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UPT2202: Tuscany Unpaved

Saturday, June 4, 2022 | Anthony Fairweather / Holger Homann | Europe / Italy

"Go play in the woods", they said. "It will be fun", they said.
They were right!

Day 1: Welcome to Florence

Ready and waiting!

Day 2: Florence to Bagno di Romagna

The first day is a wrap! We leave busy Florence behind and immediately start our climb into the hills of Tuscany. Our first stop is a small forest trail where we test the offroading capability of our bikes and then head to an old monastery for our first crack at some real Italian gravel tracks. Making our way east we climb  mountain passes, ride across lush meadows and finally arrive at our home for the night, a converted farm house on the top of a mountain,  that just so happens to have its own vineyard. This is Italy, after all.

Our first morning briefing
A few technical pointers before we start off.
Holger on the KTM leads the way
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The first trails of the day
Bertrand showing us how it's done.
And Tyler's not far behind.
And here we go! Robert and Chris approaching
Claude on a steeper unpaved section up to Barbiano! On the picture one doesn't see how steep it is...looks like peanuts, but it was not!
Trey dealing with the same stuff!
Chris having fun!
Tuscany, not just stunning cities and culture, but stunning mountains too!
Everyone made it up here! Yiehaaa!
Next highlight: Passo del Muraglione!
Chris!
Tyler on the Passo Braccina
Just beautiful up here
Our cool group!
Selfie! What a cool riding day!
A well deserved beer at the end of the day.
This Agriturismo Pianconvento with its lovely owners does not only grow their own vegetables and herbs (partially collected in the forests) but does their own wine as well. And a very good one!
...and tigers around )

Day 3: Bagno di Romagna to Loiano

After an excellent stay at our Agriturismo we head our and almost immediately leave pavement behind in favour of a beautiful gravel track that follows the ridge line of the surrounding hills. We stop at Monte Battaglia and take in the view and the medieval watch tower that guards these hills. From there its a mix of gravel and tarmac as we carry on west towards our stop of the night, a converted villa wit stunning views of the Emilia Romagna. 

After a fantastic night it's time to set off again
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Our morning ride on the super Panorama Road...still foggy
At the Rocca de Battaglia
Claude...
And Chris and Trey made their way up here - you gotta walk!
And here the hard enduro challenge team! Tough and challenging way up! Yiehaaa!
Not neccessarily one have to do it - just an extra loop in the afternoon. The others went straight to the Passo della Raticosa, a bikers meeting spot south of Bologna!
slowly it starts...
Robert and Chris made it already to the top...
Claude mastering the challenges Super!
Well done, Robert, Chris and Claude!!
Rewarded with great panorama views!
I am deeply impressed by this KTM1290 Adventure!

Day 4: Loiano to Viano

Today takes us northwest into the very northern tip of the Apenine mountains. Sticking to mainly tarmac  we dive into a ceaseless mix of tight hairpins and as we drive through the Monte Sole historical park, then swing south on a loop through the hills and villages that make up some of the most beautiful scenery of central Italy. Arriving at our hotel we realise we'll be spending a night in a medieval castle, complete courtyards, battlements and, of course, its own vineyard. 

A gorgeous morning view.
The Memorial of Monte Sole, a sombre but worthwhile visit.
Fresh pasta for lunch!
Tony has found his church!
A castle with its own prosciutto-room!

Views from our stay tonight... In a beautiful Castello on top of a hill

Day 5: Viano to Barga

Yet another fantastic day in Italy dawns. Our first stop of the day are the ruins of Canossa, one of the most famous sites of the power struggle between church and state during the 11th century, as well as one of the most beautiful ruins in a country blessed with countless archeological sites. Canossa also marks the most northern point of our tour, so it's time swing our bikes around and head south, away from the plains and back into our beloved mountains. Just before lunch we tackle the most challenging section of off-road riding of the tour. A small gravel farm track takes us down towards a river valley and into a remote section of farm land and forests. Thanks to a fantastic team effort we ford two streams, ride along a muddy path and make it back on the road with no more than liberal application of mud and silt. After a well deserved lunch we head back onto some of the twistiest mountain roads so far, stop for some excellent gelato and arrive at yet another mountain-top hotel, where Holger greets us with the traditional Edelweiss boot beer!

The bike is clean...
...and so are the riders.
And we're off!
Beautiful views from the top of Canossa.
John soaking up the sun.
And so is Tyler.
In the middle of nowhere.
Somewhere underneath all that mud there's Trey. We guarantee it!
Beautiful grilled trout, straight out of the water.
San Pellegrino in Alpe
Amazing views down to the Garfagna, the greenest part of Tuscany
An Italian beauty on her home turf.
Robert, our off-road maestro with some proper Italian gelato.
And John can't resist either.

Day 6: Barga to Firenze

Our riding started today with a visit of the Ponte de Maddalena also named Ponte del Diabolo. A lot of legends exist about this impressive construction from the 14th century.
Trey, John and Robert on that bridge
Amazing especially if one thinks about what kind of tools they had at that time!
After we took the challenge to go up the remote mountain pass Foce a Giovo. A tougher ride thru fanatastic landscape
...taking the challenge!
Trey just below the pass
Chris
And here the Foce a Giovo discovery crew: Trey, Robert and Chris!
Yiehaaa!
Tuscany up ok, Emilia-Romagna down not okay...somebody took down the sign (not us) and Chris making fun
Time to ride down from this remote mountain area to meet up with the rest of the group in order to discover more of this tiny twisty roads in Tuscany!
Somewhere on these unbelievable narrow roads around San Momme
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Add a comment Rate this post
Andreas
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 08:34

Hi Holger, hi Claude, nice to see, that you both are still busy on the unpaved roads. Stay hungry and enjoy. Best regards and have a safe and great time.
Holger Homann
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 19:17

Hello Andreas,

nice to hear from you! Amazing tour here! Today with a super challenge , also for Claude )

My best wishes to you and I do hope to see you soon!

Best regards
Holger

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