A trip to the best road cycling area: Pistoia in Toscana

First of all, I have to apologize. I promised to make a video blog (A so-called vlog) but due to my knee injury, this would not be the right thing to do. Instead, I would like to tell a story from Toscana (In Italy if you don't know) through written words.

Figata Ciclismo is inspired by "Italian Memories". Those memories are placed in a small Italian city with the name Montecatini Terme. Montecatini is located in the Pistoia area in Toscana - beautiful nature, mountains and normally great weather surround the city.

My personal history from this area goes about 15 years back - to when I was about 15 years old. At that time I was in a Danish School for cyclists (Which does not exist anymore) and we had a 10 days training camp in the area. This was the first time I came for a visit and after that, I have been here several times on training camps - either all by myself, the former cycling team or the national team. Actually, I have been here so much that when I was participating in a race here in 2006, I felt the home-field advantage when we raced through the city and off cause this resulted in one of the best results. 

Montecatini Terme is a perfect place for cyclists. The city has a great city center with local shops and restaurants, but the local Park in the middle of the city and the mountain called Montecatini Alto which lies in the extension of the city - really makes it stand out for me. Montecatini Alto is an approx 3-4 km long if you go on the bike but on the top, you will find the best local Italian restaurants (And it's cheap) and the best view over the city. 

Montecatini Alto Town

Montecatini Alto Town

Montecatini Alto Night View

The view in the evening from Montecatini Alto

The view from Montecatini Alto

The view from the top of Montecatini Alto over Toscana (Tuscany).

Best restaurants in Montecatini Alto and terme

If you visit Montecatini Alto you should try restaurant Casa Gala at the top - It is really delicious and nice people. 

Montecatini Alto is also the mountain that the former Danish cyclist Rolf Sørensen lived in Italy for many years. Rolf was my personal trainer at Team GLS and I stayed several times at his house during my training camps.


Montecatini Terme Park

Montecatini Park is perfect for relaxing or a picnic during siesta. Here's a couple of photos from the local park. 

Montecatini Terme Park

Montecatini Park

Montecatini Terme Park

This photo above from the park is without any kind of Photoshop and this is exactly what you get when you visit the park.

Montecatini Terme - a perfect location

Another reason that I like the city so much is that the city is placed in the middle of other great cities like Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa, Firenze, and Prato. If you are really into shopping you should visit Bologna. My favorite city to visit is Prato and Lucca.

If you decide to go to Montecatini Terme I recommend you travel by car so you can visit all the cities and then you have space to bring your bike as well. 

From Montecatini, you can ride up the hill at Montecatini Alto and turn left at Montecatini Alto towards the city Abetone. This is a 15 km climb with many beautiful views - just see this photo below.

Abetone Toscana mountain climb

Before ending this blog post I would like to tell you about my knee injury. It was my plan to film the rides and our stay here in Montecatini but I did not sit on a bike for 30 days before our vacation to this place. Actually, I was pretty sure that I would not be able to ride the bike at all here but things did get much better in the last couple of days, however not enough to ride as much as we would like. 

I stopped my cycling career at the age of 22 due to this knee injury and that is why Figata Ciclismo cycling jerseys and bib shorts is all about "Italian Memories" because that is all I have left. 

Thank you for reading this post about the introduction to Pistoia and Montecatini Terme. I will soon come back with another post in details about cycling routes and mountains. 

All the best

Anders Berendt
Founder of Figata Ciclismo