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Riding through medieval walls

In Garfagnana from Castello Nuovo to Castello del Leone

In Garfagnana, among chestnut forests and mountain landscapes, nature dominates unchallenged. However, hidden among the mountains are also numerous ancient villages: small treasures that characterize the valley and tell of the territory's medieval past. Along this loop itinerary by bike, we will ride exploring some of these fascinating localities.

We leave Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, the Castrum Novum with the imposing Rocca Ariostesca, exiting the town through Castruccio's gate. We cross the beautiful stone bridge of Santa Lucia and, at the Alfieri Theater, we turn onto the main road, in the direction of Pieve Fosciana. After a couple of hairpin bends, at the crossroads, we take the old provincial road on the left, at the end of which we find the pedestrian bridge that crosses the variant at Pontardeto. We now re-enter the Provincial Road 16 to leave it, almost immediately, and take a dirt road on the left that runs alongside the sports field, the railway and, after a steep descent, reaches Lake Pontecosi and the village of the same name.

After a stop at the lake, we take the road to the right leading back to the provincial road but, shortly after the railway viaduct, we take a left onto Via Volpaia, a steep dirt road that leads back to the provincial road at a gas station. We follow the provincial road to the left for a few hundred meters and then turn right following the road that leads to Golf Garfagnana and Bosco di Villa. After a stretch on flat plain we descend in the direction of the lake of Villa Collemandina. Having crossed the dam, in a short time we arrive at the center of Villa Collemandina. From the church of St. Sisto a convenient dirt road descends to Tramonti and takes us, after a few kilometers, to the medieval village of Castiglione di Garfagnana, the ancient Castum Leonis, a dominion of the town of Lucca on Este land.

Leaving the gate of the drawbridge, we turn right onto the main road that leads, completely downhill, to Pieve Fosciana, until we arrive at the junction on the left with the signs for Sillico. We follow this road for about 1.5 kilometer until we enter a wide dirt road on the right, signposted 'agriturismo Ai Frati' and 'camping La Piella'. First on a slight slope and then downhill, keeping our left, we reach the convent of San Giuseppe on the Colle dei Cappuccini and enter Castelnuovo.


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