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A mosaic of stunning lanscapes, white roads, walled villages and historical cities, Tuscany is one of our favourite cycling destinations.
Whether you are a competitive cyclist, and want to race along the roads that have been the stomping ground for many of Italy's great cycling champions, or are a traveller simply looking to experience the natural and artistic wonders of Italy on bike, Tuscany has something for you.
Alongside infamous stages of the Giro d'Italia, Tuscany is famous amongst cyclists for another very special race. With this weekend comes the Strade Bianche - a race which gets its name from the white gravel roads that web the landscape around Siena. These classic Tuscan tracks connect villages and vineyards across the Chianti region and the Crete Senesi.
Alongside the professional race, an event along the exact same roads is also open to amateurs - and in just 10 years, this has become a real fixture of the cycling season. Don't think you have to ride the route in March though - you can still enjoy the year-round well-marked path that runs for about 200km through some of Tuscany's most iconic areas.
In addition to the white roads, there are plenty of quiet roads that roll over gentle hills and will test the legs over a long ride. These can be mixed with plenty of tougher climbs - partiuclarly if you heard up to the Apennine's in the North of Tuscany or further to the east to Mugello for some longer climbs and mountain routes. If you want some short, sharp, climbs - simply head to the edge of Florence to experience the "Muretti" (literally "walls"). If you have a real appetitite for punishment, the 'Muretti Madness' in October is an organised ride which never strays more than 10km from Florence, but manages to take in 20 short, steep climbs, in just 100km.
It is not all road cycling here too: mountain biking on Monte Serra, as well as on the mountains of Garfagna to the north of Lucca, is increasingly popular - and gives a great opportunity to mix up your cycling. For the enduro enthusiasts, Maremma on the Mediterranean coast in the south of Tuscany is a must visit.
Even if you are intent on challenging yourself on the bike while you are in Tuscany, make sure to take time to appreciate the beautiful landscape - and enjoy the food before, during, and after a ride. This is a special place to ride.
For those looking for a more relaxing experience, Tuscany is a fantastic choice. It offers the touring cyclist stunning landscapes out over opens fields, on roads threading between picturesque villages, and cities filled with some of the world's finest art and relics of history. Around every corner you will discover another vineyard, bell tower, walled village, monastery or stunning vista. These natural stopping points (alongside quality restaurants and cafes!) all make for great touring cycling country.
A culinary tour of the region would not be complete without taking in the Chianti region - pedal from vineyard to vineyard, through tranquil villages, at a leisurely pace. With 13 thousand hectares of vineyard sitting between Florence and Siena, it is a region best explored at a slow pace on bike. For those travelling as a family, there are some lovely cycling lanes and routes. Along the coast, there is a 28km cycle lane from Marina di Massa to Viareggio. The "Giacomo Puccini" cycle lane near Lucca is easy going, and takes you along the banks of the River Serchio to the sea.
Whilst the best cycling in Tuscany takes places outside of the city walls, there is plenty for the cyclist on a city break to see. Lucca can only be explored on bike or foot - with a 4km tree-lined garden perfect for families. Cycling in the centre of Florence would be a challenge to the nerves, however, taking in the outskirts of the city on bike - pedalling amongst its churches, villas, monasteries and churches - is absolutely worth it, and a great way to get out of the bustle of the centre.
Why not make the most of Tuscany - and rent a bike today through BICILET Bike Rental: www.bicilet.com/regions/Tuscany
Henry: 4th Mar 2017 10:16:00