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Tuscany: Florence to Lucca Ride

Discover some of Tuscany’s finest road riding



At a glance

* 7 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels with en suite facilities
* 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
* Group normally 6 to 16, plus leaders. Min age 16 years
* 95% tarmac, 5% easy gravel roads
* More mountainous than southern Tuscany, so a good level of fitness
recommended

Discover some of Tuscany’s finest road riding

Some of the best road cycling in Tuscany can be found in the north of the
region. Starting our tour in the Renaissance city of Florence, during the
week we get off the beaten track and head towards the mountainous terrain of
the Garfagnana region before returning to the rolling hills around Lucca. On
this trip we discover the iconic city of Pisa, ride through quiet mediaeval
villages and the glorious landscape that connects them and savour a huge
range of delicious food and wine. 

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/met.jpg?t=1DkGV1

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts
* All accommodation (see below)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Local bike hire

Food:
All breakfasts are included and are Continental in style, consisting of
coffee or tea, bread, jam and/or honey.

Italy’s cuisine is hearty, satisfying and full of flavour. Inspired by the
kitchens of the nonna, Italy’s food is authentic and surprising – pizza
and pasta are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the diverse array
of unforgettable food you’ll find on this trip. Starters include antipasti
of cured meats or a crustini di fegato made from toasted slices of bread with
a chicken liver pate. Soups options are the zuppa di fagioli, with beans, or
ribollita, a deliciously hearty vegetable and bread soup. The tagliatelle al
tartufo brings the delicious flavors of truffles into a rich, luscious pasta
dish whether the bistecca florentina, a mouth-watering t-bone steak takes
centre stage for main course. End your meal with cantucci biscuits, dipped
into a glass of vin santo, sweet dessert wine for a true taste of Tuscany.
Vegetarians are well catered for in Italy. Please inform us of any dietary
requirements at the time of booking.

Start destination:

End destination:

Cycling profile

Day 1

Fly to Pisa and transfer to the beautiful city of Florence, the birthplace of
the Italian Renaissance with an enormous wealth of historical sites, museums,
galleries, churches and architectural delights. Depending on the group
arrival time, there might be some time to take a quick walk around the
historic centre before dinner. If you would like more time to visit this
splendid Italian gem, we recommend booking some pre-tour accommodation, which
we can organise for you prior departure.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 2

Today’s introductory ride takes us to the beautiful authentic town of
Vinci, birthplace and home to the famous Reinassance polymath Leonardo, who
was born here in 1452. During the ride we pass a number of ancient mediaeval
villages including San Casciano and Lucignano, often ranked amongst the most
beautiful towns in Italy. Sections of today’s route follow the typical Tuscan
landscape, along avenues lined by classic cypress trees, prevalent in this
area, as well as vineyards and olive groves. In Vinci, if we get there early
enough, there will be the opportunity to visit the famous Leonardo Museum,
which houses reconstructed models of a lot of Leonardo’s inventions.
Overnight in Vinci.

Day 3

In the morning we set off on a pleasant ride taking some beautiful Tuscan
villages en route to the thermal spa town of Montecatini Terme. Our route
from Vinci heads south first, passing the village of San Miniato perched on a
hillside overlooking the lower Arno Valley. We then head north, pedalling
through pretty Fucecchio and San Donato and through the hills all the way to
Montecatini Terme, where we stay overnight. Time permitting, there is the
option to visit one of the many thermal spas that are located throughout the
town.

Day 4

Today we head into the higher mountains with some challenging climbing
including the 735m Foce del Trebbio. The day starts gently, heading along the
side of the valley to the mediaeval hill town of Collodi. From here we
commence the climb up to the Foce del Trebbio, which becomes steeper the more
we advance. Once we’ve recovered we head downhill on a hairpinned descent to
the thermal spa town of Bagni di Lucca where we will have lunch. After lunch
we will head north into the Garfagnana area. In the late afternoon there is a
short sharp climb up to the hilltop city of Barga with its beautiful
cathedral and stunning views across the Serchio Valley towards the Alpi
Apuane mountains. From here we descend gently to the valley base and then
ride northwards, following the Serchio river valley to the market town of
Castlenuovo di Garfagnana, our base for the next two nights.

Day 5

Today’s challenging circular ride takes us into the Alpi Apuane mountains,
following twisting mountain roads and a dramatic rugged landscape. Those
preferring to take a day off the saddle have the option to travel to the
famous Ligurian Cinque Terre coastline for some sightseeing and relaxation or
alternatively a more active day of walking. Overnight in Castelnuovo di
Garfagnana.

