Arrive at your hotel in Pisa and relish in a peaceful stroll on the city’s narrow winding lanes. Relax with a glass of local Chianti and savour amazing olive oil straight from local orchards. Before you call it a night, take in the cool evening air as you promenade past colourful facades on the banks of the Arno.
Short route: An easy warm-up ride on narrow roads and bike paths directly into the heart of Pisa, with its world-famous Miracle Square and illustrious leaning tower. Gaze at palaces, churches, towers and squares and take a break on Piazza dei Cavalieri, surrounded by stunning historic buildings.
Long route: A more challenging route, through the inspiring countryside between Pisa and Mount Serra. Pause to visit the grandiose Certosa of Calci monastery. Founded in 1366, this site houses a magnificent and justly renowned Natural History Museum. Save the second part of your day to wander around Pisa, discovering its many striking monuments.
Challenge: 1.5/2.5 hours, 25/33 km, 120/90m ascent, 120/90m descent
Take off on a scenic ride, nearly all on the flat, following the Serchio River for 25 km to reach lively Lucca. Devote ample time to its splendid gardens, majestic bell tower and impressive Piazza Anfiteatro, a 2nd century Roman amphitheatre. Do not miss the chance to glide along tree-lined walls circling Lucca’s perimeter and work up an appetite for a tasty dinner.
Challenge: 2/3 hours, 24/32.5 km, 80/100m ascent, 80/100m descent
Choose between two different itineraries and explore stately Renaissance villas on the outskirts of Lucca. Both routes cover a similar distance, but the easier ride is mainly flat while the hilly option offers climbs rewarded by views. Stop off to investigate with a tour inside these prestigious estates and stretch your legs, as you wander through luxurious gardens.
Challenge: 2.5/3.5 hours, 33/39 km, 170/450m ascent, 170/450m descent
Pedal past Altopascio and the fascinating Padule of Fucecchio nature reserve, Europe’s largest inland wetlands area. Marvel at delightful all-encompassing greenery and spot migratory birds taking a well-deserved rest on their way south. Feeling rejuvenated, cycle onward to Vinci, birthplace of the grand artist and inventor Leonardo.
Challenge: 3/4 hours, 29/54 km, 250/270m ascent, 250/270m descent
Gain insight into the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, as you get to know his home town and the two remarkable museums illustrating his life. Delve into the master’s secrets and inspect his original designs and visionary inventions. Once you’ve had your fill, park your rental bike at the accommodation in Vinci. Catch a direct transfer to Empoli and board a local train to Florence, then float toward your journey’s end with a night in the “jewel of the Renaissance”.
Challenge: 1/2 hours, 8/15 km, 175/450m ascent, 175/450m descent
Your cycling trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Optional airport transfers may be arranged in advance, and extra nights can be booked to allow further time to explore Florence.