Cycling in Tuscany
Discover all cycling routes and bike maps in and around Tuscany
Tuscany by bike
Rolling hills and stunning towns
There is no shortage of highlights to see on a visit to this beautiful region of Italy. Be sure to dedicate some time to Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance art and culture, and the well-preserved medieval city centers of Siena, Pisa and San Gimignano.
The hilly Chianti region with its pine forests is what you imagine when you dream of idyllic Tuscany, and the rugged eroded landscape of Le Balze is quite out of this world. Dedicated bicycle infrastructure is sparse, but car drivers are quite used to sharing the winding country roads with bikes. For a more rustic experience, stick to the “Strade Bianche” gravel roads and stop at the vineyards or an agriturismo farmhouse for a taste of the local specialties.
San Gimignano - Volterra
Don't miss out on the dramatic landscape between the charming Tuscan towns of San Gimignano and Volterra. Sparsely dotted with farmhouses and vineyards, Le Balze is a wild area of heavily eroded rock and ravines formed by an ancient lake. The 34 km (21 miles) from San Gimignano to Volterra make for a great round trip which can be done in a day or two.
San Gimignano, the medieval "town of fine towers", is a wonderful base for trips to the surrounding region but be sure to save some time to explore the town of Volterra, which was one of the great Etruscan cities. Situated on a hill (532 m / 1745 ft), the view from the ancient city walls overlooking the Cecina valley is spectacular.
Featured routes around San Gimignano - Volterra
The “white roads” refer to the network of unmade gravel roads stretching across the vineyards and orchards of the Tuscan countryside. The fine limestone dirt and pebbles of the region make the paths appear white and dusty as they wind around and across the hilly fields.
Professional biking has also fallen under the spell of this quintessential Tuscan experience. Every year in March, the “Strade Bianche – Eroica Pro” bike race includes over 50 km (30 miles) of these white roads on its gorgeous 200 km (125 miles) long route from San Gimignano to Siena. Although a fairly young racing event, it has become an instant classic.
Featured routes around Strade Bianche
The Renaissance flourished in Florence, producing great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Botticelli and Donatello. With its wealth of sculptures and wonderful architecture, much of the inner city feels like an open-air museum. it is best to avoid navigating the busy traffic in the outskirts of Florence by starting your bike trip in the countryside.
Via Chiantigiana is the road from Florence to Siena and leads through the heart of the wine country. On this winding route through picturesque countryside and the town of Greve, expect to share the road with lots of motorists. An alternative, quieter route is via Cassia which passes through Poggibonsi, Barberino Val d’Elsa and San Casciano on the way back to Florence.
Featured routes around Florence
Here is an unforgettable loop through the Tuscan scenery on both tarmac and gravel roads. Start at San Quirico d’Orcia and follow the gravel road to Cosona. A short climb is rewarded by an incredible view of the UNESCO World Heritage site Val D’Orcia, which resembles the aesthetics of Renaissance landscape art: gentle slopes, panoramic views and slanting light brings out the colors.
View the castle ruins of Castello di Cosona and the medieval monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena, where “The English Patient” was filmed. A paved road leads to Pienza, which was rebuilt as an ideal town in the 15th Century. From here, return to San Quirico via a dirt road off the main road.
Featured routes around Val D'Orcia
The historic center of Siena transports you to another time. Piazza del Campo, Mangia tower and the grand Siena cathedral are all magnificent sights to behold.
Halfway between Siena and Florence lies the town of Greve. Surrounded by vineyards, this medieval market town is hailed by many as the perfect base for cycling holidays in the Chianti region, and with one look at the map, you can see why.
San Gimignano is just 40 km (25 miles) away and there is no need to navigate big city traffic on your way out of town. Rolling hills are right on your doorstep here. Bella Italia!