An e-bike in front of the gate of a Tuscan villa
Villa Catignano: one of the many beautiful places an e-bike can get you to from Siena

A few years ago, I interviewed an American writer, who during her month-long stay in Siena whizzed through the city on a bicycle. This was an unusual sight - vespas are the two-wheelers of choice in Siena's hilly town center, not bikes like in mostly flat Florence. 

But the invention of e-bikes is about to change this. The city of Siena has installed an electric bike sharing program which is functioning well. However, it's mostly aimed at locals and residents, as its set-up is a little complicated for visitors who only stay a couple of days in town. Hence, for tourists, the best bike rental options in Siena are with the privately owned shops which supply bycicles of every size and type for a day or two or an entire week. 

Riding through the hills of the chianti
Giulia from cycling through the hills of Siena

Siena Bike Shop rents out racing bycicles, hybrid and e-bikes and is a great option if you plan to explore the beautiful countryside that surrounds the city. We recently did a day tour with friends following the route proposed by shop owner Massimiliano (he can supply a GPS if necessary). The tour took us from Siena through countryside roads lined by olive groves, vineyards and - of course - cypress trees. A stopover at the Chianti Sculpture Park is a great option for a picnic in the shade, or head to one of the many good restaurants in Vagliagli or Pianella. 

It was our first experience on an e-bike, but we'll be definitely back for more (and I'll remember to bring some proper cycling pants next time!). 


Where: in via Aretina, 35, just outside the town walls near porta Pispini). Best make a reservation in advance if you visit Siena in high-season (from Easter to October). 

Prices: E-bike and race bike rental 40€ per day. Hybrid and mountain bike rental 25€ per day. Lower rates apply for consecutive days - see price list here. 

Good to Know: Siena Bike Shop can drop off and pick up the bikes at your hotel or B&B in town for an extra 20€. 

Itineraries: Massimiliano is crazy about cycling and has great advice for road, mountain bike and e-bike tours around Siena and Tuscany for both pros or total amateurs (like me).

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