Val di cecina

The metaliferous hills and Val di Cecina

The wonderful landscapes of the Donoratico region

This itinerary requires fitness and a good degree of training; the distance and elevation gains are for well-trained legs. The most difficult stretches on the route are the climbs up to Serrazzano (short but steep), Volterra and Montecatini Val di Cecina.
Point of departure/arrival: Donoratico
Distance: 138.5 km
Total climb: 1,994 m
Altitude: min. 18 - max. 519
Road surface: asphalt
Difficulty: challenging

This itinerary requires fitness and a good degree of training; the distance and elevation gains are for well-trained legs. The most difficult stretches on the route are the climbs up to Serrazzano (short but steep), Volterra and Montecatini Val di Cecina.

Departure is from Donoratico on the SP 329. The road rises slightly for 3km to San Giusto where the easily pedalled 2.5km rise to Castagneto Carducci begins (6km). At a very evident left bend at the Bocca di Valle pass (12km), follow the signs for Monteverdi Marittimo, staying on SP329 and ignoring the turn off for Sassetta. From Monteverdi Marittimo (22km) go downhill to Canneto (26km). At the entry to the village, turn right at the intersection and follow the signs for Serrazzano. After an uphill start, the road continues to rise and descend, and beyond the turn off for Lustignano (32.5km) begins to rise towards Serrazzano (32.5km), with the last kilometre at an 11% incline leading to the centre of the village. It is then downhill towards the Valle del Diavolo (Devil’s Valley) and the junction with SR439 (44.5km) where you turn left for Pomarance. The road is wide and all downhill before it climbs up to Montecerboli (46.6km). The descent to the Val di Cecina begins here.
 
The lovely, scenic road runs mostly downhill for 9km to Pomarance (54km) where you follow the signs for Volterra. After 13km you reach Saline di Volterra (66km). Here you turn right for Volterra. The last 2km are extremely challenging. Before reaching the city walls, the route turns left downhill on the spectacular Monte Volterrano road (SP16), which descends steeply towards Val d’Era, and joins SR439 after about 9km (87.3km). Here you turn right, and after little more than 1km, go left onto SP32, which climbs fairly steeply up to Montecatini Val di Cecina (91km) Turn left for Ponteginori, going downhill for 8km on a twisting and turning road through the vineyards of Buriano to the intersection with SR68 (99km), where you turn right towards Ponteginori (100.5km). Leave the busy “Volterrana” here to turn left towards Micciano and Querceto on the “Camminata” SP19. Going over the level crossing and the bridge on the Cecina river, carry straight on as the road rises and falls towards Casale Marittimo. After approximately 9km (109km) you meet the Sterza valley bottom road (112km) and carry straight on. Once over the Sterza bridge, the climb begins: there is a steep 1.2km incline as far as the intersection, where you continue left on SP19 towards Bibbona. It is a mostly downhill ride to Bibbona (118km, where you go left towards Bolgheri and the famous cypress avenue. After a tour of the little village (124km), follow the road downhill along the cypress avenue (about 1.8km) to the left turn for Castagneto Carducci. At San Giusto, turn right onto the S.P.329 at the T-junction for Donoratico (138.5km).
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Cycling