The Ciclovia dei Castelli is a circular cycle path on the banks of the river Magra that skirts the townships of Pontremoli, Filattiera, Bagnone, Villafranca and Mulazzo. 47 kilometres, 29 of which are along roads, 3 on cobblestones and 15 km on gravel tracks. The loop is marked by vertical brown signs with white arrows and bike diagrams; it can be accessed at any point.
The symbolic start of the cycle path is in the historic centre of Pontremoli, by the Cresa medieval bridge. Start pedalling along the tree-lined Chiosi avenue, its bridge, the striking Villa Barocca Dosi Delfini and climb up the Piagnaro hill, which is dominated by the castle and the Lunigianesi Stele Statue Museum. Drop down to Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica in the town centre and cycle on the cobbles, leaving the town through Porta Fiorentina.
Travel a section of the Via Francigena through SS Annunziata before entering the municipality of Filattiera and the Caprio Valley. The lovely villas, olive groves and vines will accompany you to Ponticello and its medieval tower houses. Still along the Via Francigena, pedal by the banks of the River Magra as far as the Romanesque church of Sorano before returning to the river banks along a easy cobbled section.
Reach Villafranca Lunigiana and its park along the Magra river. Cross the river and ride into the municipality of Mulazzo along the nature path, whose scenic trails, rise up into the valley on the right bank before returning to Pontremoli.
Self-repair kits and plenty of places to eat can be found along the route. About 20 different mountain bike routes of varying difficulty lead off the cicle path into other valleys nearby.