The Championships consisted of 12 events for elite, under-23 and junior cyclists. It was the 86th Road World Championships, the 13th in Italy and the first time that the event took place in Tuscany. The different events finished near the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence. Host cities for the starts were Florence, Pistoia, Lucca and Montecatini Terme.
Tickets for crucial points of the course in Florence and Fiesole could be bought in advance. Ticket prices ranged from 20 Euro to 100 Euro for seating near the finish line of the men’s road race. Related to the Championships, many events were organized including expositions, exhibitions, a cyclosportive, and the Bicycle Film Festival.Poste italiane made a stamp dedicated to the Championships in 3.290,000 pieces and Chianti Classico produced wine bottles with special Championships labels.
The organizers showed the mascot for the event, Pinocchio the brainchild of Florentine writer Carlo Collodi, on 26 October 2012. The wooden figure is dressed in a rainbow sweater and a hat with the same motif. The choice of Pinocchio, whose nose grows when he lies, appeared to be significant after the cycling world was rocked by the doping case of Lance Armstrong. The decision for the mascot however, was taken much earlier according to the organizers.
To promote the public transport, more trains ran during the Championships to Florence and a special ticket was produced to ride on all regional trains. For safety reasons, all schools in Fiesole were closed on 27 and 28 September, because reaching schools was complicated.
77 nations participated. One rider from Iran was registered for the women's team time trial, but did not start. The number of cyclists per nation (exclusive riders in the team time trials) is shown in parentheses.