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Fiesole and Florence: from the countryside to the city centre

Cycling beside the River Arno

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Over hills covered with olive trees as far as the eye can see, along cycle paths beside both banks of the River Arno

ITINERARY
Length: 19.7 km
Duration: 3 hours
Total climb: approx. 90 m
Level of difficulty: easy
Road surface: asphalt
Recommended bike: racing/mountain bike

From Piazza Mino head towards Olmo for approximately 3 km, passing through the centre of Fiesole and leaving it behind. Having reached the open countryside, turn right following signs for Compiobbi. After a short uphill climb, surrounded by cypress and olive trees, begin your ride to Florence.

Keep Montececeri on your right, famous for the extraction of pietra serena and for having welcomed Leonardo Da Vinci when he attempted to send the first person into flight as well as its views over the city. Ride past Villa Peyron to Bosco di Fontelucente, then Castel di Poggio.

At the subsequent junctions continue to follow the signs to Compiobbi. At the third junction, after a few metres, turn off the main road Via della Selva and turn right along narrow Via di Bagazzano. It starts off on the flat, then head downhill in steep sections, while you can see Florence among the olive trees. Ignore the side roads and only turn near a tabernacle (a left-hand hairpin bend). At the next two junctions, turn right onto Via Montegirone and immediately afterwards left onto Via di Terenzano, riding past the church of S. Martino and the quiet village of the same name.

At the next junction, turn left along Via della Rosa, initially slightly downhill. Ride past some farmhouses. As soon as the downhill stretch becomes steeper, turn right along Via dei Bassi and carry on until you reach the valley and San Jacopo al Girone, lined with cypress trees in the hills covered with olive trees.

Now turn right on to Via San Jacopo al Girone, parallel to the railway, crossing it under a bridge after having turned left. Upon reaching the traffic lights at the junction with Via Aretina, cross over the road with the modern Girone church on your left. In the middle of the town, carry on along Via dell’Arno, then along Via delle Gualchiere. Turn off after a few metres and take the cycle path.

Now the old city centre of Florence and the cupola of the Cathedral are in front of you. Just cycle along the paths lining both sides of the Arno to get there.