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Itineraries bike

Magliano-San Bruzio and the lower Albegna valley

Cycling in the Tuscan Maremma among the pastures of the lower Albegna valley, hills, villages and thousand-year-old parish churches

In the immediate hinterland of the Costa d'Argento, this itinerary encounters pastures and ancient villages that stand, like silent sentinels, over the territory that stretches between the Maremma Park and the lower valley of the Albegna River. Cultivated as early as the Etruscans and controlled in medieval times by the Republic of Siena, the exploitation of the pastoral economy of these places made possible the development of the oldest bank in the world, Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The itinerary is developed in two daily routes that, ideally, find their fulcrum in the village of Magliano in Toscana.

First leg: Colle di Lupo and the Albegna valley

Development 25 km, difference in height 300 m

We start from Piazza Marconi, engaging the Colle di Lupo consortium road. Past the Patrignone stream, the road begins to climb toward the necropolis of Santa Maria in Borraccia. In a series of bends and ups and downs, we enter the countryside until we reach the top of the hill near Colle di Lupo, where we cross the consortium road that climbs to Pereta. From the viewpoint we have just reached, we catch a glimpse of the remains of the old Cerreto Piano cinnabar mine and, a little further on, the wide plateau of the Etruscan settlement of Ghiaccio Forte.

A quick descent, dotted with long rows of cypress trees, allows us to enjoy a beautiful view of the Albegna River valley. We engage the SP Aquilaia in a southerly direction, until we cross a second consortium road (signs bufalino breeding farm) that leads us to peel off near the archaeological site of Cancellone on the SP Sant'Andrea, which we travel until we catch sight of the town of Magliano. Nestled in the countryside, the imposing silhouette of San Bruzio towers. The remains of the Abbey of San Bruzio are one of the finest examples of the Romanesque architectural style in Maremma. The building was built by Camaldolese monks in the year 1000, and today only the apse and a few arches remain, from which rises an imposing octagonal dome with capitals and bas-reliefs, rich in symbolism attributable to the Knights Templar.

The Church of Most Holy Annunziata, just outside the walls of Magliano, has very ancient origins and preserves inside a valuable panel painting depicting the Madonna nursing the Child. In the centuries-old olive grove surrounding the church, we find the Strega Olive, a monumental plant among the oldest in Italy, with an estimated age of around 3,000 years.

We pedal through open countryside, among cultivated hillsides dotted with numerous rural buildings and farms born with the Ente Maremma, the 1951 agrarian reform that initiated the most important territorial and socio-cultural transformation experienced in these territories in the last century. Even the small town of San Donato that we find in the second part of the itinerary, with its beautiful country church, is a child of the same reform, as is the dense network of consortium roads used for this route.

Second leg: San Donato and the village of Montiano

Development 42 km, difference in height 500 m

From the small square in front of the Church of Most Holy Annunziata, we ride along SP 160 in the direction of Scansano until we join SP 16 Montiano. Near the intersection, the "Scansano" marker, with a stylized bike symbol, reminds us that the "Grand Tour of Maremma" itinerary passes through here.

We proceed on SP 16 until km 19, to deviate onto the La Carla consortium road, which opens to our left. A wide loop awaits us that, swinging over the hills, returns to Magliano from one of the oldest existing customs houses in this area, a branch of the "La Capitana" consortium road that we find by following the signs for "Il Quinto". Once past the farm of the same name, the road surface returns the stones of the old pavement putting a strain on the suspension of our mtb bikes, special care when riding this stretch with gravel bikes. In case, the dirt road can be avoided by riding along the S.C. Capitana to the intersection with SP 160, just outside Magliano.


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