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Itineraries bike

Bagno a Ripoli Cycle Tour

An itinerary to discover the territory south of Florence, among villas, historical farms and ancient monasteries.

From a purely cycling point of view, the path, over 50 km long, consists of 1,300 meters of altitude difference and some steep and dirt sections, which makes this route suitable for gravel cyclists in good physical condition or equipped with e-bikes. Even on a technical basis, you need to be able to face the steepest and most demanding climbs and descents, sometimes on an uneven ground.
Since this is a loop route, you can start from any point on the itinerary: we will start our description from the village of Capannuccia (public parking available).

We run through Via di Tizzano for a few hundred meters towards Grassina, until we take Via di Castel Ruggero on the left. After the homonymous lake, with a view of the castle in the background, we turn left on an uphill dirt road, until we reach the church of St. Stefano and then go down along Villa Pandolfini, until we get back to Via Tizzano, where we turn left to pass from the starting point again and continue this time towards Grassina. We start the climb of Via di Pulicciano, among vineyards and olive groves and, after skirting the sides of the Medici Villa in Liliano, we continue towards Grassina. We cross the busy Via Chiantigiana to take Via Ponte dei Lepri and reach the peculiar Fata Morgana Fountain, with its unique plaster in fake pink bricks, in an environment of great value.

We continue along the dirt road of Via di Fattucchia, until we cross Via Chiantigiana again. Here we turn left following the signs for Ponte a Ema. Once in the village, our itinerary turns right onto Via della Carota, but we recommend taking the short detour to the left (300m) towards the village, to visit the beautiful cycling museum named after Gino Bartali, who was born here.

We get back on track in a rural and quieter area again. After a short while, we come to the Oratory of St. Caterina delle Ruote, a small and modest church on the outside, which houses a surprising interior, totally painted with frescoes from the 14th century, that have recently been restored.

We continue until we reach Croce di Varliano, where we turn right onto Via della Croce. After a first descent, we are here at the base of a deadly 20% tear, which will end 250 meters farther, at the Tabernacle of Rimaggino. The road continues on a coast in olive groves, with beautiful views of Florence. At the end of Via della Croce we turn right to start, on Via di Villamagna, the most important climb of the itinerary: 470 m of elevation gain with a maximum gradient of up to 13%.

We pass the Parish Church of St. Donnino in Villamagna to engage in the most “demanding” stretch of the climb. The road will come to a crossroads: our route involves keeping to the right along the asphalt, up to the Convent of L’Incontro (551 m above sea level), from whose square a unique view of Florence opens up. We return on our steps up to the previous junction to take the dirt road from the fairly bumpy bottom and to travel with caution. The dirt road ends after less than a kilometer, at the junction with Via di Terzano, where a short ups and downs track leads to the ancient tabernacle in Bencistà.

We continue always keeping the right, watching out for the junction of Via del Bigallo; in this road, as soon as you reach a locality not by chance called ‘Apparita’ (appeared), you will be shown Florence in all its splendor.

We reach the 13th-century Spedale del Bigallo, an ancient shelter for the poor and wayfarers that has been converted into a hostel nowadays, thus keeping its original function. This place might be a good support to start the itinerary.

Via del Bigallo ends with a left turn into Via Roma, where the climb to Osteria Nuova begins. We continue until Antella, in whose main square is the beautiful Parish Church of St. Maria.

Last tear of the day at 13% through Via Pulicciano up to the top of the hill; still a few rides and here we are finally back to the starting point in Capannuccia.

This route is part of the Strade Zitte project (name inspired by a Paolo Conte’s song). These are "collectible itineraries" for quality cycling tourism, along secondary country and mountain roads, far from the noise of the engines. They are available free of charge at


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