This cycling holiday in Italy will allow you to explore the best cities of Northern Tuscany. The trip starts in Pisa, whose origins are lost in Myth and legend. It was an extremely important maritime republic and it holds some of the world’s most famous monuments such as the Leaning Tower in Miracle Square. The next stop, after a short climb, takes us to Lucca, a small intimate town full of beautiful churches and surrounded by an impressive city wall that is still intact today.
On the way to Vinci, home of the famous Leonardo we pass though the Fucecchio wetlands, one of Europe’s most important inland wetlands; here many different bird species come to nest or rest during the migratory period. The last ride takes us to Florence; cradle of the Renaissance. This is a wonderful city ready to be explored on this fabulous bike vacation.
The rides follow mostly well-asphalted country roads and secondary roads. There are some cycle paths and dirt roads around Pisa and Lucca. Near larger towns, the roads are as expected to be busier.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Cycling that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
4-night tour includes nights in Pisa, Lucca, Vinci and Florence.
During the course of the day, you arrive in Pisa. Our standard hotel in San Giuliano is situated a few kilometres from Pisa centre. It has a swimming pool. When this is full we use a hotel in the city centre which does not have a pool.
An easy warm-up ride along the ancient aqua duct and on bike paths which lead you right into the heart of Pisa where you can visit the world-famous Miracle Square along with its illustrious leaning tower. Admire the many palaces, churches, towers and town squares. Take a break in the Piazza dei Cavalieri as you gaze at the architecturally stunning historic buildings that surround you.
Begin your day cycling through the inspiring countryside between Pisa and the mountain of Monte Serra, stopping for a visit to the grandiose Certosa of Calci monastery. It was founded in 1366 and houses a magnificent, renowned Natural History Museum. The second part of the day is spent in Pisa, as in the short route, visiting its many outstanding monuments.
Today’s ride is very scenic and nearly all flat. The route follows the Serchio River and after 24 kilometres, you reach the charming town of Lucca. You have ample time to visit the town and explore its splendid gardens, majestic bell tower and the impressive Piazza Anfiteatro, a 2nd century Roman amphitheatre. Lucca is famous for its town wall which surrounds the old town which is mostly car-free. Don’t miss a ride along the tree-lined walls of its perimeter before heading off to your accommodation a few kilometres from the centre.
Once again you can choose between 2 trips according to your interest. Both trips take you to visit not only the beautiful town of Lucca but also the characteristic villas that were built in the surrounding countryside from 1400 to the 1700 century. The difference between the two trips is not the length, but the gradient, the easy route is nearly all flat, while the hilly route has a height difference of around 300 metres giving you an enviable aerial view of Lucca and its surrounding countryside These villas have very different historical and artistic characteristics and very nice, well preserved and maintained monumental gardens that have a large variety of plants.
Overnight stay in Carignano-Lucca
This day is clearly divided into two sections, the first part can be considered a transfer ride, taking you from the hotel to the village of Altopascio. The second part is from Altopascio to Vinci and of highly naturalistic interest as you pass through the “Padule of Fucecchio” nature reserve, the largest inland wetlands of Europe. Here many bird species come to nest and during certain periods of the year you can see large numbers of migratory birds that stop for a well-deserved rest on their migratory routes.
Our standard accommodation is Vinci is a lovely 3-star Agritourism. With a lovely garden and pool. Sample the wine and local specialities grown on the farm.
Today is dedicated to visiting Vinci, its small but extremely interesting museum. The medieval hamlet of Vinci is famous for the 2 museums dedicated to the genius inventor Leonardo Da Vinci where you can see many live size constructions of his incredible inventions and the original designs. After visiting Vinci you can either go the short way or the longer, hillier way back to your hotel where you are dropped off at the train station to take the train into Florence in the afternoon (train ticket not included in the tour price, buy at the station). You take your own luggage with you. Your bike rental finishes as soon as this morning ride is complete at about 11 am.
Our standard hotel is the 4 star Park palace hotel. Although outside the very busy centre we find the outdoor pool and grand settings of the large rooms compensates for this for our guests. Only 10 minutes by bus (bus stop by the hotel) gets your right into the centre. We also use 3-star hotels in the centre. We would book what is available at the time of booking.
Depart after breakfast.
Fly to Pisa with Ryanair or with British airways and then by bus or taxi to your hotel