June 10, 2010, 08:35 PM
Our tour in Tuscany this summer
I've just discovered this website and it's realy interesting.
Now we have booked our tent-holiday for this summer on several places.
3 nights Siena
3 nights Elba
4 nights Montecatine Terme
We're taking our bikes with us and we would like to do a lot by bike.
Now is my question if there are marked bikeroads in Tuscany, in Belgium you can write down numbers and then follow them on the road and i'm wondering if there's such system also in Italy?
If you also know good maps for walking of biking, please let us know.
Thank you very much in advance.
June 11, 2010, 03:41 PM
tuscany by bike
Ciao and welcome to our forum!
Sounds like you have a great holiday planned and Tuscany is great by bike. I am sure you will have a great time exploring the areas around each place where you'll be, Elba especially during the summer. You have road bikes or mountain bikes?
I wish we could also have roads just for bikes but unfortunately we have to share the roads used by all other cars and trucks. The good news is that there are lots of roads, including many unpaved roads perfect for mountain bikes but doable with road bikes as well..... and most everywhere you can avoid using the main, most trafficked roads although there might be parts where that can't be avoided.
The best maps are made by Edizioni Multigraphic based in Florence.
You'll generally find the local maps where you are at bookshops and tobacco/newsagents.
You'll likely need:
519 Isola d'Elba - for entire Elba
512 Chianti Classico - Chianti, Val d'Elsa e Val di Pesa
21/22 Appennino Toscoemiliano Bolognese e Pistoiese - Porretta Terme, Sambuca Pistoiese, Lizzano Belvedere, Cutigliano, S.Marcello Pistoiese, Pracchia, Pescia, Pistoia - for the area around Montecatini Terme
522 Chianti e le Colline Senesi - includes Chianti area between Flroence and Siena
518 Crete Senesi - Sentieri della Provincia di Siena (Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d'Arbia, Rapolano Terme, S.Giovanni d'Asso, Trequanda) - area to the south of Siena
These maps are usually found locally but we've sometimes found places all out. I wasn't able to find them for sale online but I suppose you could try contacting the editor directly and see whether they will mail maps to you or tell you whether they are found online. Their catalog shows some maps are particularly useful for biking.
Hope this information is useful, let me know if you have any other questions!
June 15, 2010, 10:58 AM
Thank you so much for all this information, it realy helps me a lot. :-)
My boyfriend has a mountainbike and i have a kind of mountainbike :-) so i think this should work to go a bit of road.
I'm going to look at the mapinformation you gave me, because i find it very important that we can bike a bit of trafic and not following main roads all the time.
Afterwords we can post a topic how our trip was with the maps :-)
THANK you so much.
June 16, 2010, 10:32 AM
Once you get the maps, you won't have too many problems figuring out how to avoid the main roads. Just remember Tuscany IS quite hilly so pay attention to the altitude circles
We'd love to hear about your experience in biking Tuscany so do please come back and share! have a great trip!!
June 16, 2010, 11:56 AM
Thank you so much :-)
By surfing on the internet i've found another kind of maps also - Kompass wanderkarte. Do you have experience with these maps? Are they less then the maps you've send me earlier or is it pretty much the same?
Because i can buy these via the internet and i would like to prepare several trips in advance.
Thank you very much for the information.
June 17, 2010, 11:13 AM
Kompass maps - 1:50,000 scale
You're right, I've seen these too but they aren't as commonly available here in shops. The ones I've seen are 1:50,000 scale which might be fine for biking. They generally show unpaved roads as well so that you can avoid main roads but not the trails for off-road mountain biking. It all depends on your needs - if you only want to find roads to cut across and avoid traffic, then all unpaved roads would work and you don't need to know where the trails are.
We use the Multigraphic maps on the other hand precisely because they are 1:25,000 scale and show foot trails which are necessary for hiking which we love to do!
Go ahead and get the Kompass map, plan a few roads along the way and then once you're here you could also get another map and compare the two -- at that point you can decide whether having the more detailed map is necessary or not. Hope you're enjoying planning the trip!