One of my favorite climbs in Toscana is placed close to Montecatini Terme - the place where I normally find a hotel. From Montecatini to the beginning of the climb we have approx. 15 kilometers.
I have used this climb for tuning my form before the most important races. It's not the longest but it's very steep all the way from the start to the end. I couple of times I have also participated on races in Toscana which included a visit to this little "secret" way to San Baronto, and one thing I learned very quickly - You have to go at your own speed from the beginning or you will be eaten alive.
How to find the "secret" climb to San Baronto
If you stay in Montecatini you just ride towards Monsummano Terme and you will probably find the way easy with a GPS. The road to find is "Via Bussoli" and from Montecatini you will probably enter this way either from Via G. Marconi or Via Francesco Ferrucci. The road is placed between the cities Larciano and Lamporecchio.
Via Bussoli is a very small road but it looks like this picture below where you will follow the road against the "Castello".
You will follow the small road on Via Larciano and then you will come to this tricky place where you will follow the road to the left via Santa Lucia.
At this point, you thought that you were already started on the climb but it really begins (for real) at Via Santa Lucia. From this point, I wish you the best all the way to the top but don't worry. It will lead you to the top of the well known San Baronto - So remember to bring your coins because you will need more "Aqua" on the top.
On this climb, I have raced against riders like Simon Spilak, Roman Kreuziger and Ricardo Ricco. Will all came up on top one by one but soon joined forced since it's not very long. I cannot tell you the exact length of the steep climb but it's probably about 4-5 kilometers. If you have been on the top of San Baronto before you will find it hard to believe how steep this road is compared to the other ways to the tops.
If you spend several days in the area please go through all the ways to the top and let me know what you think. In general, these many options / several roads to the top of all the mountains in Toscana is one of the benefits of the area compared to other cycling destinations like Mallorca, which have very few roads to follow. In Toscana, you can drive 365 different ways all year round.
How steep is it really?
This road does not include any signs with the percentage since it is a very small road I think. But I would guess that it's between 15-20% most of the way - but it's hard to say. What makes it so hard to ride is that is doesn't really gives you a break at any time unless for a few meters halfway. I don't know if it has a name so I personally named it "il piccolo segreto" which means the little secret in Italian. Below is a short video on my way to the top.
We always find spots on our rides to take pictures of Figata Ciclismo's apparel and I have included some of them in the post as well.
I am sorry for my noise at the moment but this it the closest I can bring to how I felt when we road “il piccolo segreto” (The little secret) climb to the top of San Baranto via Bussoli between the cities Larciano and Lamporecchio. I and currently writing a blog post about this climb 😅 #ciclismo #italianmemories #blog #cyclingblog #cyclinglife #cyclingvideo #climbing #riding #biking
The view from the top of San Baronto (Picture above)
Another photo from il piccolo segreto.
The road at il piccolo segreto.
I will soon be back with another post with more tips from Italy.