Route 16: A ride around Siena, Tuscany
Ride through the historic heart of Tuscany - both real and imagined
“This place is famous isn’t it?” asks Weeble, whose young son isn’t playing the same video games as my teenage lad. I’d thought Monteriggioni - a key location in the best-selling Assassin’s Creed games - was a fictional place… until researching these routes. I knew then that we’d have to visit this amazing fortified village, if only to make my son think I’d gone somewhere cool, at last.
The thing is, this whole area of Italy is full of cool places - all rich in history, all hijacked for all manner of fiction. Daniel Craig’s James Bond kicks off the action in Skyfall with a fight in Siena, The English Patient recovered in Sant’Anna in Camprena just to the south of the city. EM Forster set his book A Room with a View in Florence. But none of the fiction comes close to the actual grandeur of these historic places.
We’ve based our motorcycle routes from Siena because it’s smaller than Florence, cleaner than Pisa and better suited for exploring the whole region than the lovely walled city of Lucca. While our routes focus on riding, you may want to plan a day off the bike to visit one of the cities.
Then again… why would you want to come down here and spend time off the bike? Coffee in an historic Tuscan village square is all very well and good, but the riding’s unbelievable. The country roads are generally well-maintained and they’re quiet: lovely long loops curling across hillsides, bathed in hazy sunshine. The views across the valleys are spectacular, distant towers rising to indicate the next potential coffee stop in another well-preserved ancient hilltop village.
“You know what? I’d definitely come here again,” says Weeble, putting down his coffee cup. “There’s so much to see.” And so many brilliant roads to ride as well.
MAPS AND DOWNLOADS FOR A RIDE AROUND SIENA
Route 1 (our route): start/finish: Siena. Distance: 200 miles. Riding time: 7 hours. Suggested stops: AM coffee: Monterioggioni or Frocoli, lunch: Lucca, PM coffee: San Casciano
Route one map, Route one GPX file
Alternatively, download the full GPX file
Please note: This page contains the route files for The RiDE Guide To Italy which came free with RiDE magazine in July 2015. These website page are not regularly updated, so please check all critical information before you travel. All route files are in .gpx format. Garmin and BMW users can download the main file, which contains all the routes and our recommended hotels as separate waypoints. TomTom users can download the individual routes and use the Tyre software to convert them. For many routes we also have Google Map links. However, as Google Maps will not plot routes over seasonally closed high Alpine passes (such as Stelvio) when they’re shut, these may not work for every route all year round.