When I think of Tuscany, the vineyards and hills, art-drenched towns and Renaissance towers come to mind. Then I realize that the more I explore the region, the more diversity there is to find. Since I cycle around Tuscany, the diversity is a truly exceptional thing, feeling the varied scenery beneath my wheels and over my handlebars is without a doubt the best way to savor every hill, village and farm at the right speed. This time, I ventured towards a different area, one with alternative views and lots of uphill climbs.
A pass separates the land of Dante from the beginning of the Po plain with an imaginary line. It doesn’t have the height of alpine passes, but it immediately makes me think of biking legends. This is the Futa Pass, at 905 metres above sea level and an average gradient that’s not bad towards the end. This mountain in the Tuscan Apennines overlooks the Mugello, a valley famous for producing milk, an abundance of centuries-old towns and Medici villas. Vineyards aren’t really the thing here, instead it’s vast meadows and breath-taking views. Once you climb up high enough, you can see Bilancino Lake glimmering in the distance.
For me, the best way to reach the starting point of this bike tour is to use the bike plus train service. The train for Borgo San Lorenzo, which leaves for Florence, cuts through the whole of the Mugello and, before I know it, I’m already outside the station and ready to leave. The station’s small and it’s impossible to get lost. I turn on the GPS, it’s a cool, early spring day and it’s time to begin this adventure to the Futa Pass that I decided to go on my own.