Day 6

Today’s destination is the southern city of Lucca. En route we will pedal
through the iconic Devil’s bridge, a remarkable example of medieval
engineering, built in a vital river crossing on the Via Francigena, an early
medieval road to Rome and important medieval pilgrimage route. Once in Lucca,
there will be some time to explore the well-preserved Renaissance walls
encircling its historic city centre and its cobblestone streets. The broad,
tree-lined pathways along the tops of these massive 16th and 17th Century
ramparts are popular for strolling and cycling. Overnight in Lucca.

Day 7

Our final circular ride follows the banks of the Serchio River, taking in the
world-famous city of Pisa. Time permitting, here you will have a chance to
explore and take an optional climb to the top of the world famous tower. In
the afternoon we ride back to Lucca tackling the rolling hills of Pieve di
Compito and Villa. Overnight in Lucca. 
*
*

Day 8

The trip ends in Lucca in the morning of day 8.

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-05-192018-05-26

Trip code: MET180519

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-06-232018-06-30

Trip code: MET180623

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-08-042018-08-11

Trip code: MET180804

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2018-09-222018-09-29

Trip code: MET180922

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Customer Feedback

Florence to Lucca cycling experience

Summary:
Wonderful first cycling holiday trip – something different every day, group
dynamics excellent, and fantastic leader (Radu) ably assisted by the ever
smiling Lea.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Campocatino climb. I don’t think I would have ever attempted something like
this before. Statue of David Bowie at the top was surreal! A frequent
visitor!
Enjoyed Barga too. Found out Paulo Nutini’s father came from there (another
Scottish connection)!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Very skilled in all aspects of the job – leadership, safe hands. Safe.
Clear instructions. Friendly and knowledgeable.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Listen to instructions! Radu’s insight for the upcoming route is not to be
wasted.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Well thought out and organised. Snacks a bit expensive at the end – we missed
the original briefing due to flight delay, and thought they were included. A
small negative.

Read full review

Italy – Tuscany trip

Summary:
Always wanted to visit Tuscany. This is the best way to do it and having
knowledgable guides makes it so much easier. Amazing countryside.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Reaching top of highest climb and looking out over covered shepherd huts to
the mountains.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Ready was great at leading the group even though they were of vastly
different abilities.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Check the mileage and elevation you have to ride. Train to do it or pick an
easier trip.

Read full review

Florence to Lucca cycle ride

Summary:
A well thought out and organised trip through the Beautiful Tuscany hills.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Managing some tough hill climbs without getting off !

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Both Leaders, Liz and Radu were excellent. I cannot praise them enough.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
If you’re not a regular cyclist make sure you do some training before the
trip. The hill climbs are quite challenging but achievable with reasonable
fitness.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Take a camera to record the magnificent countryside and Renaissance
architecture in places such as Florence, Barga, Lucca, Pisa.

Read full review

Tuscany: Florence to Lucca

Summary:
From arriving to departing the whole trip was well organised. The leaders,
Radu and Liz were inspirational, entertaining and very knowledgeable. The
cycling was well paced to suit all abilities, coffee and ice-cream breaks
well placed along the route, and arriving in good time at our destinations
each day to allow some group or individual exploring, even street maps of the
towns were provided. The accommodations were very comfortable and a variety
of evening meals available to suit individual tastes.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
My most inspirational moments were the opportunities to test my abilities to
climb the hills/mountains. Where I live there are some short, steep hills,
but no long climbs. It was a great feeling to reach the 1000m height after a
few kilometres of effort and to look back down to where we had started.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Radu was a great leader, equally supported by Liz, and the two of them made
the trip thoroughly enjoyable. Never a dull moment. Very knowledgeable of the
area and history, entertaining and inspirational, and always aware of the
well-being of our group.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Always take a good variety of suitable clothing. The weather can change day
by day, can be very hot in the valleys and cold on the hill tops (especially
descending at high speed down the hills!). See how many flavours of the
gorgeous ice-cream you can taste.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Highly recommend staying on in Lucca for another day or two if possible. Lots
to see, and soak up the atmosphere.

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Florence to Lucca

Summary:
Excellent itinerary. Some really good hills to climb and exhilarating down
hills. Very nice accommodations. Great leaders

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Realizing you can do it!!! And the group comraderie

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Both leaders were perfect. Always emphasized safety first. They were
organized and friendly

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Train for some long up hills. Bring cash

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Florence to Lucca cycling

Summary:
fantastic scenery, leaders, hotels and group.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Surviving 15 k climb

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
excellent

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
practice hills

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Pisa to Cinque Terre

Summary:
Liz and Radu were capable, caring, knowledgeable, and kind in their
leadership of the trip. The scenery was outstanding, the hills challenging,
the trip lovely.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
No one modem was inspirational. I was pleased to be be able to make the
climbs and be in a beautiful part of Italy.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Liz and Radu were great and kept a good eye out for all of us.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Try to get in some training on hills.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
It’s a wonderful trip; sign up for it!

