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Terre di Siena: a bike route with kids

In Val di Merse through villages and castles

Nothing is better than passing a beautiful day outdoors in the company of your family, through beautiful landscapes and historic streets.

Starting point and destination:
Type of road: asphalt and dirt
Bicycle type: mountain bike, hybrid
Who: families, cycle-tourists
Length: 20.61
Altitude: 200
Difficulty: low

There is nothing more beautiful than spending a pleasant day with your family. Cycling is a perfect sport for everyone to take part in together. Here is a route through Val di Merse that's suitable even for children. 

This is a short journey packed with beautiful places, taking you through the small villages of Torri, Stigliano, Brenna and Orgia. Do not skip a visit to the beautiful cloister of the abbey of Santa Mustiola Torri (only on Mondays and Fridays from 9 to 12) and the interesting Museo Etnografico del Bosco (Ethnographic Museum) in Orgia (Friday and Saturday at 9:30 to 12:30, other days by appointment, tel. 0577582323).

Starting from Rosia in Piazza Garibaldi, turn left towards Roccastrada and after just 300 m, turn left again towards Torri. Pedaling for just over 1 km along the S.P. 99, at the intersection with a high cypress tree in the center, turn right and go up the tree-lined road to the left of the cemetery.

From there you'll go upward again to the right, until you reach the gate that marks the entrance to Torri. Looking at the gate from outside the walls, you should head upward and  to the right along the dirt road, and after 250 m, turn left to face a short spurt. You will make several ascents and descents for a little over 1 km; at the first intersection at V you will keep to the left and at the next one (which you'll see after passing a curve to the left), take the track that opens on the right and ends in the Rancia conglomeration. Go down to the T with S.P. 99 and turn right towards Stigliano (approximately 300 m).

Just before the square, go up along the asphalt road, passing over the springs in the direction of the Campalfi farm (you won't actually reach it). At the end of the ramp, the road becomes a dirt path. Keep to the right at the next two intersections, and after a few hundred meters, you will go up along the boulevards, reaching a corrugated dirt road that's a little over 2 kilometers long, marked by two parallel rows of majestic cypress trees. 

At the end of the boulevards, you'll turn left and after around 700 m you will arrive in front of the Montestigliano farm. From here you will go down and to the right, paying close attention to the precarious slopes and curves. At the crossroads at the bottom of the hill, don't take the way that points toward Brenna, but the SP 99 in the direction of Orgia.
After about 1 km turn right: once you pass the iron bridge over the river Merse, climb towards the village of Orgia. Once at the town's welcome sign (underneath it you'll see a fountain with drinking water), head down to the left along the dirt road past the barrier.
At the end of the descent, you'll come upon an electric anti-boar fence and immediately after you will reach a V junction which starts on the right until you get to the front edge of the river Merse.

You will return along the river, facing the street that follows along the edge of the forest, and after 600 meters to the next V intersection, you will turn right to reach the ford (300 m). Once you've forded the river, staying to the right, you'll end up next to the sports field and just afterward, at the Pero Mill in Brenna. 

From the mill, turn left, and then you can cross the entire village. You will then arrive near the bridge on the Gora (an artificial deviation of the Mèrse, on the left). You won't have to conquer this bridge, instead just take the dirt road between the bridge and the house and continue on the path that enters the Natural Reserve of the Upper Mèrse. 

At the end of the path that runs along the Gora, go up to the right on the dirt road until Stigliano, coming out at the beginning of the boulevards with cypresses. Then continue on asphalt along the SP 99 until you reach Rosia.