The dream of a child who loved sailing without knowing what it was
by Alberto Lombardi
My dream – let you discover the real Outdoor Tuscany Experience – became clear on a pier
This is the story of my dream, that talks about pure love as only a child can do. Love for open sea, sun and wind. And Tuscany. Actually, it was a recurring daydreaming that I used to do when, with my father, hand in hand, we were walking on the pier in Viareggio. Every time with my child’s eyes I was looking at the open sea dreaming to sail away with my sailboat.
Every time, I had the same feeling… will I be able to really sail away? Who knows… Let’s hope.
I was too young and the dream too complex for me. The dream was actually deep in my soul, in fact I never gave up. While years goes by, I move forward, still keep dreaming about open sea. The question remains the same… would I ever be able to sail across the Ocean? It is time to build the plan.
The starting cannon – Las Palmas, Canary Islands – November 2014
I wake up in a flash, I am aboard of a 13-meter sailboat; we are expecting to hear the starting gun in a moment. One of the most important running transatlantic regattas in the world, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers – in place since 1986 – is going to commence. 131 boats sailing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and ends before Christmas at Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean.
Excitement is at its maximum, strong wind and waves of 8 meters force us to maneuver the boat with maximum concentration.
During a short brake, I ask myself if I am really living this moment. How did I get to here? a series of flashbacks are pushing me there, where everything started, the pier in Viareggio.
My memory goes back to my first little sailboat, to the first experiences as well as to the friends from whom I learned and with whom I shared my love for the sea, the sun, the wind and the boat.
Actually, this is my second transatlantic experience, but I have the feeling that this is the one that will drive the big change. Forever.
14 days in a row. It’s impossible for me to split night vs. day vs night, strong wind vs. dead calm, this journey – in my mind – was like a single shot!
I spent hours looking at the waves that were running fast behind the boat, hours in the dark at night. It was so dark that I was not even able to see the sails; I was steering just smelling the air, using the sound of sea and the feeling of the wind on my skin. A mix of emotions, joy, fear, sadness, ecstasy in a sequence of feelings that I was given like unexpected gifts, in an endless dream.
When I was back, on my face I had the smile that the Ocean gave to me as gift, but one question was bumping in my mind: what am I going to do now? I knew that this experience was the end of an important chapter of my life but, at the same token, I new that another chapter was waiting to be written.
To keep me busy and feel new emotions, I intensified the outdoor activity like mountain biking, trekking, running, swimming, breath-hold diving. I knew that I was going somewhere but I did not know the destination; I was just “going with the flow”.
The new chapter: Tuscany Quintessence!
After 20 years of a brilliant career and a bachelor’s degree in computer science, I decided to keep following the flow and change, dedicating my time, my creativity, my experience, energy and professionality in a new dream to conquer; create outdoor experiences in Tuscany capable to give emotions for a second, but that last for life, moments that will boost dreams.
This is why I setup Tuscany Quintessence, with the desire to do a great job injecting also my passion.
Among my tours perhaps there is one experience that you were hoping to enjoy since a while. If this is not the case, you can call me, and together we will create the tour that you are looking for.
Follow the flow.
Ps. By the way, we won the regatta! In the pic, I’m the one with the hat.
Tuscany quintessence ... TUSCANY BIKE Tours and Experiences ... THE TEAM
Alberto Lombardi is the founder and CEO of Tuscany Quintessence, Tuscany Bike Tours and Experiences. Alberto (Albi for friends) is a certified bike tour leader and a solid skipper; he crossed the Atlantic Ocean 2 times winning also one of the most famous transatlantic regatta, the ARC in 2014. Alberto is moreover a triathlete and when possible, he challenges himself with long distance races like half-ironman. Above all Alberto is very passionate and knowledgeable about Tuscany, willing to share the amazing places he knows. He believes that a unique tour is the result of mixing the right essences like adventure, nature, food, art&history and wellness. He is the primary tour leader of Tuscany Quintessence. Before founding Tuscany Quintessence, Alberto worked at General Electric for 20 years covering several leadership positions. Alberto believes that Compliance, Quality, Health/Safety and Environment should be at the foundation of everything we do; these are also the values for Tuscany Quintessence. He is married and has 2 children. And 2 cats!
Marco Andreoni is the Technical Director of Tuscany Quintessence. Marco is a veteran of tourism in Tuscany; his solid experience combined with studies are making him a real expert in the field of agricultural tourism. Marco is an expert horse rider and mountain climber; the perfect guide for this kind of adventures. His preferred destinations are Rome, the countryside around Volterra, the area in the south of Tuscany called Maremma Toscana, Pisa, Lucca and Apuan Alpes. Marco started about 20 years ago managing family’s properties then became a manager of a tour operator supporting tourists from abroad with special focus on France and Canada (he is French mother language) becoming one of the best options for tourists looking at Tuscany for vacations. Most recently Marco started new projects like leading the transformation of an old private villa in a charming and profitable bed and breakfast. He is also a consultant for newly formed B&B or holiday homes for rent.
Our dream is to create the perfect condition for YOUR unforgettable vacation in Tuscany. The capability to harmonize a flourish set of valuable bike tours experiences is the key to offer YOU a superior service. This is why we have implemented solid partnerships with several players across Tuscany; we believe that working together, will allow us to achieve common success and, ultimately, YOUR satisfaction.
Debunking the myth around e-bikes
Bicycles with pedal assistance are bikes equipped with an auxiliary electric motor. Electric bikes do take some of the pain out of climbing, but they don’t do the climbing for you. e-bikes only add to the power you’re personally putting out; therefore, you still have to work to conquer the climbs.
E-cycling can contribute to meeting physical activity recommendations and increasing physical fitness. As such, e-bikes offer a potential alternative to conventional cycling.That’s the conclusion of a new systematic review published in the latest International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.
In Italy e-bike does not require homologation, insurance, registration/plate or a driving license.
Under normal conditions (average level of pedal assistance, rider’s weight less than 90 kg and minimum slope) can assist the ride for about 80 km, which increase in the case of flat route and decrease in the presence of different climbs.
Our bikes are Fantic XF2 INTEGRA, 2019 model.