Skip to content
Itineraries bike

Discovering the Padule di Fucecchio by bike

From Montecatini Terme toward Italy's largest inland marsh.

We start from the grand Viale Giuseppe Verdi, the center of the urban expansion wanted by Leopold I, planned in 1778, overlooking stylish Art Nouveau buildings, and spas, surrounded by the "Parco delle Terme," a pine forest that represents the green heart of the city, at the Town Hall  of the Municipality of Montecatini Terme, and then continue in the direction of Pieve a Nievole and Monsummano Terme, where we will find the only altimetrical difficulties of the itinerary. Once past the city center, where the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Fontenuova stands, we head to the foot of the hill of Monsummano Alto.

This route allows you to skirt the ancient medieval village of Monsummano Alto, which stands at the top of the hill above, where an ancient castle once stood, of which its walls and ruined tower are a testimony. The slopes of the hill, due to their geological conformation and the mining activity of yesteryear, represent a rock gym for climbing, hiking and speology. Continuing in the direction of Larciano, the route has a section with little vehicle traffic and therefore suitable for cycling trips.

At kilometer 18, after passing through the village of Castelmartini, the Gravel segment of our route begins, which will take us inside the Padule di Fucecchio, a naturalistic area that, with its 2000 hectares, is the largest inland marsh in Italy. The route will be a real dive into the green as we will enter the Nature Reserve, officially declared an area of international importance in 2013. Within the total surface, about 230 hectares are protected by Nature Reserves established by the Provincial Administrations of Pistoia and Florence.

The Padule di Fucecchio Nature Reserve is equipped with visitor facilities that also include three wildlife observatories: we recommend getting binoculars to observe the passage of rare species such as cranes and black storks or the constant presence of animals, such as turtles and porcupines. In addition, with the establishment of the natural oasis, the presence of numerous species of herons has multiplied as they increasingly choose this wetland area as their nesting base.

There will be 10 kilometers of dirt road in our itinerary inside the Nature Reserve, at the exit of which we will enter the road that leads from Via del Porrione to Montecatini Terme to return to the initial starting point, located at Viale Verdi near the twentieth-century Palazzo Comunale inside which we can find the Mo.C.A., the exhibition space dedicated to Contemporary Art in Montecatini. Inside it houses some important masterpieces of twentieth-century art including one of the largest canvases by the Catalan artist Joan Mirò, "Woman Wrapped in Bird's Flight," and the largest work ever made by the Italian Pietro Annigoni, entitled "La Vita".


Discover something of interest near this itinerary