Skip to content
Itineraries bike

Crete Senesi gravel

Picturesque hills and lonely farmhouses are the protagonists of this itinerary

Riding by bike through the Crete Senesi means surrounding oneself with characteristic hilly landscapes and ride along unpaved dirt roads, stopping at small medieval villages in the area. This scenic route allows us to ride a loop around this corner of Tuscany, capturing all its magic.

After an initial paved section, which allows for a visit to the small medieval village of Lucignano d'Arbia, the main road finds a detour to the hillside and, having crossed the Arbia, returns again to Monteroni by following a stretch of the Francigena.

Soon we hit the lonely Strada delle Crete (Crete road) that climbs double-digit inclines to San Martino in Grania. This is one of the dirt road stretches of the route Strade Bianche (Dirt Roads) and shows all its raw beauty to those who venture there.

What remains of the small municipality of San Martino in Grania and its ancient parish church, originally inhabited by 12 nuns of the Benedictine Order, are only ruins along with those of some old buildings. The place is immersed in silence and you can only hear the bleating of sheep or the barking of sheepdogs guarding the flock. Here, the latter can sometimes come dangerously close to cyclisst who, in the event, should never lose their temper. This is also why it is always recommended that you do not venture alone into places that are not bad, but remote.

The maximum height is reached with the 331 meters precisely at the entrance to the Lauretana, one of the historical routes leading, in one direction, to Siena and in the other direction, to Cortona.

The hamlet of Vescona with its small church is a short walk toward Asciano, but the direction of travel is opposite. Thus we soon return to taste the dust of the dirt road with magnificent views of the gullies and small lakes decorating them. For those who like to meet a few cottages and, perhaps, a few people, they can succeed to do so in Mucigliani and in Leonina. The former is an ancient agricultural village destroyed several times and the latter a castle built in the year 1000 and now a farm and sought-after hotel.

A few kilometers back along the Lauretana and then detour to the beautiful Medane road that, near the village of Arbia, leads back into the Crete to reach Barbiano, with a nice view on Mount Amiata, and San Fabiano, located at a stone's throw from Monteroni d'Arbia, where the arrival is safe toward a well-deserved rest.

Itinerary by


Discover something of interest near this itinerary