Have you ever considered visiting and discovering Tuscany by bike? It’s the perfect region to go pedalling outdoors and organize a green holiday. Tuscany has a wealth of nature parks, trails and cycle paths suitable for all levels, from couples to families and reckless downhill mountain bike riders.
Begin the ride by discovering a southern gem: the Parco Naturale della Maremma (Parco dell’Uccellina), which extends along the coast between Principina a Mare and Talamone in the Grosseto province. On reaching Alberese, park your car in the large parking lot by the entrance and rent a bike locally (or use your own). There are several routes with varying levels of difficulty in the Parco Naturale della Maremma. For couples, groups of friends and families who just enjoy cycling, try the Vergheria trail, which winds for 23 kilometres and does a complete loop of the park. The entire route takes 2.5 hours with a break halfway. After approximately 45 minutes of ups and down, spotting animals small and large and panoramic stretches among olive groves, you glimpse your first destination: the sea. Bring drinks, provisions and swimwear and your lunch break will be dreamy, diving into the park’s clear waters, propping up the bikes in the racks by the entrance to the beach.
Returning to the route, after 20 minutes there’s a refreshment point serving cold drinks and ice cream, also offering a place to sit and toilets. Then continue on the second part of the section, surrounded by the beautiful Maremma countryside. The Maremma Nature Park is a place where Mediterranean brushwood, the sea and pinewoods merge, a unique place for outdoor experiences and excitement.
Moving between Lucca and Versilia lies the Puccini Bike/Hiking Route, which leaves Lucca and follows the Serchio River all the way to its mouth. It’s a cycle path that’s recently been redone and is still undergoing reclamation and work. Leave from Monte San Quirico, where, having crossed the bridge over the Serchio, there’s a lovely gravel track that runs along the right bank. Continuing on the flat, cyclists go through villages of rare beauty, such as Nozzano Castello, a tiny fortified town where you can mix with locals, sitting outdoors at coffeeshops, unhurriedly enjoying the slow pace of Tuscan living. Leaving Ripafratta Castle on the left, our ride continues towards the sea and the brackish air slowly begins to make its presence felt. On reaching Vecchiano we have two choices: the first heads north as far as Torre del Lago Puccini, where visitors enjoy nature and culture by looking around the villa that once belonged to Giacomo Puccini; it’s where the famous composer wrote his masterpieces Madama Butterfly and Tosca. The other route heads south, reaching the San Rossore Park.
Countless activities and amenities are on offer in the park: the San Rossore Park can be enjoyed by bike as well as on foot, on horseback, by boat or even in a kayak. It’s a super place for a family holiday as children will love the nature experiences and sun-kissed fields. Depending on the time of year, you can go mushroom picking. The gathering is regulated by strict rules that combine with the rules to be observed when visiting the park, in full respect of nature and its residents.
The Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli Nature Park extends along the coast and covers the municipalities of Pisa, Viareggio, San Giuliano Terme, Vecchiano and Massarosa, places that regale new destinations and travel experiences.