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TUSCANY: PISA TO CINQUE TERRE RIDE

Summary:
Brilliant trip all round. Amazing varied scenery, great food and drink, and
some fantastic places to stay overnight and explore after a day in the
saddle.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Everyone wanting to cycle through torrential rain and stick together,
enjoying and completing the full route on day 1 in great spirits. We were
still all doing everything together after the week. I also really enjoyed the
steep hill sections and getting the heart pumping by tackling them full
on! 

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The two group leaders were fantastic (Mike and Nathan). Both complimented
each other well and were always helpful and well organised. They definitely
knew their stuff and helped make it a very enjoyable trip for everyone. They
also always had / knew of different options available to us (whether this be
dining out or route wise).

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
You need to be pretty fit to do this trip. The grading was spot on as the
first few days had a few hills but not too demanding but later in the week
there are some really steep sections, some short and some quite long.
However the fitter you are the more you will enjoy it. As long as you either
do a reasonable amount of cycling already (including going up big hills) or
have a good level of fitness you will be fine. And remember Cadence,
Concentration and Composure!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I would definitely recommend this trip 100%.Like one of the others reviewing
this trip i would like to see Exodus put on more trips of this grade in
Europe for 7 days duration. There are lots of moderate but not any others
which are moderate / challenging.

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TUSCANY: PISA TO CINQUE TERRE RIDE

Summary:
A varied and interesting week of cycling in lovely countryside, that was
really well-led and supported – together with great food and wine. There was
a good mix of rides: progressing from moderate through to challenging as the
week progressed.

Rating: 4

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Enjoying the long, fast sweeping descent to Vinci on on our third day of
cycling. Having a delicious picnic at the top of a tough, but satisfying
climb into the mountains and enjoying great views from our lunch stop with
the rest of the group. Being with a friendly group, willing to stay cheerful
and keep cycling after a day of extremely wet weather at the start of our
trip.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Mike and Nathan were our two group leaders – and they took turns guiding and
providing vehicular support on alternate days. Both were extremely friendly,
experienced, professional and capable leaders and their characters
complimented each other. Mike had an in-depth knowledge of the area – in
terms of its countryside and culture and and advised us really well both when
briefing us on the day’s ride and on food and wine choices in the evenings.
Nathan, too was an accomplished guide and provided excellent leadership and
support to the group. The vehicular support was the best of any cycling trip
I’ve been on  – with the van stopping regularly and having plenty of snacks,
water and our day sacks available whenever needed. Both guides chose really
excellent places to eat in the evening (and for coffee stops during the day)
and were really good at making it really straightforward for the group to
divide up the bill at the end of a meal.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Always take plenty of clothing (you can leave it on the van on a trip like
this). We had some really wet weather on the first two days of our trip and
needed our waterproofs and extra layers on some occasions (a fast shady
descent when sweaty or wet can be pretty cold – even on a relatively warm
day). Ensure you take have the normal cycling gear: gloves, cycling shorts,
suglasses, helmet and a mobile phone – and always carry some water with you.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
I love Italy for its countryside, delicious food and wine and friendly
people. Cycling on a trip like this is an ideal way to discover all three. We
had a really enjoyable and varied week of cycling with two great guides and a
friendly group of people that all got on well (all thirteen of us stayed
together at the end of the holiday on the free day at Cinque Terre and ate
togther every night). The cycling itself was really good – challenging enough
to feel you’d earned the coffee stops and good evening meal.

Read full review

TUSCANY: PISA TO CINQUE TERRE RIDE

Summary:
Cycled to gorgeous hilltop villages, had the best food I ever ate, stayed in
lovely twinkly towns and swam in the sea off the Cinque Terre coast

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
The first town we stayed in, Lucca, was so beautiful, a walled mediaeval town
where we cycled on the wall. Also a picnic on the top of one of the steepest
hills I ever rode with a stunning view of mountains. We went to the top of
the leaning tower of Pisa and inside Pisa Cathedral, and had the places
almost to ourselves.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our two leaders, Mike and Nathan were very organised and a lot of fun. Mike
is a great chooser of wine, and the Chianti Classico in this part of Italy is
delicious. One of the hotels was double booked and they got us into a much
better hotel round the corner in minutes.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Practise cycling up big hills first. I thought I was good at hills, and
discovered in North West Tuscany that I really wasn’t. Get your hill legs on.
The van carries your heavy stuff and water is provided. Bring a small bag for
your waterproofs.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


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