"Broken Compass is a grassroots service that is passionate about cycling and Tuscany, and even better, they make sure you point your wheel off the beaten path. They specialize in week long excursions, but are available to organize single day rides as well. It’s a boon that the bilingual owner is a total foodie. Doubling as a chef, he enjoys sharing his intimate knowledge of region cuisine and wine and can prioritize well-selected visits to wineries and local olive farms for tastings. With these guys you will eat well and learn much while pedaling the quiet back roads of Tuscany.”
Lonely Planet - Cycling Italy
"Our experience with Broken Compass could not have been better. We came all the way from São Paulo to enjoy the Bacchus Tour, and our expectations were far exceeded in all regards.
Beyond being a great cyclist, Jesse was a fantastic guide. He took care of everything, giving us a completely stress-free experience. Every place we went to eat and drink was better than the last, and after dinner each night, we found ourselves saying "no, THAT was the best meal of our trip." The daily logistics of moving from one agriturismo to the next and dealing with maps, luggage, bike maintenance, supplies, etc.....Jesse made it all look easy. The routes we rode were unreal, and there were many times we felt like we were in a photo published by the Tuscany Tourism Board.
Perhaps the most impressive part was Jesse's ability to handle cyclists of all ages, levels, and mindsets. Despite being very different cyclists (one of us is a road biker who loves huge ascents and reckless descents, the other is a hybrid rider who does not particularly enjoy huge climbs and is more safety-conscious), we both had a tremendous time on the trip. There was no pressure, just fun.
In addition to all of this, the price of our Broken Compass tour was far more reasonable than some of the other tours we considered.
This was the best trip we ever took together, and we look forward to getting to ride with Broken Compass again in the future."
Kika and Noah - São Paulo, Brasil
“Thanks again for a wonderful bike trip through Tuscany! The accommodations were spectacular, the hospitality was wonderful, the food was exquisite and the bike route scenery was beautiful.We really enjoyed the cooking class, it was a great experience! We even bought ourselves our own pasta maker and have been making our own pasta from scratch.We would definitely recommend Broken Compass to all our cyclist friends.Thanks again Jesse for making our first trip to Italy an experience of a lifetime!”
Mary and Derek Smith - Ontario, Canada
“What a fabulous bike tour! It was the highlight of our trip to Italy! Jesse was marvelous and catered to our every need. The routes chosen were on beautiful quiet roads with stunning views and we loved the stops at the wineries, cheese farms, monasteries and small towns along the way. The accommodations were well beyond our expectations. We really appreciated all the extra little things that Jesse did to make our tour memorable, such as setting up picnics and sharing his passion for Italian food. The next time we are in Italy we will definitely be booking another tour with Broken Compass.”
Ryan Campbell - Calgary, Canada
"Broken Compass is a find. It provides its tourists with a good mix of: cycling through classic landscapes; the opportunity to taste fine local food and wine (straight from the producers); and an appreciation of the Tuscan way of life. The retro gusto is great. I will be back for more."
Roddy Johnson - Dubai, UAE - full time lawyer and part time cyclist
"Broken Compass setup a fantastic custom tour of Tuscany for us on a week's notice. We wanted something challenging with hills and without worrying about hotels, bags, etc. Jesse gave us detailed route instructions and took care of all our logistics. Gave us restaurant recommendations and sites to see at each small town. Even though, we did a self-guided tour, we often saw Jesse a couple of times a day as he picked up our bags and checked up on us. He even rode with us one afternoon. I'd strongly recommend Broken Compass Tours for anyone interested in exploring Tuscany on a bike."
Aseem Sood - Los Angeles, California USA
“I started out with the intention of just doing the Elba bike trip but it was so fantastic that I decided to add on an extra week and do the Bacchus tour as well. Each was distinctive in terms of the terrain and setting covered – both were absolutely exquisite in their own ways. In addition to the great biking, the common element throughout my experience with Broken Compass Tours was the fantastic accommodations, food and wine. Jesse (our guide) is a chef and connoisseur himself and takes such care in picking restaurants, “agriturismos,” and experiences that really allows you to experience Italy to the fullest.”
Mariam Azin - Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA
“After experiencing Jesse’s hospitality a couple of years ago on the Bacchus tour we had great expectations of the Elba tour – we didn’t think it could have been better, but it was! We seemed to eat and drink even more excellent food and wine than last time and we experienced some very different parts of Tuscany. The hairpin mountain roads of Elba were a highlight and we even enjoyed sharing them with a flock of historic racing cars. The riding was exhilarating, the accommodation was wonderful, the meals sublime, the company great and Jesse’s organization was flawless - nothing seemed too much trouble to him –how does he do it?
Hope to be back soon.”
