Independent arrival in Lucca and settling into the hotel. Lucca can easily be reached by local trains or buses from Pisa and Florence, where Tuscany's main airports are. Private minibus transfers from the airports can be arranged on request.
Monte Serra and Pisa - 89 km
After the briefing in the shop in the historic city centre of Lucca, you set off for an enjoyable ride with two climbs, Mount Serra and Mount Pitoro, both used by many professional cyclists (Cipollini, Bartali, Basso, Ulrich, Riis, Sorensen etc.) for their winter training. The first reaches an altitude of 900 m, including almost a kilometre with an 18% gradient; the second climbs steadily up to 224 m where the delightful panorama takes in Lake Massaciuccoli and the sea. The mandatory stop of the day is, of course, Pisa and the souvenir photo with the bicycle under the Leaning Tower is a must. Accumulated climb: 2186 m
The coast of Versilia - 91 km
From Lucca, the obligatory excursion takes you along the Versilia coast through vineyards and olive groves across the charming hills separating the city from the sea to Camaiore and Pietrasanta, known as the Little Athens, at the foot of the Apuan Alps where the fine white "Carrara" marble used for building and to create the world's most famous statues is quarried. It is home to many sculptors (Botero is the most famous today), attracted by the ability of a number of small companies to produce statues in marble and bronze. When you reach the coast with its beautiful beaches and the towns of Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio, don't miss a visit to one of the beach restaurants for a swim (season permitting) and spaghetti with seafood.
Accumulated climb: 600 m
Pinocchio and Pizzorna - 80 km
Did you know that Collodi, Pinocchio's village, is near Lucca? You climb up for 400 m to Matraia, then from there, go downhill along an undulating panoramic road for about 12 km to Collodi, where a photo under the giant wooden statue of the puppet is obligatory. This is the start of the climb of about 700 m up the Trebbio, followed by a delightful ride down to Bagni di Lucca, famous for its spa muds and the perfect place for a snack at the Circolo dei Forestieri or one of the city centre bars. Accumulated climb: 2331 m
Lucca - Florence - 101 km
The journey is mostly through countryside, first on the olive oil and wine routes in the DOC areas of Colline Lucchesi and Montecarlo. The local roads take you through small towns, past rural churches, farms and wineries to Montecarlo, a medieval village at the top of a rolling green hill famous for its wines. Your escape in the coutryside continue throught the magical land where Leonardo da Vinci was born and developed his genius. Montalbano and Vinci, through gentle hills and classic Tuscan scenery, the venue for this year's cycling world championships in September. And then further south towards Montelupo Fiorentino to Signa, traversing the Parco Mediceo around Poggio alla Malva, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Arno and Pesa valley as far as Chianti as you rest between vines, olive groves and ancient ruins. You are very close to Florence; once arrived at your destination you abandon the bikes and pretend to be "normal" tourists for a while as you explore the countless courtyards, squares, palaces, museums, churches, markets and boutiques the city has to offer. Accumulated climb: 839 m
Gran Fondo Firenza - 95 km
Today's excursion, the middle stage of the Florence Granfondo, takes you through an enchanting hilly landscape with two climbs of more than 800 m and a further two of about 400 m each. The Mugello area is famous for pastures and knife production. The small town of Scarperia is worth a visit. Accumulated climb: 1600 m
A rest day is essential to get your energy back and is the perfect occasion for a wonderful visit to the city of Florence. But if you prefer going for a ride, you have prepared an itinerary to make you happy.
Florence - Siena 84km
It won't be easy to abandon Florence, but Chianti is awaiting you with a completely different landscape, with some hilly areas, but also others with woods and vineyards stretching to the horizon and a number of climbs up through higher almost mountain-like hills. If you haven’t already visited a winery, then this and the next itinerary are still excellent opportunities. In Chianti, you can still find fascinating historic villages such as Panzano, Radda in Chianti and Gaiole, to name just a few of the places worth visiting. In Gaiole, you encounter the permanent circuit of the Eroica, a cycling event with classic racing bikes that takes place every year along the region’s characteristic dirt tracks, evoking the bicycle racing of long ago with its purity of intention and contact with nature. The Eroica’s route takes us across Chianti Classico to Brolio Castle, jewel of the estates owned by the Ricasoli family, with magnificent panoramas and excellent wines. You ride down through the vines towards Siena which appears on the horizon, a postcard of presentation for this magnificent city. Accumulated climb: 1279 m
The tour of Chianti Classico Gallo Nero 104km
The first tour of the Siena area crosses the south of Chianti. There are no great climbs, but a constant series of ups and downs which you can feel in your legs at the end of the day. You ride through the vineyards of Chianti Classico, the world’s most famous wine for excellent quality and the unmistakeable black cockerel logo.
Along the route there are numerous small villages such as Castelnuovo Berardenga, Castello di Brolio, Gaiole, Radda and Castellina.
At Gaiole, a visit to the Eroica shop with its extraordinary collection of classical bikes is a must, while Radda in Chianti, enclosed in its medieval walls, is one of Chianti’s most beautiful villages, together with Castellina in Chianti. We recommend you visit the Chianti Classico Museum and Enoteca Porciatti wine bar and shop in Radda, perhaps for a snack with traditional products, then the Castellina ice-cream shop in the centre of the village with the same name.
For a wine tasting, a visit to the Enoteca Fonterutoli wine bar and shop, 4 km after Castellina in Chianti, is mandatory. Accumulated climb: 1922 m
Montalcino 97 km
The day’s excursion heads south towards the clay hills of Siena. You often seem to be riding through a moonscape, the vegetation is different, but there is no shortage of olive groves and vineyards. You cross the area famous for producing Brunello wine, then after a brief but steep climb, come to the village of Montalcino, steeped in history and full of wine bars and shops. Impossible to offer advice on where to go for a tasting as all the wine is good here. Just go into the wine bar that appeals to you most and ask what they recommend.
After Montalcino, you come to Buonconvento, another splendid village where, even if you don't want to actually stop, it is still worth entering inside the walls and visiting it by bike. Accumulated climb: 1866 m
San Gimignano 96 km
You then head north to the Castle of Monteriggioni, still with much of the 13th century structures. A photo and a visit to the walkways along the walls are mandatory. You continue to San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where it is worth lingering to visit the town centre enclosed in its walls with its characteristic towers.
Here the typical wine is Vernaccia, one of the few whites in an area dominated by reds. In the city centre, there are numerous wine bars and shops where you can enjoy a tasting, while the Dondoli ice-cream shop in Piazza della Cisterna has won the prize for the world's best ice-cream. Accumulated climb: 1247 m
Time to say goodbye, a good flight back home or a pleasant stay in Italy