macchia della Magona

The hills between Val di Cornia and Val di Cecina

Cycling through some wonderful Tuscan countryside

A scenic bike ride through the protected area of the Magona scrub land and along Bolgheri's famous avenue of cypress trees, immortalized by Carducci.

Point of departure and arrival: Donoratico
Distance: 73 km
Total climb: 780 m
Altitude: min. 18 – max. 376
Road surface: asphalt
Difficulty: medium

N.B. The most demanding parts are the climb up to Castagneto Carducci and Bocca di Valle and the climb up to Casale Marittimo.

Possible extension
: Having reached La Gabella, take a detour towards Borgo della Sassa, in a magnificent position over the Sterza valley and the metal-bearing hills. You reach the village after 6 km (290 m total climb), practically all uphill, with hairpin bends. You head back towards La Gabella along the same road. With the detour the route is 85 km long, with a total climb of 1,070 m.

Leave Donoratico along the Vecchia Aurelia road towards Cecina. After approximately 1 km, at Il Bambolo, veer right towards Castagneto Carducci along the SP 329. The road carries on along apparently flat ground (slightly uphill) for 3 km as far as San Giusto, where the 2.5 km climb begins towards Castagneto Carducci (6.8 km). Having passed through the town, the road heads into the woods. After plenty of bends, you reach Ponte d’Oro, where the approximately 2 km climb begins up to the Bocca di Valle pass (12 km).

Next to a sharp left-hand bend, follow the signs for Monteverdi Marittimo, ignoring the detour to Sassetta. This is the final uphill part before reaching pleasant ups and downs that continue for about 9 km towards Monteverdi Marittimo (22 km). Keeping to the main road, start the lovely descent about 3 km long towards Canneto (26.5 km). Just before the village, you start to climb again. Take the wonderful downhill stretch that winds its way through the Sterza valley: firstly, 4 km that flash by, then the rather technical last stretch as far as the Sterza torrent. Carry on slightly downhill (5.9 km) to the bottom of the valley, riding past La Gabella, which is a great place to stop and take a breather. You could also take a detour here to the Borgo della Sassa.

Cycle for another 6 km in the Sterza valley floor as far as the junction towards Casale Marittimo. Veer left (42.5 km). Carry on along the flat for approximately 2 km, over the Sterza bridge and uphill towards Casale Marittimo. There's an uphill climb for 1.2 km until you reach a junction. Carry on along the SP 19 towards Bibbona. Casale Marittimo is to your right, while the lovely Macchia della Magona is to your left, a wonderful wooded area to the back of Bibbona.

Mostly downhill, after 3 km you reach Bibbona (52 km). Head left towards Bolgheri. After a tough yet short uphill climb, you reach a T-junction. Veer left along the lovely Via Bolgherese, which leads to Bolgheri's Viale dei Cipressi along approximately 5 km of vineyards and olive groves, with a series of ups and downs. After a short visit to the small town (60 km), carry on downhill along the avenue of cypress trees for approximately 1.8 km as far as the junction on the left towards Castagneto Carducci. Pedal alongside the age-old oaks for 9 km until you come to San Giusto. Veer right at the T-junction towards Donoratico (73 km).

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