Tuscany is the beautiful region in Italy that includes the cities and towns of Florence, Pisa, Grosseto, Siena, Val d’Orcia, Chianti, and Catiglione della Pescaia. From the architecture and art to the historical landmarks and cuisine, touring on an electric bike is a great way to explore this popular destination.
This article will go over all the details you need to know before you start planning your e-bike trip in Tuscany!
Are electric bikes allowed in Tuscany?
Yes, e-bikes are certainly allowed in Tuscany!
When it comes to e-biking rules in Italy, there are currently no region-specific rules. Therefore, electric bicycle riders should consult and follow the European e-bike safety standard EN 15194.
EN 15194 defines e-bikes as bicycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW (250W), of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) or if the cyclist stops pedaling.
This is the official definition of an electrically assisted pedal cycle in the EU.
As such, e-bike riders in Tuscany should follow Italy’s traditional bicycle rules accordingly (source).
How is Tuscany province organized, is it ready for cycling?
Tuscany is very hilly and mountainous. For this reason, many tourists have noted that traveling by electric bike is the perfect way to discover and explore Tuscany’s scenery. The electric assistance helps riders tackle steep landscapes with ease and allows tourists to cover more ground than walking and experience more fresh air than driving.
Tuscany’s paths include paved and unpaved roads, hills, mountains, and marked cycling routes: ultimately, this varies between urban and rural areas.
Riders note that Tuscany – and Italy in general – does not currently have a lot of biking infrastructure, and as such, there are not a lot of dedicated cycle lanes, so e-bikers will likely have to share the road with cars in busier city areas.
In the mountainous regions, bike paths are occasional, but overall, riders will experience much rougher terrain here. Later in the article, we’ll provide you with some useful links to map out your cycling routes in Tuscany!
Where to stay during the trip?
Where can I stay or stop during my ride (camping + shelter)? Should I take day trips only, or can I plan a multi-day/weekend adventure?
With so many sights to see in Tuscany, a multi-day trip is absolutely doable! A great thing about Tuscany is that multiple companies offer guided e-bike tours which include lodging and food in the itinerary.
However, if you are planning to do a multi-day trip by yourself, there are multiple campsite and hotel options to stay in, and a quick Google search will show you a number of options. For example, here is Trip Advisor’s list of suggestions, and here is Booking.com’s.
Some campsite names include Agricamping Poggio Ai Pini, Firenze Camping in Town, Camping Siena Colleverde, and Camping Falterona; but there are many more!
Be sure to research camping and/or hotel spots beforehand to see which ones will best suit your needs, as some may require booking in advance.
Where to eat? Or should I take my food with me?
Tuscany is a huge region of 8,900 square miles, so there are a plethora of food options available, depending on where exactly you will be traveling. However, since Tuscany (and Italy in general) is widely known and lauded for its rich culinary culture, you will not be hard-pressed in finding a huge variety of restaurants, delis, cafes, and bars for a meal or a snack!
Some examples of Tuscan cuisine include stews and soups, cured meats, cheeses, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, gelato, and much more. You can also look at various food blogs to see which spots travelers recommend.
If you are exploring more countryside or mountainous regions, be wary that you may not come across as many frequent places for food as you would within cities. If you are primarily sticking to rural landscapes on your e-bike trip, it’s always a good idea to pack food and/or snacks that will help you sustain your energy.
What gear should I take on the trip?
The type of gear you bring largely depends on the duration, terrain, and type of e-bike trip you’re planning to take. Either way, be sure to rent or bring an e-bike that includes racks for carrying necessary cargo.
For a day trip, essentials may include: a backpack, water, a helmet, panniers attached to the front and rear racks, a bike lock, cycling appropriate clothing (e.g. reflective for the night), front and rear lights, and sunscreen.
If you’re going on a multi-day trip, be sure to additionally bring: a battery charger, spare clothes and underwear, spare tires, and a flashlight. If planning to stay at a hotel or other type of indoor shelter, be sure to bring a method of payment and ID, and if you’re planning to set up camp, bring your sleeping bag, tent, food, dishware, and cutlery.
Where to charge my e-bike?
Generally, your e-bike will need to be charged after a day of cycling. One of the big benefits of going with a guided e-bike tour company is that they will give you a map of charging points, which may be hard to locate otherwise.
However, resources like Chargemap may be useful for you if you are not going with a guided tour company.
Otherwise, places that you may be able to charge your e-Bike can include bike shops, cafes, restaurants, and campgrounds. Plan from 2 to 4-5 hours for a complete charge.
What kind of e-bike do I need to ride in Tuscany?
While Italy does not currently have its own list of rules and regulations surrounding types of e-bikes, riders should follow general EU laws when riding an e-bike in this country.
According to EU law, all pedal-assist e-bikes are allowed, so long as they do not exceed the 25 km/h limit and 250W maximum power output. E-bikes need to be compliant with the EN-15194 standards, as outlined above.
Given the terrain in Tuscany, with lots of hills and many country roads, we recommend selecting a mountain, a road, or a gravel electric bike for your trip.
City, commuter, cruiser, folding or other types of e-bikes may do the job in some areas, but will quickly show their limitations if you decide to suddenly take a rural off-pavement trail.
Can I rent an e-bike in Tuscany or should I take one with me?
Renting is an excellent and widely available option for travelers in Tuscany! This is also a great option if you don’t want to lug your e-bike from place to place when traveling.
Also, be aware that if you are traveling to Italy from a non-European region, your e-bike might not be suitable under EU e-bike laws, which means that renting an e-bike from a Tuscan company is both a convenient and safe bet.
Keep reading and you will find links to some Tuscan e-Bike rental companies!
What else can I do while on an e-bike trip in Tuscany?
Luckily, there is tons to do and see in Tuscany, a region that is rich in history, art, and culture.
While the list is endless, some tourist attractions include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Piazza del Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, the Towers of San Gimignano, and Piazzale Michelangiolo.
The Chianti, Lucca, and Maremma regions are also popular travel spots. Tuscany includes various World Heritage Sites as well, such as the historic center of Florence, the Cathedral square of Pisa, the historical center of San Gimignano, the historical center of Siena, the Val d’Orcia, the historical center of Pienza, and the Medici Villas and Gardens.
What is the best time of the year to visit Tuscany on an e-bike?
According to optimal weather conditions, the best times to visit Tuscany are between September to October or April to May. Within these months, travelers find the temperatures are more comfortable and they encounter fewer crowds and tourists at major sights.
Summer weather may not be ideal for e-cyclists, as it comes with very high temperatures (27 to 30 degrees Celsius) and huge crowds.
Some resources to help you plan your trip
If you are looking for e-bike rentals while in Tuscany, Tuscany Quintessence is a great option. This company provides you with top-quality Italian electric mountain bikes (eMTB) and comprehensive guided tours that range from 1-day to multi-day trips, many of which include meals at Tuscan spots along the way.
Multi-day trips also include lodging. Tours are categorized by difficulty level, making it easy for travelers to determine which tour is right for them.
Bike Tour Tuscany also provides e-Bike rental options, guided bike tours, self-guided bike tours, and more. Trek Travel is yet another option in Tuscany for guided tours and e-bike rentals, as well as Toscana E-Bike.
If you’re looking to map out your tour by yourself, Outdoor Active, Italy Bike Hotels, Backroads, and Komoot have all provided their own lists of Tuscany bike routes that are categorized by difficulty level, distance, and more.
Read also: Check out world’s best travel destinations by electric bike in this overview article.
Here is a video highlighting the Tuscany Trail cycling route. Happy traveling!