One of the best ways to see Tuscany is by bike. Let the wind carry you along the idyllic countryside roads as vineyards and majestic views pass by on either side of you. A great way to get the whole family moving, the exercise and scenery will have you tucking in to a plate of pasta that evening feeling very satisfied. These are some of the best options for a family day of cycling, with shorter distances to ensure that little legs don’t get too tired.
The many green parks and nature reserves all over Tuscany are perfect for packing a picnic and setting out on your bikes. The Val di Merse near Siena is one such option. The journey takes in some stunning spots like Torri and Stigliano and you’ll even find an Abbey and Ethnographic museum along the way for a quick, educational break. The Natural Park of Maremma is another great option with 9,000 hectares of glorious coastline, pine forests, fields and freedom. You decide how far you want to go, taking breaks to enjoy the watchtowers, Cistercian abbey, and long sandy beaches. A day will be happily spent exploring and you’ll be eager to come back for more.
Why not take your bikes around one of Tuscany’s historic cities for a quick way to take in the main sights? Cycle the walls of Lucca for a lap of walled medieval centre from above. There are a few playgrounds along the route if little ones want to stop for a go on the slides. A short duration of just 25 minutes means it won’t take too much time out of your day to take this trip and it will give you a great overview of the city’s main sights.
As much as Florence is a city of art, it is also a city just asking to be viewed by bike. With endless options, choose to wind your way through the narrow, cobbled streets or take your bikes to the wide trails by the Arno river. Make the most of nature and cycle from Parco delle Cascine to Parco dei Renai with multiple routes to choose from. Kids will be delighted to find playgrounds, a fun park and a pool all waiting for them.
Take to the seaside in Livorno for some incredible views while breathing in the fresh sea air. Mascagni terrace with its checkerboard design is perfect for some fun family photos. You’ll also be close to the aquarium for a bit of a detour. Try the 20km stretch of course known as the Versilia for cycling paths which connect beautiful beaches with important tourist spots. Follow a trail from Viareggio through Migliarino Park and arrive at Torre del Lago where you can find the Villa Puccini museum, the former home of the great composer.
Orbetello lagoon is a trip through nature and archaeology which is optimal for those travelling with families. While it does include a climb of about 2km, it can be avoided or you could follow the main road to the pine forest. Wherever you choose to visit in Tuscany, you are sure to find a spectacular bike ride never far from where you are.