Must ride roads: Sesto Fiorentino to Contea

Published: 04:47PM Mar 2nd, 2012

Situated on the outskirts of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino is the perfect base for escapes into the surrounding Florentine hills.

Must ride roads: Sesto Fiorentino to Contea

Catch it in summertime and this area is arguably one of the most attractive places in Europe, boasting fine roads, fine cuisine and beautiful weather with temperatures often soaring well into the 30s. In short, it’s a great place for a biking adventure.

The start of this route sees you cut your way through an assortment of extremely narrow and twisty, cobbled streets which litter Sesto Fiorentino.

Heading west, you rapidly leave the Roman town behind as you start your ascent into the hills, discovering hairpin bend after hairpin bend as the climb intensifies.

Either side of the road is smothered by deciduous trees and shrubbery, which form together to create a natural tunnel over the uninhabited route leading to Vagila.

After a good 15 miles of the tough stuff, the pace lessens and, if you fancy, you can pull over for a well deserved break in one of the many, sizeable lay-bys. The views from up here are great. The scenery’s changed to meadows and open space, allowing you to look down comfortably on the towns below.

From this point in, the ride becomes a lot more relaxing, allowing for plenty of time to scout all that the route has to offer, before you descend a little towards Pratolino. It’s here that you pick up the SR65 and the ride becomes far less challenging. The roads get wider and its condition improves too. After a while, you start passing through towns, with the route taking you literally right through the centre of them.

At Case Nuove, you switch roads again on to the SS302 and carry on at a relaxed pace alongside the town’s river until you reach Dicomano. It’s here that you part company and take on the steep and twisty SS556. Once again, you’re forced to engage your brain fully as you tackle the challenging ascent which seems relentless as it makes its way to a height of just over 2000ft. And even when things eventually level off, the corners still keep coming thick and fast. The scenery is at its best here and even though visibility is limited by the cliff faces, you’ll struggle not to enjoy this section the most. With no barriers between you and the valleys below, you’re also treated to an unadulterated view.

25 miles round, the route begins its descent back down to Contea. The degree is gradual and the pace varies between fast sweepers and second gear hairpins.

Thankfully, the road’s condition isn’t too bad here either, meaning you can make the most out of every piece of Ttarmac that comes your way. Between the corners, there are very little stretches of straight, right up until the point that you arrive into Contea, ready for a well-earned rest and some food in one of the many eateries the town has to offer.

Story - Bruce Wilson

Responses to “Must ride roads: Sesto Fiorentino to Contea”

Current Issue: July 2016

Issue July 2016


News: China is changing

Your letters: Win a Kriega R3 pack

May Day promises… and predjudice? Leon Mannings

Test ride: Yamaha MT-10

He’s behind you: Simon Hargreaves

Test ride: Yamaha MT-03

Test ride: Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber

Test ride: Indian Springfield

Test ride: Pirelli Rosso III

A suddenly changed life: Maynard Hershon

Test ride: Africa Twin by Nathan Millward


Win tickets to the Adventure Travel Film Festival

UK: The Navigators

France: Taking the Metro

Africa: The hard way round

Events and club focus

Expert guide to Brazil

Don’t be afraid: Richard Millington

8000 miles around Europe on a 125


Notice everything: Kevin Cameron

Used test: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

What Euro 4 means to you

Mid-term test: Suzuki GSX-S1000FA

Workshop: Paint 101

Long-term test: Yamaha XSR700

Long-term test: Royal Enfield Continental GT

Long-term test: Honda NC750X

Long-term test: Honda Africa Twin

Long-term test: BMW F800GS

Long-term test: Triumph Speed Triple R

Long-term test: BMW C650GT

Long-term test: Kawasaki 1400GTR

Long-term test: Suzuki GSX-R1000

My Bike: 1991 BMW R65GS

Tested: Wolf Tec-Tour, Shark Explore-R, Hood jeans, GS27 wax

Classic test: Honda CX500

Tyred and irritable: Steve Rose


Buy this issue now

• Next issue on sale: July 8, 2016

Issue 670

Issue 670
July 2016

For the love of the ride

Subscribe and get this issue

Buy it now facebook Sample on-line Service Guide

Other Feature Articles

Pictures sell stories, “evidence” and visions?

Pictures sell stories, “evidence” and visions?

Images of biking create impressions that can be good, bad or ugly, but Doc M wonders if bikers need to ...

Read More »

The best of British

The best of British

What are the best 50 classic British motorcycles ever made? Time for an extensive list from a real British bike ...

Read More »

View all...


Related magazines:

Motor Cycle Monthly Newspaper Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine Scootering magazine


Use our handy tool to find your nearest stockist!
Find your nearest Stockist

Read on-line as a digital issue:

Available on the Android Marketplace

Available on Pocket Mags

Advertising Deadline:

Advertising deadline: Trade Advertising Deadlines:
August 2016: June 16, 2016
September 2016: July 21, 2016
For more information contact our Advertising representative

Book advertising here

Next Issue Out:

July 8, 2016