Day 12: Thursday, July 9, 2020
Siena - Lucca - San Giuliano Terme
131 km, 590 m of climbing

Another day in the paradise of Tuscany, shorter and easier than the day before. The day begins outside of Siena, starting out with a few shorter climbs and descents, as you can see from the elevation profile. Once we have warmed up, after some 5 km, the rollers continue, but with a general downward trend, losing about 200 m over the next 20 km as we approach the Elsa river valley. The low point is the town of Colle di Val d’Elsa, which may be a good spot for coffee or breakfast if you haven’t had any.

San-Gimignano Toskana Italien-1200x700

You may want to keep the break shorter, because another 15 km and two major climbs later another highlight of Tuscany is awaiting your visit: The skyline of San Gimignano with its 12 or so towers will be visible form afar. (picture courtesy of www.italien.de). The town is among the famous hilltop towns, each a fortress of medieval times.

Since it is the end of the second climb, you may be ready for a pause anyway. The first climb is 100 m up, and about 150 m down, immediately followed by the second climb of about 200 m up over 5 km. At the market square of San Gimignano, 40 km into the ride a refueling stop will be in order.

The next 50 km will be a fine ride through beautiful countryside; and waht is more, most of it will be downhill, so let’s hope the roads are good for some fast riding. On the way we will pass through Certaldo and Castelfiorentino. Near Empoli, the track crosses the river Arno — a reminder that we are bypassing Florence, the mega-touristic hotspot of Tuscany. After some hard thinking I have decided against including Florence into the tour — it is too early for a rest day, but to hectic in town and its surroundings to be just passing through.

Profil T12

Instead, the track heads on into a northwesterly direction, and 40 km after crossing the Arno the tour will arrive at Lucca, which I consider to be among the highlights of Tuscany’s many towns. You will like the renaissance building but learn to hate the cobblestone. The city has impressive fortifications. Today, the top of the walls surrounding Lucca are popular among walkers and cyclists.

The destination is just under 10 km away from downtown off state road 12.

Accommodation:

Agricampeggio La Valle
via Statale Abetone, 478 - Località Ripafratta
San Giuliano Terme (Pi)
Tel 3491370750

© Josef Janning 2019