large windows and yellow walls to make those working there feel at ease. The van Bea drives, on the other hand, is anything but feng shui, and her driving skills are put to the test time and time again without her ever coming up short. In the end, we had a winner and there was no doubt who that was. Once again, we have given it our all – and then some.

Saturday – Salt chocolate and other surprises.

As the midday sun beats down on Italy’s purest salt factory, you can’t help but notice how the grains have corroded practically everything. The air is like being on the beach on a July Sunday, and the waterfall of salt in the pavilion, designed by the visionary architect Nervi, is the perfect setting for some incredible photographs. From the Etruscans to the Romans to the Middle Ages, salt has been mined here for three thousand years, and practically everything is made here, from skincare products to beer and even chocolate, some of the best I have ever tasted. 

Sunday – The finish: refreshments.

The day of the Green Fondo is always the most intense. Not for the sheer amount of kilometres done, but for the amount of food at the refreshment stands – the first with ‘lampredotto’, you be judge – which proved to be the real challenge of the day. For us, between all the photos, quotas and communiqués, today’s objective was to survive. But everything went according to plan – including the camera car with its dangerously unstable trunk – and at La Leccia, amidst the stormy air and focaccia with pecorino cheese, we saw the light. Many hours would pass before our work could be considered complete, but Pomarance welcomed us with a downpour – the only one of this blessed weekend – proving that certain places have their own magic and sometimes it takes very little to understand it.


Are you fascinated by Pomarance and its geothermal energy? We have another event planned for September in which you can also participate with your company, customising it as you wish.

Contact us.