Tuscany by Motorcycle
Variety of landscapes and splendid hills, white and dusty roads, lovers of two wheels are spoilt for choice, there are many itineraries to be covered in this wonderful region.
Tuscany is a land that encompasses many personalities, the traveller “on the road” can discover in the saddle of his motorbike, places, cities, towns and villages different from each other but with a common feature, the beauty and harmony of each corner. A popular and well-known route is theEroica, a 200 km route that runs from Chianti to Val D’Oria on secondary roads, country roads or dirt roads, and should be ridden safely and relaxed. The Colline Metallifere (Metal-bearing Hills ) are a wilder area popular with bikers. They extend across the hills in the provinces of Livorno, Pisa, Siena and Grosseto and are named after the wealth of minerals in the subsoil. It is a route that does not exceed 1,000 metres in altitude but gives you the chance to see the various changes in the landscape.
Not to be missed is a tour along the Etruscan Coast, among medieval villages such as Bolgheri , famous for its Doc wines but also for having a poem by Carducci and its much-lauded cypresses, Montepulciano, with its wine, thermal baths and important historic centre, and Montalcino , home of Brunello Doc wine. Pitigliano , also known as “little Jerusalem“, is also worth a visit. It is a very unusual town, like an enormous sculpture carved out of tuff surrounded by greenery, a picturesque village that seems to emerge from the rock.
The Garfagnana area is also well worth a visit, places that are certainly less known and less travelled but equally rich in nature, good food and roads that make these routes unique. For those who want to stay by the sea, Tuscany lends itself nicely to a motorbike trip, its coastline with provincial and scenic roads certainly offers a valid alternative to inland routes; Livorno , famous for its good fish-based food, or towns like San Vincenzo, Cecina Mare, Marina di Bibbona, Marina di Castagneto Carducci where a stop is always welcome to enjoy the beauty of the sea at any time of year.
Fun in Tuscany
Versilia is a fantastic mix of sea, beautiful beaches, hills and lively, bustling towns surrounded by beautiful mountains famous for their marble.
This area of Tuscany is well known for being at its best in the 1960s, when famous singers and actors in the midst of the ‘dolce vita’ were immortalised by the paparazzi in the most fashionable places on the coast. The “bella vita”. The ‘bella vita’, good food, living well and knowing how to enjoy life has certainly remained well rooted in this part of Tuscany. In Forte dei Marmi, the historic “La Capannina” by Franceschi, where many films have been shot, today we can enjoy an excellent dinner and listen to good music, or the “Kama Kama” in Camaiore, the first and only club in Versilia appreciated for its house music. While in Marina di Pietrasanta the most exclusive Disco-club “Twiga“, at the moment represents the most fashionable club in Versilia frequented by many characters of the national Jet Set and not. In Viareggio instead we find the “Tantra Club” new local very fashionable with a beautiful garden and terrace overlooking the sea, also offers a restaurant, has a clientele ranging from 20 to 40 years.
The discos of Versilia over the years have always been renewed keeping pace with the times but leaving behind a nostalgic trail, there are also places with live music with famous orchestras, you can dance until dawn, maybe even right on the beach, or sip a cocktail and have a chat in the moonlight.
Magic and Adventure
Between the province of Livorno and Pisa, in the Il Giardino forest, is the “Giardino Sospeso“, an adventure park completely sheltered from the sun in a dense wood of centuries-old oaks. The park is just a few minutes from Cecina Mare, a very popular seaside resort. There are various acrobatic courses in the trees, of various levels of difficulty and length, always in complete safety thanks to the harness provided and the qualified staff who supervise adults and children.
Inside the park, there is a free picnic area or you can enjoy traditional Tuscan dishes at the rustic inn “Il Merendacolo del Cinghiale” with special prices for park guests. A park that is definitely worth a visit is the “Giardino dei Tarocchi“, a true open-air “museum” perfectly set in the hilly landscape of the Maremma; a fascinating park, unique in its kind, an example of environmental art, sculptures that “dialogue” with nature, set in a magical context. Cyclopean steel and concrete sculptures covered in glass, mirrors and coloured ceramics, created by Niki de Saint Phalle, 12 to 15 metres high, dedicated to the symbols of the Tarot, depicting the 22 major arcana. The park, which fascinates both children and adults, has a matrix inspired by some of the installations in Barcelona in terms of colours and shapes. Visitors who enter find themselves almost in another dimension, in a colourful, fairytale world that they will hardly forget.
For the more courageous, a visit to Canyon Park, located in the province of Lucca, is well worthwhile. It is a trail that runs inside a canyon and not in the trees, suspended over an inaccessible stretch of the Lima River with cableways over 100 metres long, Tibetan bridges over the rapids, walkways and breathtaking drops.
Acqua Village a different summer day
There are two main Acqua Villages in Tuscany, one located in Cecina Mare and the other in Follonica. The two water parks share a Hawaiian setting, with services and a focus on safety that guarantee fun for the whole family.
Immersed in millions of litres of water, launched down kilometres of slides, cooled by waterfalls, they are a great alternative to the “usual” day at the beach. In summer, they are open all day long, and parking is free of charge, while covered or communal parking is available for a fee. There are also refreshment areas for eating outdoors and a restaurant with self-service cuisine.
WWF Oases and other Parks
Tuscany is rich in parks, one of the most important being theOasis of the Orbetello Lagoon(Grosseto), established in 1971, which also includes a Nature Reserve of 1,000 hectares, and is incorporated into the wider regional Nature Reserve. The Lagoon, open from the beginning of September to the beginning of May, is located along an important migratory route and is one of the most important wintering sites for water birds in the Mediterranean.
You can observe flamingos, cranes, geese, birds of prey, herons and ducks, thousands of birds in a context of colourful flights with unique colours in close contact with nature. There are three itineraries for visiting the Oasis: the first allows observation of the avifauna along a route with 9 stations, the second is a botanical route and the third is the Casale on the Giannella tombolo, where you can visit the exhibition on wetlands and the butterfly garden. Among the beech trees of theTuscan Apennines, in Garfagnana, and the rocks of the Apuan Alps, is the Orecchiella Park, a vast protected area in a territory of over 5000 hectares where nature is the main attraction. Ideal for families with children you can discover the secrets of plants and animals, there are paths of various difficulties, one of them, very simple, leads to the wonderful enclosure of bears, or another very popular is the Sentiero dei Cervi (Deer Path ) where children can safely approach and watch closely chapters, deer and mouflons. Finally, for those who love plants and flowers, a visit to the “Pania di Corfino” Botanical Garden, created on the initiative of the Garfagnana Mountain Community, is a must. It houses various plant species as well as some rare plants in danger of extinction.