Once out of the woods, we reach at the 11.4 km mark, a fork in the road. By taking a right, we travel towards the town of Galliano. The road is wide and sunny, but the traffic remains scarce. The continuous chain of Apennine crests and the numerous mountain passes, (Futa, Raticosa, Giogo di Scarperia, Colla di Casaglia and the Muraglione), are the trial and delight of every amateur cyclist in Tuscany and Romagna.
We race by the Galliano airfield for light aircraft, where, if we happen to be courageous enough, we can discover the thrill of flying. After a brief upward climb, at 15 km, we find Galliano. From here, moving towards Sant’Agata, the route changes. The roads are still smooth, but these particular foothills are characterized by a winding tangle of hairpin bends that rise and fall, at times rather steeply.
We reach Sant’Agata (19.6 km), with its splendid Romanesque church, after a rolling 4 km stretch through the countryside, among farm houses and barns that have been transformed into charming villas. Once past Sant’Agata the going gets easier for a kilometre or so.