La Spezia to Siena via Pisa and Florence
Ponte Vecchio
This route is more about the attractions than the ride, although there are some great views as it travels through the beautiful region of Tuscany. It's unfortunate that the route starts with a section of toll road, but it really is the quickest way. You will follow the Apennine Mountains on your left and have an occasional glimpse of the Ligurian Sea to your right and a little over an hour from the start and you will be in Pisa.

Pisa is a legendary city and one of the most famous in Tuscany and with a population of just 91,000 it is also one of the smaller cities, but has historically been one of the most important and influential. During the 11th century and onwards Pisa rose to prominence and became one of the major maritime republics of Italy. The city saw great development and it grew in population and investment was poured into the city to improve its infrastructure and build its world famous monuments that still stand today.
The route heads straight to Pisa's honey pot, The Leaning Tower. Passing through an arch in the city wall to RP 8, this takes you to the back door and as close to the tower as a vehicle can get, less than 100m from the tower.
This is by en-large the main reason people visit Pisa and is a structure that is known worldwide. The Campanile or bell tower of Pisa Cathedral is a beautiful structure in its own right, but it has been made famous by its noticeable tilt.
Constructed in the 12th century after the cathedral, it was soon found that the foundations were unstable and the building began to lean. To this day the tower still leans and measures have been taken to ensure it doesn’t collapse.
Aside from posing for funny photos, the architecture of the tower is actually fantastic and the 6 rows of stone arches are simply beautiful. Furthermore, you can climb to the top of the tower for a surreal tilted view of the surrounding city.
From this direction, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta will be behind the tower. This Cathedral is sometimes overshadowed by the leaning tower, but it is a beautiful structure in its own right and is an absolute must when visiting Pisa.
Construction on this amazing cathedral was started in the 11th century and it was completed in 1092. The front façade of the cathedral is truly ornate with a series of beautiful stone and marble arches and three opulent bronze doors.
Just a couple of hundred yards further on is RP 9 and the Bagni di Nerone (Baths of Nero). The ruins were identified in 1548 when they were first defined as a laconicum, a room for sweating; its attribution to Nero goes back to the 13th century, and is part of the longstanding tradition by which relations between Nero and Pisa were very close.
The River Arno is next;
The River Arno is one of the main rivers in Italy and Pisa was built around this waterway. This river stretches for 241km and has its source at Mount Falterona. The section of the Arno that runs through Pisa provides a truly beautiful landscape and is an amazing place to simply walk along. Five gorgeous bridges span the Arno in central Pisa and both the Lungarno Mediceo and Lungarno Galileo Gallilei run parallel to the river. Lungarnos are the streets of the city that pass beside the river Arno. They are well known in Pisa for wonderful buildings that go along with the river bank until they reach the river outlet in Marina di Pisa. The houses and architecture create a gorgeous backdrop and this part of Pisa is truly photogenic.
At RP 17 along the Lungarno Galileo Gallilei, you will find a small church, the Church of Santa Maria della Spina. Although this church is really quite small, it is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe due to its ornate design and riverside location. Originally created in the 13th century, the building features a Gothic style with a series of opulent pointed pediments and several rose windows. The interior is quite reserved in comparison and features white and green striped stone walls and a series of sculptures.
Leaving Pisa behind, the route now heads east for Florence along the magnificently named; The Highway of Great Communication (SGC) Florence-Pisa-Livorno road, also known as FI-PI-LI. Using the FI-PI-LI should get you to Florence in just over an hour and crossing over the river Arno on the Ponte Della Vittoria annonces your arrival.
You will arrive at Florence Cathedral RP 29, about as close as you can get with a vehicle. Just 50m away with a great view of the iconic 8 sided dome that covers the cathedral and dominates the Florence skyline.
There are many sights to be seen in this beautiful city so I suggest parking and having a walk around and maybe some lunch. There is parking as the route joins the river Arno again just upstream from another of Florence's iconic landmarks, the Ponte Vecchio. You'll have a good view of this if you choose to park here. The Ponte Vecchio is noted for its shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers, and souvenir sellers. Travelling past the end of the Ponte Vecchio and over the Arno on the Ponte Santa Trinita. This elegant bridge is composed of three elliptical arches of the utmost elegance – the first of their kind ever used in bridge construction Ponte Santa Trinità was designed in the 1560s by Ammannati, though its arches, reminiscent of the tombs in Cappelle Medicee, have led some to suspect Michelangelo’s hand. Destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944, it was reconstructed from the original stones retrieved from the Arno.
After leaving Florence, you will join the third and final high speed road of the day. The Superstrada Firenza - Siena RA3. This will get you to Siena in an hour and it has a few more twists and turns to enjoy than the other two previous roads.
Hotel Anna on the outskirts of Siena is the end of the route, it's about a 10 minute drive to the old city centre. This is reflected in the price and it also has private parking. There are many other options for accommodation nearby including camping. I would suggest checking into your hotel and getting a taxi to explore Sienna in the evening.
The world class attractions in this route is why I have awarded 5***** stars.
RP 8. Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Florence Cathedral from RP 29
Useful links:
Start Hotel Nella
End Hotel Anna
Route number 3

