Arrival in Pisa, the city famous all over the world for its magical Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles) with the characteristic leaning tower, the bell tower of the city cathedral. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1987. In addition to a large number of monuments Pisa also offers the friendly and lively atmosphere of a university city.
This morning at 8.30 a.m., in the hotel reception area you will meet our representative who will describe the tour, give you your bikes and be at your disposal for about 30 minutes for any questions you might have. You will then be able to get underway with the first section of your journey. Pedalling northwards along the river Serchio, across the Pisan countryside you arrive in Lucca. For those who wish there is also a more demanding and longer route that runs along the Monti Pisani, Italy's oldest mountain range sitting between the cities of Pisa and Lucca, you will follow these small mountains on their eastern side if you take this option.
The medieval city of Lucca welcomes you today with its charm. The itinerary gives details for a cycle loop in the surrounding countryside. However, today you can easily fill your time off the bike, visiting the innumerable palaces, churches and towers of this enchanting Tuscan city. Not to be missed is a tour inside the perimeter of the wonderful Renaissance walls, completely intact and considered to be the best preserved in Europe, as well as a visit to the Roman amphitheatre (II century A.D.).
This morning you will leave Lucca behind. From a charming Tuscan city you will journey through picturesque Tuscan countryside, travelling along quiet country roads with spectacular panoramic views leading to the little village of Collodi and the town of Pescia. Collodi was where the author of Pinocchio spent his childhood, here you can visit the famous Pinocchio Park, more than a theme park, it is a landscaped area where sculpture, flora and forna help to create an atmosphere to help you imagine the adventures of Pinocchio. There is also the opportunity to visit the aristocratic Villa Garzoni, known to have some of the most beautiful gardens in Italy. In Pescia you can enjoy a quiet stroll among churches, palaces, Renaissance mansions and the typical flower street market, before cycling the final stretch to Montecatini.
There are two possibilities today - you can relax in Montecatini, one of the most famous thermal cities in Europe, stroll down the narrow lanes of the old city, which is situated on a hill and can be reached by a cable-railway. Alternatively, you can hop back on the bikes for the day and follow the itinerary which will take you on a journey among the villas, olive groves and vineyards of the Medici family. You will also pass Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci's. Here you can visit the Museo Leonardiano Vinci. The museum is dedicated to Leonardo's technical and scientific studies and houses one of the largest collections of reconstructed models from Leonardo's drawings.
You can start the day either on two wheels or by train. If you choose to cycle directly from Montecatini you will begin with a scenic 6km climb among olive trees and the chance to visit the beautiful village of Montevettolini. If you choose to cycle this section, add 15km onto the total distance of the day's ride. Alternatively, a leg by train will take you to Pistoia. The journey will take approximately 15 minutes and cost about €2 per person and €3.50 per bike. Pistoia is rich in Romanesque and Renaissance monuments, particularly churches, and has one of the most beautiful squares in Italy - Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square). From here you will get back in the saddle, cycling through the Tuscan flatland to reach the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence. There is so much to see in Florence, you will be spoilt for choice, take your time to soak up the treasures of this historical city.
If you don't want to take the train and cycle the whole route, the route notes contain the details to make this possible, the journey is 65km in total.
Again, this morning you have the option to start the day with a train ride or by bike. If you choose to cycle to Empoli you will start by following the Arno River, before climbing across the Fiorentino Hills. It is very scenic but will add 37.5km to your journey. Alternatively, a short trip by train will take you to Empoli. The train takes about 35 minutes and costs about €3 per person and €3.5 per bike. Empoli is another historical town with a pretty Piazza. From here you will start to follow the river Arno by bike. The Arno flows through a plain that has facilitated agricultural development since the time of the Romans. Connecting Florence and Pisa, the river will guide you back to your start point where you can enjoy a refreshing drink and a final evening in this vibrant and special city.