Mugello: a great cycling tradition
Cycle Touring in Tuscany has a long tradition: in 2007, the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) passed by Mugello, where Gastore Nencini (winner of the Giro d’Italia in 1957 and of the Tour de France in 1960) was born in the fourties of the twentieth century. The areas around Mugello are perfect for those who are planning a cycling holiday in Tuscany
The Mugello territory, with river Sieve, is divided in two geographical areas: Mugello, that includes the borghi di Vaglia, San Piero a Sieve, Barberino di Mugello, Scarperia, Borgo San Lorenzo and Vicchio and the Alto Mugello or Romagna Toscana (Tuscan Romagna), that includes Firenzuola, Palazzuolo sul Senio and Marradi
On the whole, with its level land and hills and mountains that reach 1000 metres of altitude, Mugello offers wonderful possibilities to cyclers that can all be discovered in the book written by the territorial association "Pedalare nel Mugello".
The first itinerary is suitable also for beginners and starts in Borgo San Lorenzo, passing through San Cresci (where there is a very famous church), Campestri (461 metres above sea level, it is the highest location of the itinerary), Dicomano and Vicchio (where Giotto and Beato Angelico were born). The route is about 40 kms long and it reaches a maximum 10% inclination
The second itinerary is about 37 kms long with an average inclination between 3 and 8%. It starts in Borgo San Lorenzo and goes as far as the Convento di Bosco ai Frati (where the monks treasure a wooden cross they say was made by Donatello), the Galliano airfield and the small villages of Sant'Agata (with its Romesque Church) and Scarperia (famous for Palazzo dei Vicari). Passing by the Mugello Circuit, which in 1977 and in 2007 hosted the arrival of the Giro d’Italia, you finally arrive at Luco di Mugello and Ronta, famous for their tortelli di patate (potatoe cakes).
The third itinerary is possibly one of the best of all. Once you leave SagginaIe, you cycle towards Salaiole hill that leads to Florence (inclination here reaches 15%). Once you reach Vetta Le Croci, you go back into the woods until you reach the cross road for Monte Senario (average inclination 7%), and Bivigliano (600 metres above sea level) and finally Bada del Buonsollozzo where you start your descent towards Polcanto and Vicchio
The fourth itinerary, which is more than 65 kms long, is similar to the route of the uphill time trial Barberino - Passo della Futa that took place until a few years ago and involved many professional cyclists. This itinerary is a double ascent of the Passo della Futa (903 metres above sea level) and takes you to Firenzuola, famous for its pits of “pietra serena”, to Panna, where there is a famous spring of low mineral content water and finally to Lake Bilancino, also named “lake of Tuscany”. Those of you who are experts can try the Appennino Mugellano which is about 100 kms long and really puts you to the test. From Firenzuola you reach valico del Paretaio (880 metres above sea level with a maximum inclination of 7-8%) and cycle as far as Palazzuola Sul Senio
The first option you have is to go to Passo della Sambuca, while the second option is to go to Passo della Colla di Casaglia. Carrying on you can also try Passo Carnevale (700 metres above sea level) that leads you to Marradi, Dino Campana’s village. At this point there are three passes in a row, - the Eremo that lead you through the mountains of the Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, in San Godenzo. The last stop suggested to experts is Giogo di Scarperia, at 882 metres above sea level with an average inclination of 5,8% but with some parts reaching 10%.
Besides the beautiful scenaries, Mugello offers the chance to rent mountain bikes as well as be accompanied by qualified guides who will take you on the excursions according to the area you want to visit, to the type of itinerary you want to do (mountain, flat, half a day, one whole day or more) and according to the difficulty.