As Michael J said, the Dolomites are terrific. I actually prefer them to a lot of the Alps. Tuscany isn't that challenging on a bike but the countryside is fabulous. I always recommend that people who are not familiar with their destination get some good maps beforehand, both paper and electronic. http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/
The Italians have a good outlook on life. Not too fast, not too organized. Generally, they're friendly and they love a good laugh.They, like any other peoples, have had their turn in the sun but they still have an appreciation for art, music, and especially for food. Without a doubt some of the best in the world. Why would they not take long lunches and/or dinners?