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The Ring of the Rediscovered Sanctuary in San Casciano dei Bagni

A bicycle route exploring the southern Valdichiana Senese

The Ring of the Rediscovered Sanctuary is a route that allows you to explore not only the greenery around Mount Cetona, but also to discover the history of this part of Valdichiana, including archaeological sites and evidence of the medieval period. The route, in fact, takes its name from the important sanctuary found in San Casciano dei Bagni, evidence of the value that was recognized to this place and its thermal waters since the Roman period.

The itinerary starts from the free parking of San Casciano dei Bagni, at Piazzale del Ponte, to enter Viale Manciati and then turn right towards SP82. After riding for a few kilometers along this stretch of dirt road, also the protagonist of a stage of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, the castle of Fighine will appear. This building, erected in the 11th century, is evidence of the strategic importance of the Valdichiana Senese in the medieval period. Shortly after, we will meet Palazzone, a small town that was founded as a welcoming point for pilgrims traveling along these lands.

Time for a quick visit for refreshments and the route will continue downhill towards the Piazze, along the provincial road SP82, and then change slope until reaching Camporsevoli, a beautiful fortified hamlet now transformed into a diffuse hospitality facility. Once there, it will be easy to understand why the castle was always the subject of clashes during the medieval period: its elevated position, in fact, made it an excellent point of control over the surrounding areas.

After a brief stop to take some photos of the beautiful landscape, the route will reach its last stretch in the direction of San Casciano dei Bagni, following the Strada Provinciale della Montagna di Cetona and taking Via della Fontaccia. This final stretch of downhill road will allow you to enjoy a final immersion in the lush nature of these places and their history, until you reach the archaeological site of the Rediscovered Sanctuary, in the area of the so-called "vasconi" (large pool), near the free baths of Bagno Grande.

In this place of divination and medicine, more than 20 bronze statuettes have been found that have toured the world. These and other precious finds that have emerged from Bagno Grande, dating from the Etruscan-Roman age, confirm that San Casciano dei Bagni was a meeting place for these two civilizations, united by a common fascination with thermal waters. Having passed this last stretch, made of historical and naturalistic wonder, we return to our starting point, at the Piazzale del Ponte parking lot.

Itinerary by Strada del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano e dei Sapori della Valdichiana Senese


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