- Pedal through the rolling green hills, vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany on this classic journey from Florence to Pisa
- From Lucca's tree-lined city walls, follow the gentle Serchio River to the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Retrace the steps of Leonardo da Vinci around his home city, Vinci
- Sample the local Tuscan delicacies and a glass (or two!) of vino after a rewarding day in the saddle
- Sit and watch the world go by with a cappuccino at Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
- Get away from tourist crowds and experience the 'real Italy' in Garfagnana
Encounter the picturesque hills and olive groves of Tuscany on this cycling adventure from Florence to Pisa. Be rewarded after a day of pedaling through quaint villages with inspiring mountain views in Barga. Explore the frenetic streets of Pisa before laying eyes on a certain lopsided tower. Visit one of the oldest bakeries in Italy for a taste of their delicious biscotti. Wander the ramparts of the imposing Verrucole Castle in Garfagnana.
Day 1: Florence
Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at around 6pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where and when exactly it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. The tour will spend very little time in Florence so it is suggested you arrive early if you want to visit the city's classic icons, with the historic Florence cathedral, Uffizi gallery, Ponte Vecchio, and the Piazzale Michelangelo being just a few. Cycling distance: none
Day 2: Vinci
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting and then a short test ride. After everyone has been fitted there will be a private transfer by to nearby Signa to begin this Tuscan cycling adventure (approximately 1 hour). Follow the Arno River out of Florence and ride the mostly flat small roads and trails to Empoli. Pass by the Church of Sant'Andrea before turning north towards the Tuscan hills and the delightful town of Vinci, birthplace of legendary Leonardo da Vinci. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the climbs are relatively gentle and can be enjoyed by everyone (approximately 35 kilometres). Once in Vinci, we take a short ride past Casa Natale di Leonardo then return to the village to check into our hotel. The afternoon is free to enjoy, perhaps visit Museo Leonardiano, home to a collection of machines and models devoted to Leonardo da Vinci, or simply enjoy a gelato on the main street. Cycling distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, mostly flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 3: Barga
After breakfast, take a transfer by private transport to the Provence of Lucca (approximately 1 hour). From here, begin cycling to the medieval hilltop town of Barga, climbing gradually along the banks of the Serchio River and up the valley to Borgo a Mozzano, where your leader will reveal the legend of the beautiful Devil’s Bridge. From here, continue the gentle climb upwards until the last two kilometres, when the road towards Barga becomes steep. For those not wanting to do the last climb, the support vehicle is always there to assist you. Those willing to conquer the hill will be rewarded with incredible views of the imposing Pania della Croce mountain towering above the landscape. Why not relax after a big day's ride (approximately 37 kilometres) with a delicious (optional) traditionally Tuscan dinner. Cycling distance: approx. 37kms/23 miles, mostly flat for the first 30kms then climbing the last 5kms, with approx. 460m/1510ft of elevation gain.
Day 4: Garfagnana
Start the day with a pleasant three kilometre downhill ride to the valley floor, following the winding road through countless small villages to the imposing Verrucole Castle in San Romano, a medieval fortress with spectacular views over Garfagnana. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch in one of the villages to sample the authentic Italian food this region is famous for. After lunch, descend back down the valley to the 13th century town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, situated at the confluence of the Serchio and the Turrite Secca rivers (approximately 40 kilometres). After a long and hilly ride this is a great place to sit back and enjoy a gelato or pay a visit to the famous Fronte della Rocca, the historic cake shop and chocolate-maker since 1885 – they do an excellent coffee as well! Cycling distance - Ride 1 - approx. 20kms/12 miles, hilly with frequent climbs and descents, with approx. 450m/1480ft of elevation gain. Cycling Distance - Ride 2 - approx. 20kms/12 miles, hilly with 10km gentle climb followed by 12km descent, with approx. 520m/1710ft of elevation gain.
Day 5: Lucca
Today there will be a change of pace, starting with a 25 kilometre climb up the Apuan Alps (but this time in the support vehicle!), stopping at the long abandoned white marble quarry of Henraux to view the same marble seams that Michelangelo used in creating many of his masterpieces. Mount up and ride the short distance to the top of the mountain range before starting the long and winding ride downhill to the popular seaside resort of Viareggio. From here head along the flat seafront roads and on to the famous Tuscan walled city of Lucca. On arrival in Lucca, circle the ancient city ramparts by bike and stop to enjoy an afternoon picnic on the walls. You'll ride a total of approximately 85 kilometres today. Afterwards, enjoy an evening to explore the city. Perhaps end the day at a local bar with a refreshing Prosecco. Cycling distance: approx. 84kms/52 miles, downhill for 20km, flat then very gradual uphill to Lucca, with approx. 600m/1970ft of elevation gain.
Day 6: Lucca
Today is a free day off the bike in Lucca. Take the opportunity to see all the sights that this city has to offer. Wander to the former Roman amphitheatre found off Via Fillungo and visit the medieval houses now standing in its place. Grab a seat Piazza dell'Anfiteatro's many outdoor cafes and watch the world go by with a coffee. Be sure to stop by Foro Square and see the majestic San Michele church, which was built over the top of an ancient Roman forum. Cycling distance: none
Day 7: Pisa
Leave delightful Lucca by bike and follow the flat leafy bike paths downstream along the banks of the Serchio River to Pisa, home to a certain crooked tower (approximately 36 kilometres). After cycling through Pisa's frenetic streets, take some time to wander the shopping streets and perhaps enjoy an aperitif at one of Pisa’s many cafes and bars. Cycling distance: approx. 36kms/22 miles, flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 8: Pisa
Your cycling adventure comes to an end in Pisa and you are free to depart at any time. Before you leave, perhaps visit the impressive Duomo or sample some local gelato. Cycling distance: none
- Hotel (7 nights)
- Medici Chapels
- Castelnuovo di Garfagnana - Cathedral - Free
- Bargello Museum
- Torre delle Ore Climb
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Palazzo Pfanner House and Gardens
- Barga - Fondazione Pascoli - Free
- Puccini concert
- Cathedral of San Martino (including Ilaria del Carretto Tomb)
- Barga - Dinner
- Florence Baptistry, Museo Opera del Duomo, Giotto Bell Tower and Brunelleschi Dome
- Barga - Cathedral - Free
- Guinigi Tower Climb
- Pisa Combo ticket - 2 Museums or 2 Monuments
- Vinci - Museo Leonardiano Birthplace of Leonardo Combo Ticket
- Uffizi Gallery
- Castelnuovo di Garfagnana - Fortezza dell'Este - Free
- Pisa Combo ticket - Full visit
- Pisa Combo ticket - 1 Museum+1 Monument
Intrepid Travel is the world's largest small group adventure travel company. Intrepid trips are of the grassroots type and include travel via public transport, local food, and locally-owned accommodation Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1989. A company that began with two bearded backpackers, a typewriter and a kitchen table now leads 100,000 travellers across the globe each year. And although we’re a bit larger these days – with 1,000 local staff based around the world and over 800 different trips across every continent (not to mention multiple kitchen tables) – our mission remains the same. We still get a kick out of responsible travel, small groups and very (very) big adventures.