Crete Senesi

Top 3 motorcycle rides through Tuscany

Explore Tuscany at its best, in total freedom!

The best way to enjoy Tuscany in total freedom is by motorcycle, especially now that the days are getting longer and the weather is milder. For a biker, the first thought after the long winter is to dust off the motorcycle and unleash it among the rolling hills of Tuscany! In this post you will find 3 of the best itineraries you can cover with your most faithful mate!

Tuscany by motorbike [Photo Credits: Il motociclista affamato]
Tuscany by motorbike [Photo Credits: Il motociclista affamato]

 

The Florentine hills (1 day itinerary)

Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance, is surrounded by gentle hills with winding roads and it's a good idea starting our proposals right from here, with a day trip in the nearby area. So, a possible ride is from Sesto Fiorentino to Florence, a 50-kilometre road that skirts Pratolino, Villa Demidoff and Fiesole. The path winds mid-hill amid olive trees, cypresses and terraced gardens, revealing a new, unforgettable landscape at every turn.

The road begins in Sesto Fiorentino on the “Panoramica dei Colli Alti”: you will face a rapid take-off of the road and then a series of hairpin turns. Continue with a few curvy climbs and head to the small church of San Giusto, from which you can enjoy a nice view of the valley. You drive on the edge of the Apennines: beware of deer. You can make a stop in piazza Leonardo da Vinci for another unforgettable view. Suddenly, the road heads into the woods of the “Parco Territoriale di Cercina,” and then this road (SP130) ends and bikers take to road SR65, which marks the beginning of Pratolino and the Villa Demidoff. Here you can take a photo with the statue of the Colossus of the Apennines. Then you continue towards Vaglia with the climb to Bivigliano and Monte Senario (815m above sea level), with one of the most important sanctuaries of Tuscany and where, every January 1, a monk blesses motorcycles and motorcyclists.

The road SP 102 drops down to a crossroads with three choices: on the left, Polcanto; on the right, Via Faentina and Florence; 9km straight to Fiesole, a town rich in history and culture. From here you go down to Florence along several hairpin turns, but remember to stop at Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can see one of the best views of Florence.

From Piazzale Michelangelo
From Piazzale Michelangelo - Credit: Eduardo il Magnifico
Elba Island: scenic roads overlooking the sea (2-3 days itinerary)

Elba Island offers enchanted landscapes that include not only the sea but also the mountains, which makes it a popular destination among bikers. The route to discover the island on two wheels starts in Portoferraio, where ferries arrive from Piombino. Portoferraio deserves a visit: the harbor is dominated by the tower of Passananate, an example of military architecture and former prison; the old town is filled with elegant shops and cafes, and you can visit also the Palazzina dei Mulini, which was Napoleon’s residence. You can add a short excursion to Capo d’Enfola and back, or directly leave for the western coast aiming for Procchio and its beautiful beaches. Then reach Marciana Marina with its Torre Saracena and pretty harbour, and explore Marciana town (a turn-off for the town of Poggio is highly recommended). You can make a short detour on the right for Sant’Andrea, or go directly to Chiessi and Pomonte, and then Fetovaia and Cavoli. If you want to ride along a scenic route go to San Piero in Campo, Sant’Ilario (with panoramic tower of San Giovanni) and La Pila, before arriving in Marina di Campo. After a series of curves you reach Lacona and then Capoliveri, a town that deserves a visit, as well as the mining area of Punta Calamita. Continue to Porto Azzurro, then hit the road and explore the medieval town of Rio nell’Elba and its mining museum, before heading back to the coast via Rio Marina. The last goal is Cavo and the nice winding road of Volterraio and the thermal village of San Giovanni where you can enjoy mud baths.

Portoferraio
Portoferraio - Credit: freshcreator
Crete Senesi, Val d'Orcia and Chianti (2-3 days itinerary)

This itinerary covers paved and dirt roads from Siena to San Casciano dei Bagni in a succession of hills, wheat fields, cypress trees and enchanting medieval villages in a journey that involves history, culture and good food. The starting point of our journey is in Siena, where you have to take the SR2 Cassia in the direction of Rome. After a few kilometres and a steep descent, turn to the right and take the dirt road called L’Eroica (follow the brown signs), where the famous vintage bike race on mixed terrain is held. The road is also for beginners and it boasts amazing views. Stop in Montalcino, the land of Brunello and enjoy the perfect view over the Natural Park of the Val d'Orcia, a UNESCO world heritage site. The SP45 is the road of Brunello and leads to Valdicava, Torrenieri and Pienza, a town worth visiting, then take the dirt road towards Monticchiello, the place with the most photographed winding road edged with cypresses. A short diversion to Sarteano is highly recommended. The Fortress of Radicofani is on the horizon and Mount Amiata is quite visible, even if it's far away. The last stop is in San Casciano dei Bagni, known for its spas and mineral sulfurous waters.

Crete Senesi
Crete Senesi - Credit: Mirella

Cover image credit: Mirella

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