Do you dream of a green holiday in close contact with nature? The Valdarno Bike Road invites you to get to know a more authentic Tuscany, among small villages and suggestive landscapes.
Both Italians and foreign tourists love Tuscany for its cities of art, unspoiled landscapes and culinary traditions. If you want to discover the beauties of this region with zero impact, don’t miss the Valdarno Bike Road! Between Arezzo and Florence, green travellers can get in touch with the most rural and authentic Tuscany by traveling on two wheels.
Discover Tuscany by bike
The Valdarno Bike Road aims at making Valdarno a tourist destination, especially for outdoor activities.
Cycle tourism represents a fast-growing segment in Italy: in fact, according to the latest report by Isnart – Legambiente, the number of cycling tourists in Italy in 2018 amounted to 77.6 million, which is equal to 8.4% of the entire tourist movement.
That is, over 6 million people have spent one or more nights of vacation with their bikes. Furthermore, the attendance of cycle tourists increased by 41% in the five-year period 2013-2018.
Cycle tourism therefore has a very high growth potential. Territories such as Upper Valdarno are particularly suited to developing slow and sustainable tourism.
Valdarno Bike Road cycle routes
The Valdarno Bike Road develops along 200 km through characteristic villages and suggestive landscapes. It crosses the Arno plain, the gentle hills of Chianti, the Balze canyons, as well as the slopes of the Pratomagno. The goal is to promote sustainable tourism by creating a positive economic impact for all bike-friendly activities and beyond.
There are currently six open routes: the Via della Lignite, the Via dei Fossili, the Via dell’Olio, the Valle dell’Inferno, the Setteponti and Pratomagno, and the Via del Fagiolo Zolfino. This year, these will be added to the path of the Two Dams, being built in partnership with Enel.
Get ready for adventure and let’s discover the 6 itineraries of the Valdarno Bike Road together!
1. Via della Lignite, between San Giovanni Valdarno and Cavriglia
The Via della Lignite is a 23 km long itinerary, with a vertical drop of 357 meters. It is a circular route that owes its name to a peculiarity of the soil. Lignite, indeed, is a combustible fossil which, until a few years ago, could be found in the great mining area of Santa Barbara. Its extraction shaped a particular suggestive landscape. The itinerary winds through the municipalities of San Giovanni Valdarno and Cavriglia and it is of medium difficulty.
2. Via dei Fossili, from Cavriglia to Montevarchi
Did you know that in the heart of the Valdarno you can look closely the complete skeleton of a mammoth? The Via dei Fossili is a circular bike route between the municipalities of Cavriglia and Montevarchi that will allow you to discover this and many other curiosities. In fact, in these areas they found bones from ancient animals. The route is of medium difficulty, 26 km long with a difference in altitude of 460 meters.
This is the perfect itinerary to discover some of Valdarno’s most distinctive villages, through historical and natural sites in a rural and quiet environment. You will admire a series of Liberty and Art Dèco buildings, as well as works of art and fossil finds in museums.
3. Via dell’Olio, through Bucine and Laterina Pergine Valdarno
The Via dell’Olio is a circular itinerary involving Bucine and Laterina Pergine Valdarno. The trail owes its name to one of the area’s main crops: the olive. This beautiful journey includes many km of “strade bianche”, the classic Tuscan gravel and cobbled tracks, surrounded by countless olive groves that give life to one of the culinary treasures of the territory: extra virgin olive oil. Discover the beauty of this area along a 42 km path with a 967 meters difference in height. The difficulty level of the itinerary is medium-high.
Cycling through the farms and agricultural producers affords endless opportunities to taste the superb wines and extra virgin olive oil that this area produces.
4. Valle dell’Inferno, in the heart of a Nature Reserve
The Valle dell’Inferno is a 29 km ring route through the municipalities of Laterina Pergine Valdarno, Terranuova Bracciolini and Loro Ciuffenna. The itinerary winds through the Inferno and Bandella Valley Nature Reserve. Here you can discover villages and castles of the area and immerse yourself in a unique atmosphere.
Legend has it that Dante Alighieri, passing around here, came across a ferryman by the name of Charon, like in the myths, who took travellers across the Arno, and that the “Divine Comedy” was inspired by this coincidence.
5. Setteponti and Pratomagno
The Setteponti is an Etruscan road, just under 30 km long with a drop of 272 meters. In the Middle Ages, it played a leading role for transport and connections to and from Florence, economic and cultural centre, and in fact, the only real alternative to the Via Francigena for links to Rome. It is a medium difficulty trail.
The route which also includes Pratomagno is 93 km long with a difference in altitude of 1,923 meters and of high difficulty. The Pratomagno is a ridge that rises between the Valdarno and the Casentino in the northwest of the city of Arezzo. The highest peak of the mountain range reaches 1,592 meters above sea level and is known as the Cross of Pratomagno. The Cross of Pratomagno is a monument inaugurated on September 2, 1928: it is a modular large iron cross that dominates the massif and is visible even from a great distance.
Here you can admire historical and artistic sites of timeless beauty.
Leonardo da Vinci, in the 16th century, undertook a journey along the Pratomagno to study the course of the Arno and the Balze appeared to the artist as “deep sawdust of the rivers”.
6. Via del Fagiolo Zolfino, the land of a typical product
The Via del Fagiolo Zolfino is a 22 km ring route that crosses an area dedicated to agriculture, known above all for its typical product par excellence: the Zolfino bean. Today, the product has been rediscovered and enhanced up to the request for PGI recognition. Currently, almost all of it is produced in this area of the Valdarnese ridge of Pratomagno at 250/300 meters, but also higher up to 600 meters. The route passes through the municipalities of Terranuova Bracciolini and Loro Ciuffenna and many places on this side of the Pratomagno such as Penna, Gropina, Campogialli.
Would you include the itineraries of the Valdarno Bike Road in your Travel List? Let us know by commenting on the post!
For an authentic green experience, book your sustainable stay and choose from the many eco-friendly accommodations on Ecobnb.
Cover image: photo via valdarnobikeroad.it