Welcome to Hooked on Cycling and our road bike fixed location cycling holidays based in North Tuscany, Italy. On this cycle tour, you shall be following the tracks of the Giro and Road World Championships. You shall be based in Montecatini Terme a famous Italian spa town situated between Pisa and Florence. Northern Tuscany has a very varied landscape from flat, hilly and mountainous sections and is often typical of Tuscany with Cypresses, pinewoods, olive groves and of course grapevines. As you are on the edge of the Apennine mountains you also have a more rugged natural landscape to explore.
This cycle tour will include the hill range of Montalbano, the training ground for the winner of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia Vincenzo Nibali, through the wine production area around the medieval town of Montecarlo; you will be visiting the charming town of Vinci, the hometown of Leonardo. With the ascent to the “Monti Pisani“ and the quaint ”Svizzera Pesciatina“ landscape, you will also have to tackle more mountainous terrains. Of course, if you desire a day off you can easily visit historic cities such as Pisa, Florence and Lucca.
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.
Fly into Pisa airport and take the train to Montecatini Terme approx. 1 hour from Pisa. If you arrive earlier enough take a first exploration of the famous Italian spa town.
Today you can warm up as you cycle across the scenic Bientina plain. The mountain range is known as “Monti Pisani“, is the most challenging part of today’s cycle tour, you will already see it in the distance. You will reach Pieve di Compito, a village known because of its camellias, and from here there is a climb of about ten kilometres (6 miles) long, up to the 900m high Monte Serra. From its peak, there is a breathtaking view of Pisa and the Mediterranean. After the descent, our route leads through the medieval small town of Buti back to the plain and continues across rolling hills back to your base hotel.
Your first cycle tour today is a good warm-up trip with flat and hilly sections. No need to burn yourself out on the first day! This unique cultural landscape follows the wine route known as “Strada dell‘Olio e del vino del Montalbano“, all the way to the small medieval village of Vinci, where you can visit Leonardo’s Museum and the birthplace of the famous Renaissance artist. Cycling along olive groves and vineyards, the return trip starts with a long climb which will give you a fantastic, worthwhile insight of the Monti Pisani mountain range towards Pisa and of the Valdinievole.
The first highlight in today’s cycle tour is the climb to San Baronto. As part of the World Championship route and has featured many times as a Giro stage, this is a mecca climb for road cyclists in Tuscany. After quick refreshments, possibly with a tasty “panino“ from the café “L’indicatore“, there is a long descent and finally, you will be cycling across the plains around Pistoia, characterized by nurseries and market gardens. Other exciting climbs will lead you to the foot of the Apennine chain. The landscape changes here and the route is increasingly marked by leafy chestnut and acacia woods. The spectacular views of the mountain world of the Apennines and hilly landscapes of Tuscany certainly make the effort worthwhile.
To begin with, the first kilometres run across the “Padule di Fucecchio“ flatland. Then a slight climb leads to the town of Montecarlo on a small mountain. Your efforts will be rewarded by a winding scenic route, which ends up in the hilly landscape around Lucca. This is where Tuscany shows its well-known traits, old vineyards with cypress-lined avenues, olive groves and grapevines now characterise the landscape. The following rolling countryside will provide you with charming insights and views over the heart of Tuscany. Lucca has much to see, with the Piazza dell Anfiteatro, the wonderful San Martino Cathedral and of course the impressive city walls.
The final stage begins with the “Giro d‘Italia ascent“ to Vico, which then continues towards the heights at the foot of the Apennines. After a first descent, you will reach one of the intact parts of Tuscany, the picturesque landscape known as “Svizzera Pesciatina“. From the climb which you will have to tackle from here, the gaze reaches as far as the ten medieval villages which stand proudly out of the chestnut woods. An extended downhill stretch will lead you along the river Pescia in the town by the same name, then, after a final ascent, you will get another impressive view of the rolling hills around Valdinievole and of nearby Montecatini Terme.
Depart after breakfast.
2022 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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