Toscana - a guide to useful websites and other resources

Published on:  | Last updated: 4 March 2017

Resources for tour planning

The regional tourism website turismo.intoscana.it has a cycle touring section (English version and Italian version).

The cycle touring page showcases a selection of routes, but if you click on the 'Show all' button at the bottom of the page it produces a listing of over 150 articles.

The problem is that there are no maps and the articles are presented in a completely unstruc­tured way, so it's really not as useful as it could be so you are better off going direct to the websites of the region's local author­ities.

Siena area

Terre di Siena in bici (it/​en) is one of the more useful sites aimed at cycle tourists. It includes inform­ation about 52 day rides with route descrip­tions in English with maps (although these aren't the best I've seen). You can of course pick and mix the day rides if you are planning a longer tour. Update: the site was recently reorganised and the English-language versions seem to have got mislaid in the process.

There is a very useful brochure which is available in tourist offices and you can also download it (you need to open the Flash version and then download the pdf file). There’s also a section with accom­mod­ation listings and a list of bike shops.

The Eroica

L'Eroica is a famous bike race that takes place in late end of September. It’s a race using vintage bikes on a figure-of-eight course along the roads and strade bianche (unpaved roads) to the east and south-east of Siena. Traditional clothes (and big moustaches) seem to be de rigueur.

The race is run in a day - and with the longer variants at 205kms and 135kms ‘Eroica’ isn’t an exagger­ation - but the percorso permanente (permanent course) is signposted and there’s nothing to stop you riding the route, or parts of it, at your leisure. There are shorter variants of 38kms and 75kms. You can download a pdf of the signposted course: Eroica: Cartina Percorso Permanente .

The race course starts and ends in Gaiole in Chianti, but there’s nothing to stop you using Siena as a base.

Eroica signs

Signs on the Eroica cycle route near Siena

The Grand Tour della Val di Merse

The Grand Tour della Val di Merse is a circular 147 km signposted route to the south east of Siena primarily on asphalt but with some stretches of sterrata (a total of 12kms).

The Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia

The Chianciano Turismo website (in Italian only) has a section with a dozen routes in the Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia to the south east of Siena. There are brief route descrip­tions, and clear maps but no gps files.

Firenze

The Firenze Turismo website (firenzeturismo.it) seems to have very little cycling-specific inform­ation. There is some inform­ation about the Anello del Rinascimento ('The Renaissance Ring') - a 170-kilometre circular walking and mountain­biking tour. There's a map (of sorts) and inform­ation about accom­mod­ation here and a pdf guide (no maps): Anello del Rinascimento guide .

The site also has a download page with maps and guides.

Florence Bike Pages (it/​en)
is an independent site with a selection of routes, downloadable roadbooks and gps files with rides in and around Firenze.

Mural near Siena

Mural near Siena

The Mugello

The Mugello is the area in the Apennines to the north of Firenze. The comuni in the area have got together to produce a site mugellotoscana.it (it/​en) which includes a section with rides in the area: mugellotoscana.it: cycle tours with particular emphasis on the ‘mythic climbs of the Mugello Apennine’. There's also a downloadable brochure  Mugello in Bike

You can also download a pdf guide Pedalando nel Mugello  (Italian). Note of Mac users: you will need Adobe Acrobat to open it.

Costa degli Etruschi (Livorno area)

The Costa degli Etruschi runs from Livorno down the coast to the border with Lazio (it/​en/​de/​fr/​es). The cycling itiner­aries section (English-language version) has 22 circular itinerari with clear mapping and altitude profiles but no gps files.

Lucca area

The provincia of Lucca had a useful site panterabike.com (it/​de/​en) with 20 routes of different lengths, maps and gps files to download plus lists of bike shops and rail stations. At the time of writing (March 2013) it had been down for maintenance for some weeks, but hopefully it will return to operation.

The provincia's main tourism website turismo.provincia.lucca.it has a lots of articles about itiner­aries which might be worth a look if you have a specific area in mind.

The Turismo Garfagnana website turismo.garfagnana.eu has three itiner­aries in the area but the descrip­tions are very brief and there are no maps or gpx files . The site is available in Italian, English and German but the itiner­aries are only available from the Italian pages.

Massa-Carrara area

The Turismo Massa Carrara website (turismomassacarrara.it) has a section with cycling itiner­aries.

Dried peperonicini

Dried peperonicini near Siena

General tourist information

Get in touch

Please get in touch if you find any errors in the information, or if there’s anything, good or bad, that you’d want other cyclists to know.


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