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Thu 24 Jul 2008 12:00 AM

CYCLING TOURS

Bicycling
around Florence
is a unique experience that will allow you to discover Renaissance Florence
from a different perspective and help you keep fit and have fun at the same
time. As of late the city administration has made it a top priority to expand
the cycling network and extend bike paths from the Florence
city centre to nearby towns and cities. Many bike tour companies, like Per’s
Bike rides, offer wine and olive oil tours, homemade Italian lunches and easy
trails for the cycle novice. Whether touring the city by bike to unearth its
hidden treasures or peddling your way through splendid vineyards and olive
groves in the Chianti region for a host of unforgettable wine and food
tastings, bike touring offers the perfect combo of exercise, food and fun. Take
a bike tour to unearth the city’s hidden treasures or peddle your way through
splendid vineyards and olive groves in the Chianti region for a host of
unforgettable wine and food tastings. Single and multi-day guided bike rides
for small groups are offered in and around Florence
and Tuscany.
Bikes and insurance are provided.

 

Check
out these English-speaking, expert cyclist tour guides: 

 

Per’s
Bike Ride

055/5398357
www.persbikerides.com

 

I Bike Florence

via de’ Lamberti, 1 – 055/0123994 – info@ibikeflorence.com

 

Florence by Bike

via S. Zanobi, 120/r – 055/488992 –info@florencebybike.it

 

I Bike Tuscany!

via Belgio, 4 – 335/8120769 –info@ibiketuscany.com

 

 

HORSEBACK
RIDING

If
the hazy summer heat is getting to you, run for the hills and embark on an
adventurous weekend on horseback. The countryside and rolling hills surrounding
Florence
offers a wealth of equestrian fun for the whole family. Here you will find charming accommodations, local Tuscan fare, delight
in both stunning city views and natural wilderness trails from high up. Take a
weekend getaway or day-tip and discover all that the Mugello area has to offer.
Adults and children can take horseback riding lessons (usually about 15 euro
per hour). If a cool gallop through the lush Tuscan wildlife is what you are
craving, then try these horse ranches.

 

Centro Ippico la Baita

Cascine Park, Florence, 055/307305, info@clubippicolabaita.it,
www.clubippicolabaita.it

The
Centro Ippico la Baita’s three equestrian centres are located in the heart of
the city centre at Cascine Park,
along the Arno River:

Cabin 1, via della Sala 1, Brozzi

Cabin 2, via di Bozzale, Campi Bisenzio

Cabin 3, Stato Libero Dei Renai, Signa

 

 

La Calvana Reining Horses

via di Vezzano 24, Loc. Carraia, Calenzano, 055/8819722  or 3396618613,

www.calvanareininghorses.com, info@calvanareininghorses.com

 

 

Agriturismo Podere le
Pialle

via di Galiga 20, Doccia, Pontassieve,
333/9101404; 055/8361265,

www.poderelepialle.it, francopoderelepialle@interfree.it

 

 

GOLF
COURSES

Though
golfing seems to be a much more popular sport and leisure activity in North
America and the U.K., Florence
offers some of the best golf greens in the country. If it’s a golfing holiday
you’re after, try teeing off in one of Florence’s
prime golf courses: the Golf Club Montelupo at Fattoria di Fibbiana, Le
Pavoniere Golf and Country Club at Le Cascine di Tavola park, and the Golf Club
Ugolino at via Chiantigiana.

 

The Golf Club Montelupo at Fattoria di Fibbiana, on
via Le Piagge, offers a good game with splendid views of the city and surrounding
countryside. A stone’s throw from the historic centre, it features nine holes
and is situated on the banks of the River Arno, just 26 km from the city
centre.

 

Le Pavoniere Golf and Country
Club is located 5km from Prato’s city centre and 20km from Florence, just a few kilometres from the Villa Medicea di
Poggio a Caiano. In addition to a 18-holes American-style golf course, the
golfing facilities feature a driving range with 12 covered stalls and 30 open
air stalls, a putting green, chipping green and practice bunker as well as golf
cart, bag and trolley rentals. Other club amenities include a large 20m x 20m
swimming pool, a fully equipped gym, a massage room, a pro shop, a restaurant,
bar, tennis courts and a mini soccer field.

 

Founded in 1889, the Golf Club
Ugolino is the first golf club in Italy. Located on via Chiantigiana, it is immersed in a
centuries-old olive grove, just 10 km from Florence city. It boasts 18 holes and is considered by many
one of the most suggestive natural golf courses of the world.

 

 

Golf Club Montelupo

Loc. Fattoria di
Fibbiana, via Le Piagge 4, Montelupo Fiorentino, 0571/541004,
www.golfmontelupo.it (closed Mondays)

 

 

Le
Pavoniere Golf and Country Club

via Traversa il Crocifisso, Prato,
0574/620855, www.golfclublepavoniere.com, info@golfclublepavoniere.com

 

 

Golf Club Ugolino

Via Chiantigiana 3, Grassina, 055/2301009,
www.golfugolino.it, info@golfugolino.it (closed Mondays).

 

 

TENNIS
COURTS

Florence’s
public tennis courts are located at the Circolo Carraia, on via Monti, and are
open from 8:00
to 23:00.
There are also other courts at the Circolo
di Tennis
on via Scandicci Alto (055/252696), and on via della Robbia
Impruneta (055/2012111). Be sure to test your backswing while immersed in olive
and cypress trees  at the beautiful
tennis facilities of Match Ball Firenze,
located on via della Massa, 40 (Loc. Candeli, Bagno a Ripoli, 055/631572, www.matchball.net). The club house
features a state-of-the-art billiards and poker room, beauty salon and massage
centre.

 

 

ROWING
CLUBS

Go
rowing on the Arno River by contacting the Canottieri Firenze Comunali at
Lungarno Ferrucci (founded in 1934) or the Societa’ Canottieri Firenze (founded
in 1886), whose delightful clubhouse and landing dock just under the Ponte
Vecchio at Lungarno Anna Maria Luisa de Medici will have you wishing you had
put your oars in the water a long time ago. Tours
with boats or canoes along the river Arno
could be a unique option to bicycle and walking trips.

 

Canottieri Comunali
Firenze

Lungarno Ferrucci 2, 055/6812151 (fax
055/6812649), www.canottiericomunalifirenze.it

 

Societa’ Canottieri
Firenze

Lungarno Anna Maria Luisa de Medici 8
055/2381010, www.canottierifirenze.it,
societacanottierifirenze@tin.it.

One-month
membership costs approximately 62 euro.

 

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