Motorcycles in front of the humpback bridge in Borgo a Mozzano on our top class motorcycle tour of Italy and a MotoGP

The best roads in Italy – part 1, l’Abetone

Let’s talk about the roads that bikers love in Italy.

The Apennines are obviously different from the Alps for four reasons:

  1. for their altitude, they are much lower than the Alps and have passes around 1500m above sea level, therefore more easily passable in spring and autumn for us motorcyclists (when the Alps can still be covered in snow);
  2. for their roads, generally wider and with less hairpins than the alpine ones;
  3. for their balance, more roundedness compared to the Alps, which gives life to roads full of soft curves, extremely pleasant for those who want to take a ride through the woods in search of ancient villages rather than for those who are a little bit more enthusiastic.
  4. for their drop towards the sea with beautiful hills, among which the most famous are the Tuscan ones.

The mountain range of the Apennines is the backbone of Italy, which starts from Liguria right into Sicily and gives us an infinity of beautiful roads, including the road of Passo dell’Abetone.A map showing the full length of the Apennine mountain range

Magnificent road, included on our tour of Italy and MotoGP, both for those who want to enjoy nature and for those who are a bit more in a hurry.

But before telling you about the road I will tell you that it connects two important cities, both are on the World Heritage (UNESCO) list, the wonderful city of Lucca (in Tuscany) with a fantastic historical centre and its exciting nightlife, and Modena (in Emilia Romagna) not only famous for its historic centre but also famous, as the land of motoring and flavours, for Ferrari (a factory and two museums, which can all be visited), Lamborghini (and again, a factory and a museum to visit), and its gastronomic products like the balsamic vinegar of Modena, Parmesan and various cured meats.

And if it wasn’t enough, just 30 km from Modena, you can find Borgo Panigale with the factory and the Ducati museum (both of which can also be visited).

Now we can talk about the SS 12 road, known as dell’Abetone, 140 km of absolute fun, which generally takes 3 hours to ride.A map showing the SS12, otherwise known as Passo dell'AbetoneLeaving from Lucca, you start immediately in the countryside along the river Serchio, where in Borgo a Mozzano there is the ancient humpback bridge built around 1100 AD, the tallest in Italy. Even if you’ve only just started the ride, it’s worth the short stop to take a couple of pictures.The humpback bridge in Borgo a Mozzano on our top class motorcycle tour of Italy and a MotoGP

But let’s get back to serious things, the road signs will try to make you take the most direct route, taking you out of your way, try to stay on the SS 12 and if in doubt, follow the middle. Leaving the Ponte della Maddalena, after a few kilometres you will skirt the village of Bagni di Lucca, where the real fun begins until the top of Abetone 1388 meters above sea level, where you will find a petrol station, a large car park and some nice bars to relax.

Leaving Abetone, the descent starts straight away, watch out when you arrive at Ponte Modino because signs and the sat nav tend to take you on the straight road that follows the river to the valley.

After Pavullo nel Frignano pay attention because after 6 km you have to turn left for Serramazzoni and Maranello. If you miss the intersection, no problem, from Maranello you can get there but you miss the road SP 3 with the last 25 km of panoramic bends.

The Apennines give great joy to us Italian bikers because they are the source of countless roads full of twists and turns, just like we love them.

Considering that on average from one coast to the other of Italy there are between 250 and 300 km you can cross the country easily in one day.

Let us know if you like this initiative to tell you about the most popular roads for Italian bikers and if you want more!