This is a truly challenging route winding through 140 kilometers between Mugello, the Upper Mugello, the Appenines around Prato and those around Bologna, into which you trespass three times. The scenery is superb and you almost always ride through the forest, with little traffic, discovering pearls set in the greenery on the border between Tuscany and Emilia, such as the Sanctuary of Bocca di Rio in the province of Bologna but frequented for decades by Tuscans from Mugello, Castel dell'Alpi, with its small lake, and the Santerno valley between Castel del Rio and Firenzuola.
There are six climbs, all of them challenging, with at least three of them - Valico della Crocetta, Monte Tavianella and Valserena - featuring sections with gradients well above 12 percent, in some places close to 20 percent. This aspect, and the elevation gain of over 3,100 meters, mean that this ride is for cyclists who are well trained and have bikes with very light gears, at least a 36/28 or equivalent. On two occasions, you will ride above 1,000 meters, so we suggest you are equipped, in addition to essential spare parts, with a cape.
Traffic is generally low but you will be riding on roads that are also very narrow and sometimes very bumpy. Be very careful, especially downhill.