Riding your way through Tuscany - Il Bottaccio

Riding your way through Tuscany

Getting a sense of a new – or known – place means exploring each corner, coming face to face with its cultural and historical heritage, but also practicing a sport that can bring us closer to the local culture.

If we think about it, in fact, Tuscany has always had a profound love affair with the humble bicycle, champions by the likes of Gino Bartali having written copious pages in the history of world-renowned tours. When a recent Giro d’Italia stage went through the Strade Bianche, close to Siena, it was such an emotional phenomenon that enthusiasts went wild with passion. Of course other sports such as hiking or even horse riding can give you a glimpse of the land that surrounds you, especially with such a varied landscape as the one the Tuscan region offers: vertiginous peaks and long, white sandy beaches, hilltop towns and lovely hamlets, seasoned with a fabulous, matchless culture.

Follow your heart and join us for a journey of the senses.

I want to ride my bicycle!

Riding a bike is marvellous, making effort and sensing fatigue part and parcel of the adventure – more often than not the reward as well. Surely there can be so many different ways of riding: road bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes are the main types, but even within them categories will differ – carbon or aluminium frames, disk or normal brakes, a front or full model for mountain bikes, telescopic saddles and so many other additional features that make your outing a joy. Even more so if you are using e-bikes – although do not be fooled – even e-bikes are tiring and you need to work on your muscles as well! In Tuscany you will be spoilt for choice. Pick any route and surprises will come aplenty: go around the walls of Lucca for an interesting, flat ride that encompasses the historic part of town, or along the Via degli acquedotti from Lucca to Pisa, a serious outing along historic aqueducts. Literature devotees will love the Passo di Dante-Villa Belvedere circular route close to San Giuliano Terme, in the Monte Castellare protected nature area: dedicated to the famous Tuscan poet, this is a lovely circular route that offers views onto Pisa and the coast. Do not miss the Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli between Pisa and Marina di Pisa: superbly attractive, the park can be explored on foot or cycling, passing via enchanting woods with giant trees and then proceeding to the coast – the last stretch can only be undertaken with a guide. Wildlife can be spotted easily on these routes, so fauna lovers will be in their element.

Trails trails trails!

You will not tire of going round Tuscany, either hiking or biking, and other options will be Castelmaggiore to Punta San Bernardo, close to Calci, a pleasant walk on a paved road that takes you to a panoramic point, or a section of the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route linking Canterbury, England, to Rome, for 3,000 km of emotional days: pick the trail from Lucca to Altopascio via Sant’Andrea and you’ll feel highly emotional.  Tough riders will enjoy a panoramic route of the Versilia area, a consistent loop, partly singletrack and partly paved or asphalt road, going via Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza and Querceta. Monte Folgorito to Monte di Ripa is also a popular single track route, close to Seravezza. Take your pick and you will love it!

Horse riding in Tuscany

One of the best ways to get close to nature, horse riding offers a special connection with nature because animals are not disturbed by the hoofs of a horse. Unlike hiking or bike rides which, albeit somewhat “organic” experiences, will invariably disturb animals, horse riding mingles well with the natural surroundings. Beginners and experts alike will enjoy exciting outings on the golden hills of Tuscany or by the beach: go around the Pisa hills, the Chianti region – why not add a tasting while you are there? Or an olive oil tour? Possibilities are endless: from Florence to Siena, San Gimignano or Val d’Orcia, Volterra to Garfagnana, panoramas will be just sensational and you will soak up the incredible atmosphere that makes these places so special.

A world apart – hiking the Apuan Alps

The Natural Regional Park of the Apuan Alps offers numerous hikes that will impress visitors: high altitude lakes, karst caves and incredible views are just mesmerizing. Monte Pisano is the highest one at 1940 m above sea level, while the whole area is dotted with impressive peaks that make a superb contrast, especially if seen from the close-by sea. One of the most popular hiking routes is the loop going via Monte Forato, a rocky arch that allows you to see sunsets and sunrises at particular times of the year.

Scenic Grotta dell’Onda hiking route is a superb karst cave where pivotal prehistoric finds were unearthed and are now at the Archeological Museum in Camaiore. Open all year, the Grotta del Vento is another peculiar karst cave where time carved most interesting sculptures, small lakes and water courses.

Surely a hike around the marble quarries of Carrara is one you will never forget: going from Carrara to Colonnata, this is a history-laden journey across a pivotal part of local history. Do not miss a stop in Colonnata for the famous lardo IGP, a local delicacy that tastes divine.  Going through Lunigiana and Garfagnana to Lucca is your Via del Volto Santo, home to a wooden statue that has been venerated for centuries: embrace spirituality and explore medieval villages along the route for a journey of discovery.  

DINA at Il Bottaccio

Caring for and nurturing our fragile earth has become a priority, for everyone.

In addition to sourcing local ingredients, working towards the entire elimination of plastic within Il Bottaccio, along with using green energy throughout, we have installed DINA charging stations for e-bikes. Stylish and trendy, they are part of the REPower project and have been designed by the Golden Compass holder Makio Hasuike. Riders using these stations will have access to Komoot GPS routes, showing them the best options. At Il Bottaccio, art and nature live in unison and you have even more reasons to come and visit our home starting Easter. The world is your oyster!

Stay in touch

Need more information? Write us at: bottaccio@bottaccio.com
or call on +39 0585 340031