The Pratomagno

Vallombrosa Travel Blog

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I had a great couple of months in Italy and like most people who visit…I can’t wait to get back!  The frustrating thing for me was finding good places to workout. For months before leaving I was searching books, the web, and real people to find places to exercise around Florence.

I found nothing! At least nothing good. A 20k ride here and an 8k run there, but come on, I wanted more.  So, for those of you who care I would like to share the best of what I found while pedaling, running, and swimming around Tuscany.

I traveled to Florence last summer with a friend of mine and got an apartment outside the Boboli Gardens. It was a great place to live because we were out of the tourist scene and we could get out of the city pretty easily on our bikes.

  We were both training for a couple of state-side races in late summer.  We biked about 2000 miles and ran around 250 and here’s the best of it…

The Pratomagno:

            This is where I fell in love with Italy.  The Pratomagno is a mountain range in Tuscany that is everything Florence is not…free of pollution, people, and pigeons.  I’ll be the first to admit it, I’m not a total city guy; and the Pratomagno breathed the life into me that Florence took out. (Sorry for the melodrama).
            To get there we would ride to Vallombrosa via the SP1 out of Florence to the SR69.  Then a right on the Localita Cetina just past the A1.  We would follow it until we hit the Localita Prulli di Sopra (on the left).  Then follow that (or some variation of it) to Cancelli, Saltino, and then finally Vallombrosa.
            We would climb north out of Vallombrosa until we hit a water fountain built into a retaining wall on the right (about 2-4 miles out of town).  Behind the fountain there are trails that lead straight to the top of the range.  Josh and I always carried a lock and our running stuff with us.  So, we would lock our bikes to a tree, change and run to the top of the hill.  The run is awesome (maybe 2 miles).  The trail takes you through dense cypress forest with crappy footing and steep uphills. Great warm up!
            Once you reach the top you hit the wide open range with wind mills, free-spirit mountain cows, and miles of dirt road to run on.  We would usually run for a total of 10 to 14 miles.  Making the workout about 5-7 hours.

Total bike: around 50 miles

Total run: around 12

Elevation gain: around 4000 feet…this can be increased very easily.

TLC rating: 10 out of 10

...I'll be back with more

postaltiburon says:
Very interesting way to get to know your surroundings!
Posted on: Jan 24, 2008
rotorhead85 says:
Nice read and a great way to see the world!
Posted on: Nov 23, 2007
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photo by: timothycote