Steve & Dianne Nicol - Tasmania, Australia
“It was a pleasure spending those days with you and perhaps the most memorable part of our time in Italy. Thanks again for all your patience and good humor and for sharing your love of Italy, wine and biking.”
Diane Montalto - Rolling Hills, California USA
“If you want to bicycle in Italy there are many ways to go and many companies which will usher you through the countryside. However, one person who stands out from the crowd is Jesse Sibley, owner of Broken Compass Tours. Jesse, living in Arezzo with his wife Dory, is a former bicycle racer, an expert on Italian wines and wineries, an incredible chef, and a wonderful human being. He has a great sense of adventure, an intimate knowledge of many parts of Italy, and a continuing curiosity of the region that leads him to uncover and share with you unique people and places. It will be a memorable trip, made more memorable by the richness of the experiences and the realization that rather than a tour of Italy you have become a part of the landscape and felt the pulse of life that is now a part of you.”
Bob Berky - Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA
“Each day is like a new cycling adventure and offers cultural activities ranging from guided historical tours, Italian cooking lessons, and a firsthand opportunity to participate in the wine making process. The accommodations are unique, comfortable and inviting. The cuisine, the countryside-vistas, as experienced from the seat of a bicycle, and the professionalism of the Broken Compass crew – all exceptional travel experiences in my opinion. I appreciate the high quality bicycles and other sporting equipment available during the trip. Jesse, owner and guide of Broken Compass went out of his way to make this cycling adventure memorable. I highly recommend Broken Compass as a unique opportunity to experience the finer points of Tuscany and I look forward to returning to Italy in the future. Elba Island, an oasis for the senses, is the crown jewel of this cycling adventure. Thanks again for a great travel experience.”
Paul Blomberg - Vanderhoof BC, Canada
“What a fabulous trip! From beginning to end Jesse provided a fantastic experience that we couldn’t have had any other way. The wine, food, company and biking was absolutely the best. Jesse befriended everyone along the route and really helped in creating the best experience for us!”
Pauline & Dave Witzke - Ontario, Canada
“Spent nearly a week with Broken Compass in May 2010 and I am not sure that there was anything I would have changed – apart from the odd rain shower thatforced us under shelter. We rode with Bacchus and it was an orgy of degustation on two wheels as we cycled through impossibly clichéd Tuscan countryside from winery to cheesery to excellent restaurant. The cycling was fantastic – quiet roads, lovely drivers, beautiful scenery and just enough exercise that we could pretend that we were earning the amazing food and wine. Jesse was the perfect host quietly exhibiting his local knowledge and passion for all things that involved Italy and bicycles. All in all, a truly memorable experience. We all had a fantastic time on the tour. Arrangements, accommodation, rides and tastings were all perfect. We have all fallen in love with Tuscany – but it’s hard not to! I hope that we have the opportunity to do a tour with you again some time. We will be putting in good words for Broken Compass whenever we get the opportunity.”
Dianne & Steve Nicol - Tasmania, Australia
“Our Broken Compass bike excursion through southern Tuscany was one of the most memorable trips of my life. And it was due to the care, preparation and attention to detail of the staff of Broken Compass.
The well-maintained road bikes came fully equipped. The daily cue sheets were right on the mark, with suggested stops for lunch and sight-seeing. At potentially confusing turns, our group leader was right there to make sure we stayed on route. And at the end of each day he and his van were at the inn with our bags. The small towns we visited were beautiful. The Agriturismo inns we stayed at were set in the midst of olive groves and vineyards with hosts who welcomed us and shared the area’s remarkable wine and cuisine. The visits of local wineries and cheese making farms gave us an even fuller picture of this remarkable region.
The BCT staff & Jesse couldn’t have been more accommodating. The next day’s rides were often adjusted, depending upon our wishes. And our BCT group leader not only knew bikes (quickly handling any mechanical problem), he also knew the back roads, out-of-the-way sights, and the best local eateries and vintages. It was as if you were riding with an old biking friend who took you along on his favorite rides and to his special destinations- and this in Tuscany!”
Bill Dennison - Yonkers, New York USA
“We were really happy about this trip in bicycle. We have many amazing pictures from the trip and we keep really good souvenirs of this adventure! The itinerary was perfect and we were so glad to discover roads less taken thanks to you. The choice of accommodation and agriturismo was perfect. We were really happy about this trip and we will recommend you in the future. We wish you the best.”
Sandrine Royer (and Mireille) - Quebec, Canada
"Jesse provided everything I could have asked for (and more) in order to have an unforgettable cycling experience in Tuscany. The route selection was exactly as I had requested, I will definitely ride with him again when I return to Italy."
Rob Alexander - Atlanta, Georgia USA