Ready for a great bike tour in Tuscany?
September 13th-14th, our ambassadors from Germany, Belgium & UK will explore Valdinievole by bike
Ready for a new slow tour with our Ambassadors?
Bike Experience in Tuscany is a website devoted to cycling tourism in Valdinievole, the very heart of Tuscany. The ideal place for touristic and sportive itineraries by bike, where you can go cycling all year round choosing between several paths according to your skills: plain, hills, mountains. Together with them, we conceived a two day itinerary, based in Montecatini Terme and we invited three couples of cyclotourists from Belgium, Scotland and Germany to try it and tell it.
Save the date: September 13th and 14th, our #italiaslowtour Ambassadors will go strolling by bike along the streets of this charming territory, full of culture, history, nature and good food. They will also experience the warming welcome of Montecatini & Monsummanno SPA, some wellness time after cycling. And they will stay at one of the several bike hotels in the area, selected and tested by Bike Experience in Tuscany to ensure the best assistance and security for bike tourists.
About the itinerary
1st day: Riding through the wineyards in Montecarlo and the “Fiaba di Pinocchio” road!
The tour starts from the old flower market in Pescia, 5 minutes far from the local railway station. Then the cycle lane along the Pescia left river bank heading to “Padule di Fucecchio” (i.e. the Marsh Land of Fucecchio), which our Ambassadors will leave crossing the bridge in the residential area of Chiesanuova. From Chiesanuova, riding on a paved road with low trafic, they pass through St Salvatore and they will reach Marginone. Then they will start to climb up the road to the old hamlet of Montecarlo.
Leaving Montecarlo behind, they will follow up north towards St Martino in Colle, then the dirt road that climbs down to “Quercia delle Streghe” (i.e. the witches’ oak) and follow towards Lappato, which they will reach riding through single track in the woods, olive groves and wineyards. From the residential area of Lappato, they take the road to San Gennaro, located up on the hill between olive groves facing the Appennines. The itinerary, in this way, takes on some roads that are usually used to reach the villas and farms and it requires some effort to climb because of the road gradient. Once they reach San Gennaro, they will ride across the main paved road until they arrive to the last houses on the uphill. Let’s continue, leaving the village eastwards, taking a dirt road that leads back to the Valle towards the Collodi residential area. From the village center it starts the “Via delle Fiabe” (i.e. “Fairy tales road”), this flagging path leads them back to the start.
2nd day: From Montecatini to the Marsh Land of Fucecchio
The Marsh Land of Fucecchio is the widest marsh land in Italy. With its 1800 hectares, the land covers an area that goes from Pistoia to Florence. A real natural jewel: a large area rich of local flora and fauna of great interest, from the royal fern to various types of water lilies, from the Hydrocaris morsus-ranae, to the Utricularia (a carnivorous plant), from the herons (among which the wonderful squacco herons) that nest in colonies, to cranes and black storks for a total number of more than 200 types of birds. A downright paradise for those who love nature and birdwatching. In addition to its natural beauties, the marsh land is also important because of the historical testimonies that connect is to the Medici Family and Lorena Family, who reclaimed the area and made the agricultural area larger. At the same time fishing and hunting activities developed as well as the processing of marsh plants. So the marsh land became a fundamental point for the carriage of goods that used to take place along the canals and for the access to Valdinievole and Florence thanks to the building of new roads around the marsh land. There are still ports, canals, the bridge built by the Medici family in Cappiano along the Francigena road, and the tobacco drying kilns. The most recent historical event, a nazi massacre, connected to the marsh land dates back to August 23rd 1944. Thanks to a few artisans there are still some traditional activities connected with the processing of marsh plants to produce baskets, cane chairs and wicker wine bottles.
After visiting the natural reserve, our Ambassadors will reach the SPA of Grotta Giusti to enjoy some relax.
About #ItaliaSlowTour Ambassadors
Bastian & Natalie
Bastian introduces himself: «My name is Bastian, I am 29 years old and I do live in Karlsruhe, a little town next to Stuttgart in Germany. I do work as a nursery manager in a company that provides intensive health care. In my leisure time I do love – as my father Wolfgang that you may know – hiking, traveling, (mountain-) biking, climbing – and (a great hobby of mine) taking photos. Natalie and I are as well as my father active members in the ADFC – the German bicycle club.»
Dries & Nele
They say: «We are Nele & Dries and are passionate holiday (and everyday) bikers. In fact I don’t believe we have ever not travelled by bike since we were students. And we’ve kept biking ever since. We went to France, Italy, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark and Luxemburg. We also have two sons, Sander (9y) and Bram (6y), and from the age of 1,5 we took them with us on bike holiday in a Chariot trailer. So the only way to travel they know is by bike! We like to enjoy the good things in life: good food, good drinks with good friends and good play. We like authentic things. For example we’re a fan of the Champagne region that we visit every two years to discover new producers with new stories. We like being close to nature and enjoy its calming and revitalising effects! Dries: I’m also a beer afficionado and I keep a secret treasure stash of it to mature (to perfection) in the cellar. I also enjoy cinema and a good concert now and then. Nele: I’m really into self and home made stuff. I make my own marmelade, ginger syrup, grow my own berries in the garden and love sewing stuffed animals, clothes etc…»
Kim & Ulrike
Kim experienced a slow tour in Milan by bike with us last year, do you rembember? He says: «A bit about me? Well, I am the founder and CEO of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, which takes place for 11 day in June each year. My background is in science, I have degrees in Ecological Science from the University of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Born in Scotland and a citizen of the world.»