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Sight, here you can see something
Viewpoint, a short stop for taking a picture
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Nick Carthew - (MRA Senior)
The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Ligurie", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Liguria (, Italian: [liˈɡuːrja]; Ligurian: Ligûria [liˈɡyːɾja]) is a region of north-western Italy; its capital is Genoa. Its territory is crossed by the Alps and the Apennines mountain range and is roughly coextensive with the former territory of the Republic of Genoa. Liguria is bordered by France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea, and has a population of 1,557,533. The region is part of the Alps-Mediterranean Euroregion.
Amount of visits (Ligurie)
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Route collections
The route collections by MyRoute-app are collections of multiple routes that belong to each other and checked by MRA RouteXperts. All routes are identical for TomTom, Garmin and MyRoute-app Navigation.
View route collection An epic tour down the west coast of Italy to Sicily
About this route collection
This tour of 11 routes has been designed to take you to many of the well known sites in Italy, it even includes some lesser known sites that I think you'll enjoy too.
When they can, the routes will take you as close as you can get to the sites, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa just 100 m from where you park, or the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence where you'll pass right by the end of it and one route takes you as far as you can go up the active volcano Mount Etna.
I said this is a tour of 11 routes and not 11 days because I think you should stop an extra night at one or two places to really enjoy everything that Italy has to offer. For instance; an extra night at La Spezia gives you the opportunity to visit the famous chain of five picturesque seaside fishing villages known as the Cinque Terre. An extra night at the volcanic crater lake - Lake Bracciano, will allow you to take a short train ride into the city Rome to see all of her sights. I'd like an extra night at Salerno to ride the Amalfi Coast road again and another at Cefalu on the island of Sicily to enjoy the spectacular coastline.
What better way to discover amazing Italy than on a road tour? With 80% of world heritage sites, an Italian road tour surely promises an experience worth living!
From a motorcyclist’s point of view, Italy is among the best places in the world to ride. Twisty roads, close distances between sea, hills and mountains – you only need to ride a few miles and the landscape changes completely. Excellent food, good weather and reasonable costs make Italy an attractive touring place for bikers. Reasonably priced hotels and B&Bs; have been used with links to these on each route review.

Route highlights:
Route 1: The Italian Riviera and Portofino.
Route 2: Pisa, Florence and Siena.
Route 3. Volcanic crater lakes and the Tuscany landscape.
Route 4. Twisty roads through the foothills of the Lepini mountains.
Route 5. The Amalfi Coast road.
Route 6. The equally spectacular Cilento Coast road.
Route 7. Tropea and the Coast of Gods.
Route 8. Climbing Mount Etna and the incredibly twisty road to Cefalu.
Route 9. Twisty roads and The Valley of the Temples.
Route 10. The pure white cliffs of Scala dei Turchi and the Selinunte Temples.
Route 11. The salt pans of Trapani and the Grotta Mangiapane.

The tour ends in the ferry port of Palermo where you have a choice to either take to the road to head off of the island at Messina or hop on a ferry. Ferry destinations from Palermo include Genoa in northern Italy, the Italian island of Sardinia where you can tour the island and hop on another ferry to France, or even take a ferry to Tunisia in North Africa. The choice is yours. I hope you have enjoyed this tour.