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Photo ©Foto di VardaHB

Bike tour of the Fiora river valley in the Maremma

Explore the Maremma by bike from the southern slopes of Monte Amiata to the tuff towns

Dust off your bike gears! Get ready to head out through the Fiora river valley and then explore Tuscany’s famed tuff area on two wheels. This circular route begins in Santa Fiora, on the southern slopes of Monte Amiata, moving to the south through the tuff towns of Sorano, Pitigliano and Sovana.

The journey isn’t too steep, but you’ll want to be prepared for the constant ups and downs, especially in the second half of the route.

First leg
From Santa Fiora to Pitigliano
Pitigliano
Pitigliano - Credit: Foto di VardaHB

Starting in the main piazza in Santa Fiora, pedal to the bridge, taking a right in the direction of Selvana – Sorano on the SP 4. The road will bring you down the hill for about 4 km until you reach a bridge, after which you’ll head back up along the main road to Selva (8.5). Get ready for some soft ups and downs in this area! Continue for 5.5 km until you come to a crossroads; go right as you make your way down to Selvana (16), from where you’ll continue even further down (except for a bit after Selvana) as you follow the SP 34 to Elmo. Make your way to the Lente river valley in the direction of Sorano.

This downhill journey comes to an end 2.5 km after Elmo, and after a brief climb you’ll come to a T, where you’ll turn to the left toward Sorano on the SP 22. The next part of the journey is spectacular: a stretch of road literally carved into the tuff rock. The hairpin turns on the way to Sorano are the gateway to the magical tuff cities. Once you’ve gone beyond the bridge over the River Lente, climb back up for 1 km to Sorano (35). From the piazza with the parking lot, you’ll see a crossroads with signs on the right for Pitigliano; a brief stretch up the hill and you’ll find yourself back on the smooth SP 4, with its soft ups and downs, until you reach the beautiful city (44) that looks as if it emerges from an imposing base of tuff rock. Once you’ve come to the crossroads under a large bridge made of tuff, turn to the right and head into this spectacular town that absolutely deserves to be seen. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

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second leg
To Sovana
Sovana
Sovana - Credit: Andrea Moroni

The itinerary continues downward in the direction of Albinia; after about 200 metres, on the right, you’ll catch stunning view of the city. Continue along the hairpin bends for about 700 metres until you come to a pretty clear turn on the left, where, heading to the right, you’ll merge onto the SP 46 “Pian della Madonna” for Sovana. Pedal for 1 km until you come to a bridge over the River Lente, the beginning of a 3-km climb – but don’t worry, it’s fairly easy. You’ll arrive at a T in the road, where you’ll turn left down the SP 22 to Sovana (52). The town and its Etruscan necropolis are great sites to visits, so we recommend taking a relaxing rest here. Back on your bike, continue in the direction of San Marinto sul Fiora, crossing first a bridge over the Lente and later, a bridge over the River Fiora (56.5). 

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third leg
On the slopes of Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - Credit: Photo Graphic Studio

Soon you’ll begin an upward stretch about 4-km long (an average incline of 5-6%) toward San Martino and the slopes of the Amiata. From San Martino sul Fiora (63), continue slightly uphill for 4 km in the direction of Catabbio, where you’ll come to a T: on the left, you can stray 9 km away to Saturnia, where you’ll find the famous (and relaxing!) thermal baths, while to the right, you can continue the itinerary along the SP 10 toward Semproniamo (74.5), which you’ll reach after an easy 5.5 km. Here, turn to the right and shortly thereafter, the left, following directions to Monte Amiata, Arcidosso and Roccalbegna; follow a brief, hilly stretch, then a flatland will “announce” a 2-km climb uphill (an average incline of 6%) that you can take to reach the hamlet of Petricci (80).

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fourth leg
Returning to Santa Fiora
Santa Fiora
Santa Fiora - Credit: Nemo Kanenas

After making it to Petricci, the next stretch to Triana (85) will be a piece of cake! Once there, head to the right on the SP 160 to Arcidosso: the road leads uphill with a few hairpin bends for about 2.3 km as you climb the upper Fiora valley. Once you’ve reached the top, continue along quickly to the crossroads in the town of Aiole (95.5), where you’ll turn to the right on the SP 6 toward Santa Fiora (100).

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