Croce Monte Senario

The Florentine Hills by Motorcycle

Great views and sumptuous curves

Thanks to the combination of lively roads and country lanes, the Florentine hills give us a special and nearby tasting, whetting the appetite to visit the Renaissance city. The itinerary is based on curvy climbs and descents interrupted only by great views. It's a brief but intense route.

Departure/arrival: from Sesto Fiorentino to Florence
Distance: 50 km
Duration: 1 day
Kind of ride: mixed, hilly
Province: Florence

Set your GPS: Sesto Fiorentino, Collina, Pratolino, Vaglia/SP103, Bivigliano, Convento Monte Senario, Olmo, Fiesole, Firenze

The road begins in Sesto Fiorentino, in the High Hills route. Hit the accelerator and face a rapid takeoff, which is interrupted by a series of shady curves:stay glued to the road. As you go down the hill, the Morello shop is worth mentioning as a place to take a good food break. Get a piece of schiacciata to go or have a proper sit down lunch. We continue on with a few curvy climbs, all the way to the Gualdo hut (from which trekking routes start) and the small church of San Giusto. Put the bike up on its kickstand, and enjoy the view of the valley. The SP130 continues along with no interruption, smooth and tempting. This are the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and despite the wide road, it's important to be careful: of the deer. Curves and half curves incite a good rhthym all the way to piazza Leonardo da Vinco: stop for a coffee at the restaurant bar, Caravanserraglio: a 180 degree picture postcard view awaits.

Suddenly the road goes into the woods at the b and the thick pine trees follow a wide curve to the right with a view of the small church of Ceppeto (trekking). Thanks to its variety, the Panoramic road is chosen by GSSS instructors for instruction on how to teach driving. SP130 ends and bikers head on to SR65, which marks the beginning of Pratolino and the Villa Demidoff, where the egocentic Colossus of the Appenines waits in pose for photos. Stop for a steak in town at Zocchi; it's an institution. There's time for driving, and a time for eating. In 6km you will be in Vaglia, which is where we take a U-turn and head back towards Florence.

SP103 is tough on bikers and drivers, and the climb to Bivigliano is narrow with steep curves. The first part includes the road leading to Monte Senario (815masl) where one of the most important sanctuaries of Tuscany is located. Along its walls is an amazing promenade with a stunning view. 300m from the Church of the Addolorata, you will see a monumental iron cross. Every January 1, a priest blesses motorcycles and bikers here.

Narrow, with a steep climb and a great view: these are the qualities of SP102 that head down to the fields of Olmo. There's an intersection with three choices: go left to Polcanto, with its motocross course FMI and GSSS school; on the right is Via Faentina, which leads to Florence. Straight ahead is our road. After 9km we reach Fiesole, a city rich in culture. There's an archaeological area and the convent of S. Francesco, the last stop before the finish line. Florence is just a few curves away. The tour ends at Piazza Michelangelo, where the view of the cradle of the Renaissance is a true watercolor.

For more information: www.provincia.firenze.it, www.firenzeturismo.it, www.comune.fi.it, www.comune.fiesole.fi.it, www.montesenario.net


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