Tuscany is a fabulous place for cycling – both on and off road. The ‘strade bianche’ are a well maintained network of dirt roads made famous by the revival of the “Eroica“, gravel riding on vintage bikes. I’ve done a lot of riding around Tuscany – and around Radicondoli and Casole d’Elsa in particular – and I love exploring by bike; there is very little that can stop you as you can always lift the bike on your shoulders to get over any obstacles. There are abandoned castles, old mines, wonderful hill villages that can all be reached on quiet roads, often through evergreen forests where you may well see deer, foxes or wild boar.
All this means you must exercise a degree of caution, particularly off-road. Always carry inner tubes, pump and a tool kit and know how to use them. Water and snacks are also vital, particularly in summer.
We can help you hire bikes and have them delivered to your villa. We tend to use Gippo Bikes – I’ve known him since I was around 14 – that’s a LONG time ago. He has good road bikes, hybrids, mountain-bikes and the ever more popular e-bikes. You can book direct or we can help you – theres no change to the price, we’re just happy to give you a hand if you’d like it. Gippo Bike, Colle val d’Elsa.
20 kms – onroad
This is a short “out and back” route heading out west to a tiny hill-top village called “Montecastelli Pisano”. From here you drop down a bendy road into the Pavone valley – part of the road has been carved out solid rock. From the valley you climb back up with more switchbacks. On the ridge turn right up a smaller road that goes past the abandoned chuch of Pieve a Sillano. For the full points carry on climbing to “Rocca di Sillano”, an ancient fortress once part of the powerful bishopric of Volterra. To return just retrace your steps.
Casole d’Elsa and Pievescola
54 kms – onroad
Casole d’Elsa is a similar size to Radicondoli and has some good restaurants and cafes – as well as an excellent ice-cream shop. Casole is also part of a BikeHub project, a bike friendly initiative with routes advice, guides and more – you can see more details here: Terre di Casole Bike Hub.
We also have villas in Casole d’Elsa – some on the edge of the village, others as apartments in the village itself and a wonderful large villa with pool on the road to Volterra. Here are some examples:
Pinolo – sleeps 4 to 5, shared pool.
Musicista – sleeps 6, in the village itself.
Amorosa – sleeps 14, close to Casole d’Elsa
The route then drops down into the Elsa valley , passed Gippo’s bike shop, over the Ponte Santa Giulia and then right towards Pievescola. This small village has 2 small bars, ideal for another ice-cream or perhaps an aperitif…
Strade Bianche Radicondoli
27 kms – off-road
This is a ride on a network of “Strade Bianche” heading out east from Radicondoli. The road rises up through the mediterranean woods on the side of a ridge of hills that runs south to north. This is just a pleasant loop, going past some old house and churches – but with no water or food along the way – please go equipped.
More Bike Rides
You can find more rides here, on “Plotaroute“. Take them all with a pinch of salt – they are rough indications and we accept no liability for road conditions, changes in circumstance or of rights of way. They are nothing more than a listing of routes I have at some time cycled and nothing more.
If you’d like advice or to discuss cycling conditions and roads, please feel free to contact me.