Over the hills and along the Sieve River
The tour, 40.3 kilometres long, suits cyclists with average training.
Borgo San Lorenzo, the biggest town in Mugello and also the service centre of the territory, and travel towards Florence along State Road 302, Brisighellese-Ravennate (known as the “Faentina”). Once past the bridge over the Sieve River we turn left at the first intersection towards the town of Sagginale and move through the bottom of the valley along the Sieve River. The road is wide and the traffic scarce. While on this road, which is sun drenched in summer, it is easy to imagine life as it was prior to industrialization. Traffic is far off, on the other side of the river, and the silence is broken only by the rare lorry or car, or by the tractors that move to and from the many farm houses that are still productive in the area.We depart from
At 4.1 kilometres from the intersection, we leave the bottom of the valley and turn left towards San Cresci. Traffic is still almost non-existent but the road narrows and becomes a gravel road that rises at first intermittently and then constantly. The slope is steep and at some points exceeds a gradient of 12-14% making the use of lower gears a must. At 5.9 km we welcome the 100 metres of flat road that allows us to catch our breath, but the road soon starts to climb again, though a little less steeply this time.
At 7 kilometres from the start of the tour, hidden among the trees, the bell tower of San Cresci church comes into view. This means that we’ve almost reached the end of the climb. In fact, just 300 metres further the road starts to descend compensating us for our endeavour. Villas and farm houses dot this landscape where time seems to move more slowly than in the city.
The pleasant ride, however, doesn’t last long because at 8.5 km the road begins to climb sharply again until we reach Arliano. One more kilometre of gentle climbing and leads us to Campestri where we touch the highest point of this tour (461 metres above sea level). The fast and winding descent allows us to admire the breathtaking view of the Sieve valley and, further off, the town of Vicchio di Mugello. At 12.2 km we find a fresh water fountain to refill our depleted water bottles and then, 1,500 metres later, we find ourselves back at the bottom of the valley.
Barbiana, (5 km alternative route), the quaint hamlet which witnessed the controversial, yet greatly respected, life and teaching methods of Don Lorenzo Milani. At 16.4 km we reach Ponte a Vicchio and the splendid bridge that crosses the Sieve river. We move towards Dicomano along a road that is scented with the wines and meats of Tuscany. The road is narrow but the limited traffic allows us to take pleasure in this shady dale that lies between Mount Giove and the Sieve River.
THINGS TO SEE !
BORGO S. LORENZO
In the surrounding areas:
Comune di Borgo S. Lorenzo: