Fall in love with provincial Italy on this cycling adventure through Tuscany.

Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure from Florence to Pisa. Be rewarded after a day of pedaling through quaint villages with inspiring mountain views in Barga. Explore the frenetic streets of Pisa before laying eyes on a certain lopsided tower. Visit one of the oldest bakeries in Italy for a taste of their delicious biscotti. Wander the ramparts of the imposing Verrucole Castle in Garfagnana. 


Start
Florence, Italy
Finish
Pisa, Italy
Country
Italy
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
ZMXT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Pedal through the rolling green hills, vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany on this classic journey from Florence to Pisa

  • From Lucca's tree-lined city walls, follow the gentle Serchio River to the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa

  • Retrace the steps of Leonardo da Vinci around his home city, Vinci

  • Sample the local Tuscan delicacies and a glass (or two!) of vino after a rewarding day in the saddle

  • Sit and watch the world go by with a cappuccino at Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

  • Get away from tourist crowds and experience the 'real Italy' in Garfagnana

Is this trip right for you?

  • While the cycling distances on this trip are relatively short– the longest ride is only 55 kilometres – while stunning the terrain of northern Tuscany is naturally hilly so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required – but given the hills involved we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trips begins.

  • There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

  • As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. As this is an eight-day trip, a large backpack should be enough to carry all of your belongings.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

Itinerary

Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at around 6pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where and when exactly it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. The tour will spend very little time in Florence so it is suggested you arrive early if you want to visit the city's classic icons, with the historic Florence cathedral, Uffizi gallery, Ponte Vecchio, and the Piazzale Michelangelo being just a few.

Cycling distance: none
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR16
  • Accademia - EUR14
  • Medici Chapels - EUR8
  • Museum Bargello - EUR8
  • Florence Baptistry, Museo Opera del Duomo, Giotto Bell Tower and Brunelleschi Dome - EUR15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting and then a short test ride. After everyone has been fitted there will be a private transfer by to nearby Signa to begin this Tuscan cycling adventure (approximately 1 hour). Follow the Arno River out of Florence and ride the mostly flat small roads and trails to Empoli. Pass by the Church of Sant'Andrea before turning north towards the Tuscan hills and the delightful town of Vinci, birthplace of legendary Leonardo da Vinci. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the climbs are relatively gentle and can be enjoyed by everyone (approximately 35 kilometres). Once in Vinci, we take a short ride past Casa Natale di Leonardo then return to the village to check into our hotel. The afternoon is free to enjoy, perhaps visit Museo Leonardiano, home to a collection of machines and models devoted to Leonardo da Vinci, or simply enjoy a gelato on the main street.

Cycling distance: approx. 35 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Vinci - Museo Leonardiano Birthplace of Leonardo Combo Ticket - EUR11
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, take a transfer by private transport to the Provence of Lucca (approximately 1 hour). From here, begin cycling to the medieval hilltop town of Barga, climbing gradually along the banks of the Serchio River and up the valley to Borgo a Mozzano, where your leader will reveal the legend of the beautiful Devil’s Bridge. From here, continue the gentle climb upwards until the last two kilometres, when the road towards Barga becomes steep. For those not wanting to do the last climb, the support vehicle is always there to assist you. Those willing to conquer the hill will be rewarded with incredible views of the imposing Pania della Croce mountain towering above the landscape. Why not relax after a big day's ride (approximately 40 kilometres) with a delicious (optional) traditionally Tuscan dinner.

Cycling distance: approx. 40 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Barga - Dinner - EUR25
  • Barga - Fondazione Pascoli - Free
  • Barga - Cathedral - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with a pleasant three kilometre downhill ride to the valley floor, following the winding road through countless small villages to the imposing Verrucole Castle in San Romano, a medieval fortress with spectacular views over Garfagnana. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch in one of the villages to sample the authentic Italian food this region is famous for. After lunch, descend back down the valley to the 13th century town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, situated at the confluence of the Serchio and the Turrite Secca rivers (approximately 40 kilometres). After a long and hilly ride this is a great place to sit back and enjoy a gelato or pay a visit to the famous Fronte della Rocca, the historic cake shop and chocolate-maker since 1885 – they do an excellent coffee as well!

Cycling distance: approx. 40 kms
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Garfagnana - Verrucole Fortress
  • Garfagnana - Picnic
Optional Activities
  • Castelnuovo di Garfagnana - Cathedral - Free
  • Castelnuovo di Garfagnana - Fortezza dell'Este - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today there will be a change of pace, starting with a 60 kilometre climb over the Apuan Alps in the support vehicle. Once at the top, mount up and start the ride downhill to the popular seaside resort of Viareggio before heading to the famous city of Lucca. On arrival in Lucca, circle the ancient city ramparts by bike and stop to enjoy an afternoon picnic on the walls.

You'll ride a total of approximately 55 kilometres today. Afterwards, enjoy an evening to explore the city. Perhaps end the day at a local bar with a refreshing Prosecco.

Cycling distance: approx. 55 kms
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lucca - Picnic
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today is a free day off the bike in Lucca. Take the opportunity to see all the sights that this city has to offer. Wander to the former Roman amphitheatre found off Via Fillungo and visit the medieval houses now standing in its place. Grab a seat Piazza dell'Anfiteatro's many outdoor cafes and watch the world go by with a coffee. Be sure to stop by Foro Square and see the majestic San Michele church, which was built over the top of an ancient Roman forum. 

Cycling distance: none
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cathedral of San Martino (including Ilaria del Carretto Tomb) - EUR3
  • Palazzo Pfanner House and Garden combo - EUR6
  • Puccini concert - EUR20
  • Guinigi Tower Climb - EUR4
  • Torre delle Ore Climb - EUR4
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave delightful Lucca by bike and follow the flat leafy bike paths downstream along the banks of the Serchio River to Pisa, home to a certain crooked tower (approximately 35 kilometres). After cycling through Pisa's frenetic streets, take some time to wander the shopping streets and perhaps enjoy an aperitif at one of Pisa’s many cafes and bars.

Cycling distance: approx. 35 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa - EUR18
  • Pisa Combo ticket - 1 Museum+1 Monument - EUR5
  • Pisa Combo ticket - 2 Museums or 2 Monuments - EUR6
  • Pisa Combo ticket - Full visit - EUR10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your cycling adventure comes to an end in Pisa and you are free to depart at any time. Before you leave, perhaps visit the impressive Duomo or sample some local gelato.

Cycling distance: none
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches

Transport

Bicycle, Support vehicle, Local bus

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Garfagnana - Verrucole Fortress
  • Garfagnana - Picnic
  • Lucca - Picnic

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.
2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Cycle Tuscany trips score an average of 4.88 out of 5 based on 8 reviews in the last year.

Cycle Tuscany, July 2017

Haydn Swan

Cycle Tuscany, June 2017

Sarah Glockler