Point of departure is the FS train station at Pistoia, on the Florence-Viareggio line; exit the station and take the road to Empoli, after you have crossed the overpass over the tracks; the first km are quite busy up to Casalguidi, where the climb begins to S. Baronto. Then the road is wide, panoramic, sometimes shaded and with relatively little traffic; the grades are not impossible (between 5% and 7%); after 4 km you will reach the village of S. Baronto, which is a resort town with hotels and restaurants. The vista overlooking Lamporecchio is spectacular.
From S. Baronto, rather than taking the road to Lamporecchio, you should take the road down to Vinci, which although narrow is very peaceful; towards the end of the descent there is a panorama of the town of Vinci, and on the left an uphill street leads to the house where Leonardo was born; in the village there is also a museum dedicated to Leonardo.
After Vinci you can go another ten km, then, unfortunately, it gets gradually more congested all the way to Empoli; I crossed the Arno so I could go straight to the train station in Empoli.
[Vinci provided the location for the 1998 film of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing”. RB]
Last visited 2001-07-12 (July 12)