We depart from Borgo San Lorenzo and cycle along the state road that leads to San Piero a Sieve. The road is flat and tree-lined, but busy with cars and lorries. At 5.8 kilometres from the start of the itinerary, in the town of San Piero a Sieve, the road intersects with state road 503, which leads to the Giogo Pass. We turn right and, after several hundred metres, turn left onto the road for Barberino di Mugello. At about one kilometre from the intersection, a road on the right (road sign: Bosco ai Frati Convent) leads into the open countryside.
This strip of paved road is narrow, but in good condition and the traffic is scarce, except on Sundays and holidays in the summer. The road climbs and dips gently as it coasts the Ronchi Forest, which it later crosses to reach, after a soft climb (10 km), Bosco ai Frati Convent, an important religious site in Mugello. 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. Before our eyes we see the long, continuous chain of Apennine crests and the numerous mountain passes, (Futa, Raticosa, Giogo di Scarperia, Colla di Casaglia and the Muraglione), which 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 kilometre 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. We continue on the road to the Mugello Motor Circuit until we reach the rock face that leads us inside the walls of Scarperia (23.3 km), which has a long tradition of cutting blades and knife making. Here we can enjoy breathtaking views of the Vicari Palace.
We move through the town of Scarperia to Luco di Mugello on a new stretch of hilly road that coasts the Mugello International Motor Circuit, (24.8km). The track, which is the property of the Ferrari Team, is not only used to test race cars and to host the Motorcycle Grand Prix - which is not only one of the world’s most outstanding races, but also one that motorcycle enthusiasts across the world await with eagerness - it also has a long cycling tradition. Like in the 2007 Giro, the finish line of the 1977 Giro d’Italia – won with a sprint by Marino Basso – was set precisely in this circuit.
The road moves through an open area with limited traffic until it reaches Luco di Mugello. We have no doubt that we’re in the home of the "tortello di patate" (potato filled ravioli pasta), because from March to October, the walls of the towns are covered with posters advertising the various food fairs dedicated to this delicacy. Once past Luco (26 km), the road narrows, but the tarmac continues to be in good condition. We turn onto the road that goes to Ronta (28.1 km), and, once past the Torrente Bosso, we begin the most difficult part of the course.
The climb into the woods, one hundred or so metres long, is muscle-straining and it’s necessary to adopt the lowest bike gears you have. After this rough patch, a number of bends lead down into a delightful valley in which it is not difficult to encounter grazing roe deer. The landscape is enchanting but unless we decide to stop, it’s difficult to enjoy because several hundred metres later the road begins a second climb. This time every ounce of energy – and the lowest gear - we can muster is necessary to keep us on our saddles. This climb, no more than 300-400 metres long, has a gradient of more than 15% (we go from 292 to 371 metres above sea level). It leads to the hamlet of Selva (30.1 km) from which, following a stretch of climbs and descents, we meet state road 302 and the intersection for Brisighellese-Ravennate (31.4 km). To the left we find the town of Ronta and the road that leads to the Colla di Casaglia Pass, but we move right and start our descent, which lasts 6 km and leads us back to Borgo San Lorenzo.
WHAT TO SEE:
San Piero a Sieve
In this town we find Adami Palace, Villa Schifanoia, San Pietro Parish Church, Villa delle Mozzette, Trebbio Castle, Bosco ai Frati Convent, San Martino Fortress
Here we can admire: Vicari Palace, Museum of Cutting Blades, Rectory of S. jacopo and S. Filippo, Madonna di piazza Oratory and Madonna dei Terremoti.