A few miles from Florence, you find a paradise of hills and dirt roads that run among the famous vines of the Black Rooster, the emblem of the Chianti.
Cycle from the heart of Florence up to Poggio Imperiale and you are already breathing a different air; a few more turns of the pedals and you are in open countryside. After roughly a kilometre of ascent, the city is splayed beneath you, bisected by the Arno and watched over by the red antenna on Monte Morello, Florence's mountainous custodian for centuries. Head down Via San Felice to the Ema stream and the wind begins to brush the cheeks, but escaping the traffic is easier: just turn left.
This circuit has an elevation of 1300 metres and is therefore highly demanding. A gravel bike or a mountain bike is essential.