It is no wonder why Lucca is considered one of the. if not THE cycling capital of Italy.
It is clear there are two types of happy cyclists in Lucca. For those that like to use a bike to get from A to B, cycling in the car-free streets and the top of the walls is a real pleasure. But for those that have a real passion for the glory and suffering of the sport, you know, the ones that you see in lycra with an expensive looking racing bike, Lucca is cycling heaven....
The city is flat - so getting around on a bike is easy. People of all ages (some that look far too old to still be cycling but still do!) are seen on their bikes, If its raining, that doesn't stop a Lucchese cyclist, Just use one hand to steer and the other to hold the umbrella. But then quickly out of the city you are on countryside cycling routes surrounded by vineyards and villas, Its not long until you reach some fantastic climbs, rugged terrain and vistas worth stopping pedalling for to soak up and take in.
But the secret has been out about Lucca and cycling for a long time now. One of the most famous and successful retired Italian professional cyclists, Mario Cipollini was born and still lives in Lucca, He is often seen in the local cafes loading up with carbohydrates or cake before heading out for rides. Lucca is also the base for many current professional cyclists, for example Tejay Van Garderen. The long summer and mild winter allows the pros to train all year, test themselves on the endless hills and enjoy guilt-free endless pasta as fuel!
There are plenty of opportunities to ride with local cycling enthusiasts and rent top bikes such as Pinarellos for the ultimate cycling holiday destination.