DISCOVER THE METAL-BEARING HILLS BY BIKE

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DISCOVER THE METAL-BEARING HILLS BY BIKE

he route begins in the south of the Metal-Bearing Hills, along asphalt roads that are free from traffic. Check out the medieval villages and fortifications of Montieri and Chiusdino.ITINERARY
Point of departure and arrival: Chiusdino
Level of difficulty: medium
Length: 37 km
Total climb: 610 m
Road surface: asphalt
Recommended bike: all-terrain, road

Start in the central square of Chiusdino. Follow signs for Siena and head down along SP 31 “di Chiusdino” as far as La Battellona (approx. 3.5 km). Veer left at the junction onto SP 107 “di Montalcinello” towards Radicondoli-Montalcinello.

Cross the Saio stream (approx. 5.4 km) and climb up a short 6% ascent up a hill with panoramic views. At 8.3 km, skirting the village of Montalcinello, carry on along the main road. Head downhill for a short stretch before continuing on apparently flat ground, escorted by some early geothermal plumbing, quickly sliding down towards the crossroad at the bottom of Montingegnoli castle (approx. 14 km).

Turn left onto SP 3 “delle Galleraie”, following signs for Montieri and Follonica. This lovely road marks a clear divide between the water basins of the Merse and Cecina. At 19.4 km leave the turn-off for the Galleraie baths on your right, the spa resort in Val di Merse as well as Petriolo. After 600 metres you enter the province of Grosseto and the SP 3 becomes SP 5 “di Montieri”.

The road now narrows and the bends begin and continue as far as La Fabbrica. Carry on past the turn-off to Travale on the right and a 4 km long climb begins straight away (the first two km are the hardest with short sections at a gradient of up to 10%). Ride past the two farmhouses that dominate the sides of the road on both sides (approx. 25.5 km) and the gradients become less steep. You are getting closer to Poggio di Montieri (1051 m s.l.m.), separated from the nearby Monte de Le Cornate (1060 m s.l.m.) by a strip of land, which hides from us the views of the nearby Follonica Gulf and as far as Elba Island.

At 26 km you come across a spring on your left. About 500 m on, at the end of the climb, you meet the three-way junction. Take the road to Chiusdino, but before taking SP 29 “di Ciciano”, we recommend that you continue for another 1km approx. and take a look at Montieri, an ancient mineralogical town in the metal-bearing hills, whose name hails from Mons Aeris, or "copper mountain".

Take a break here and wander around the narrow streets above the thirteenth-century bridge house. Find the bakery that makes its own Tuscan bread every day as well as “schiaccia”, a simply salted focaccia served with aromatic “friccioli”, crispy pork scratchings, and some traditional Tuscan cured meats.

Ride back to the three-way junction just outside the village. Take the SP 29 towards Chiusdino. Cycle downhill along a lovely panoramic road in the Upper Val di Merse. At 32 km you come back into the province of Siena, riding along the SP 31 as far as Ciciano, famous for the traditional summer game known as “Palla Eh!”. Turn left. Having passed through the village, the road heads downhill for a short stretch as far as the small cemetery of Chiusdino. Climb up for the last kilometer and a half until you reach the town.

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