Published on: 12 March 2013 | Last updated: 4 March 2017
Resources for tour planning
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
General tourist information
- Turismo Toscana: turismo.intoscana.it
- Firenze: firenzeturismo.it
- Lucca: luccaturismo.it and luccaterre.it and turismo.provincia.lucca.it
- Pisa: pisaunicaterra.it
- Pistoia: turismo.pistoia.it
- Siena: terresiena.it
- Chianciano Terme: chiancianotermeinfo.it
- Val d'Orcia: valdorcia.it
- Massa Carrara: turismomassacarrara.it
- Garfagnana: turismo.garfagnana.eu
- Livorno: costadeglietruschi.it
- Mugello: mugellotoscana.it
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.
Join the mailing list?
If you’ve found this site useful why not sign up to the mailing list for occasional updates about new routes.